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Pastoral Nomadism of Horse, Sheep, Goat, and Camel in the Historical Middle East

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Abstract:

The Middle East combines a small amount of fertile land interspersed with mountains, desert and steppe. The region is arid; intensive agriculture requires irrigation, and much land is best used for livestock, dependent on regular seasonal movement. Pastoral nomadism developed early as part of the market economy, becoming a major element also in political and military life.

Sheep and goats are raised throughout the region. The prestige animals are camels in the western desert, and horses across the north. These are the animals needed for transport and war. The camel has unique needs, and is raised separately by the Bedouin. Horses, sheep and goats are usually raised together, and this combination is dominant from Anatolia through Afghanistan.

Historically the camel has been the primary transport animal, and the Bedouin served as guides, while horses have been central to war. Therefore nomad regions were deliberately incorporated into major empires, nomads served as soldiers and many dynasties were of nomad origin.

However nomad strengths are offset by significant weaknesses. In winter Bedouin range through the desert, but in summer, the camel requires water and vegetation available only in oases usually controlled by settled populations. The nomads herding horses, sheep and goats summer in mountain pastures, but winter in river valleys where they are vulnerable to attack. All nomads are dependent on towns for trade, and their migration put them at a disadvantage against the settled merchants.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168257_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Manz, Beatrice. "Pastoral Nomadism of Horse, Sheep, Goat, and Camel in the Historical Middle East" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168257_index.html>

APA Citation:

Manz, B. F. "Pastoral Nomadism of Horse, Sheep, Goat, and Camel in the Historical Middle East" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1168257_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The Middle East combines a small amount of fertile land interspersed with mountains, desert and steppe. The region is arid; intensive agriculture requires irrigation, and much land is best used for livestock, dependent on regular seasonal movement. Pastoral nomadism developed early as part of the market economy, becoming a major element also in political and military life.

Sheep and goats are raised throughout the region. The prestige animals are camels in the western desert, and horses across the north. These are the animals needed for transport and war. The camel has unique needs, and is raised separately by the Bedouin. Horses, sheep and goats are usually raised together, and this combination is dominant from Anatolia through Afghanistan.

Historically the camel has been the primary transport animal, and the Bedouin served as guides, while horses have been central to war. Therefore nomad regions were deliberately incorporated into major empires, nomads served as soldiers and many dynasties were of nomad origin.

However nomad strengths are offset by significant weaknesses. In winter Bedouin range through the desert, but in summer, the camel requires water and vegetation available only in oases usually controlled by settled populations. The nomads herding horses, sheep and goats summer in mountain pastures, but winter in river valleys where they are vulnerable to attack. All nomads are dependent on towns for trade, and their migration put them at a disadvantage against the settled merchants.


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