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  1. null (Ed.)
    The Afanasievo world reportedly overlaps the borders of five nations including two countries of East Asia: Mongolia and China. Across these several regions, the first appearance of domestic herd animals (sheep, goat, cattle) and the initial practice of copper and bronze metallurgy are associated with Afanasievo communities. Since mobile pastoralism has long been a significant part of the Mongolian cultural tradition the question of when, where, and how Afanasievo groups entered Mongolia is of extreme interest to archaeologists. Over the past 50 years several important sites have been reported and analyzed but these are still little known among Western scholars. In this study we provide a brief overview of Afanasievo archaeology, its peripheries, and its recent analytical breakthroughs and then develop a unique perspective on the Afanasievo world from its farthest eastern edge in central Mongolia. We assess the different roles of migration and diffusion in the process of herd animal introduction and present two current hypotheses explaining the intensification of pastoralism in this region during the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BC. We argue that the impact of Afanasievo entry into East Asia was a transformative process but must be understood in the context of significant innovations mademore »by East Asian indigenous communities, eventually leading to a unique form of eastern steppe pastoralism in Mongolia.« less