Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan

Photograph of the cover of the volume. The cover is black. The name of the exhibition appears in white text at upper left. Centered in the remaining space is an image of a silver and gold object with an apparently feline face.
  • edited by: Sören Stark & Karen S. Rubinson with Zainolla Samashev & Jennifer Y. Chi
  • contributors: Nursan Alimbai, Nikolay A. Bokovenko, Claudia Chang, Bryan K. Hanks, Sagynbay Myrgabayev, Karen S. Rubinson, Zainolla S. Samashev, Sören Stark, Abdesh T. Toleubaev
  • 2012
  • Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9780691154800

Exhibition: Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan
Dates: March 7 - June 3, 2012

The catalogue for the groundbreaking exhibition at New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Nomads and Networks presents an unparalleled overview of the sophisticated culture of pastoral nomadic populations who lived on the territory of present-day Kazakhstan from roughly the middle of the first millennium BCE to the early centuries CE.

Focusing on material from the Altai and Tianshan regions, Nomads and Networks explores the specific conditions of mobile lifeways that resulted from particular ecological conditions in the steppes and high valleys of Inner Eurasia. Highlights of the exhibition are grave goods from the burial mounds at the site of Berel and gold mortuary ornaments from Shilikty, Zhalauli, and Kargaly. Attesting to a sophisticated decorative art flourishing among these nomadic populations, the objects skillfully combine older iconographic traditions of animal style in the steppe with more recent influences from foreign cultures--most notably Persia and China. 


"Nomads and Networks accompanies a very timely exhibition which should spark increased interest in Kazakhstan, the region's art, and its role in shaping the societies of Central Asia. The book's design is excellent, the image reproductions are well done, and the introduction does a fine job tying the diverse chapters together." Michael Frachetti, Washington University in St. Louis

Nomads and Networks, photograph © Bruce M. White, 2016