Doctoral research student Tuvshinjargal  Tumurbaatar, M.A.

Doctoral research student

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar (Mongolia, 1989)

M.A. in Archaeology

PhD project
Zooarchaeological and biomolecular exploration of the first pastoral societies of the Eastern Steppe
While horse-based, pastoral societies from the Eastern Steppe – including those of Genghis Khan and the Xiongnu Empire - had an extraordinary impact on the cultural and ecological landscape of the modern world, shockingly little is known about how or why the first nomadic herding societies emerged in the open grasslands of Mongolia. This issue derives from several factors, including the absence of historical records pertaining to Mongolian societies during the Bronze and Early Iron Age, the lack of domestic habitation sites or other sources of detailed material culture data in the archaeological record, and the underdevelopment of zooarchaeology as a discipline in Mongolia. In recent years, scientific archaeology – especially zooarchaeology and biomolecular study of human and animal remains— has made major strides towards correcting this issue, shedding new light on the management of domestic animals as far back as the late Bronze Age, ca. 1200 BCE. Nonetheless, circumstantial evidence indicates that domestic animals may have first reached Mongolia nearly two millennia before this point, ca. 3000 BCE. Animal remains from this critical period (3000-1200 BCE) thus provide the only source of empirical insight into the chronology and substance of domestic animal use during the Early and Middle Bronze Age. By combining biomolecular study (isotopes and ZooMS) with traditional Zooarchaeological methods and detailed comparison with the cultural and paleoenvironmental records, this project will overcome key methodological hurdles to the study of Mongolia’s first pastoral cultures and, for the first time, reveal the ecological dynamics of the transition from hunting to herding life in the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE.
Research interests Early nomadic pastoralism in archaeological cultures, Zooarchaeology, Animal domestication, animal husbandry and mobility (Eurasia), Ancient children’s games and toys, Cave burial mortuary analysis.

since 2018
Member of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at Kiel University

M.A. in Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

B.A in Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Work experience

2012 - 2018
Curator of Archaeology at National Museum of Mongolia

Archaeological Fieldwork Experience

2015 - 2017
Achaeologist. Uvs Nuur Basin project (5000-1300 BCE), Zuungovi Sum, Uvs Aimag. Directors Dr. Loukas Barton (University of Pittsburgh) and Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

2012, 2015, 2017
Archaeologist and Zooarchaeologist. Western Mongolia Project. Tsengel Sum, Bayan-Ulgii aimag and Zuunkhangai Sum, Uvs Aimag (3000 BCE-93 CE). Directors Dr. Jean Luc Houle (Western Kentucky University) and Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National University of Mongolia).

2015 - 2017
Archaeologist and Archaeologist, Horses and Human Societies Project. Renchinlkhumbe Sum Khuvsgul aiamg, Gurvanbulag and Bayanbulag Sum, Bayankhongor Aimag, Sagsai Sum Bayan-Ulgii Aimag (1200-700 BCE). Directors Willam Taylor (Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History).

Archaeologist and Zooarchaeologist. Northern Mongolia Project, Ulaan-Uul sum, Khovsgol Aimag (5000-700 BCE). Directors Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia and Dr. Julia Clark (American Center for Mongolian Studies).

Archaeologist.Northern Bayankhongor project (1300-5000 BCE). Directors Bryce Lowery (University of Chicago) and Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Kherlen Bars II project, Tsagaan-Ovoo sum, Dornod Aimag (209 BCE-93 CE). Directors Dr. Bryan Miller (University of Bonn) and Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Cave Burial excavation at Urd Ulaan Uneet, Myangad Sum, Khovd Aimag. Director Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National University of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Egiin Gol Excavation. Bugat and Khutag-Undur Sum, Bulgan Aimag (1500 - 93 CE). Director Dr. Odbaatar Tserendorj (National Museum of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Daagan Del Project, Telmen and Shiluustei Sum, Zavkhan aimag (1000-300 BCE). Director Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Cave Burial Excavation at Murui Am, Bumbufur Sum, Bayankhongor Aimag (1200-1300 CE). Director Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

Archaeologist. Biluut project, Tsengel Sum, Bayan Olgii Aimag (1000-300 BCE). Directors Dr. Willam Fitzhugh (Smithsonian Institution) and Dr. Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav (National Museum of Mongolia).

Selected publications

Peer Reviewed

Taylor, William and Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2018. Horseback Riding, Asymmetry, and Changes to the Equine Skull: Evidence for Mounted Riding in Mongolia’s Late Bronze Age. Care or Neglect? Evidence of Animal Disease in Archaeology, p 134-154.

William Timothy Treal Taylor, Burentogtokh Jargalan, K. Bryce Lowry, Julia Clark, Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal and Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan. 2017. A Bayesian chronology for early domestic horse use in the Easternsteppe. Journal of Archaeological Science 81 (2017) 49-58.

Taylor, William, Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar, and Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav. 2016. Reconstructing Equine Bridles in the Mongolian Bronze Age. Journal of Ethnobiology 36(3): 554-570.

Taylor, William, Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav, and Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2015. Equine Cranial Morphology and the Identification of Riding and Chariotry: Applications to Mongolia’s Late Bronze Age. Antiquity 89(346): 854-871.

Non Peer Reviewed

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar and Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav. 2017. The Earliest Known Cave Burial at Urd Ulaann Uneet and Its implication for the evolution of horse control. Book XVIII-II. Volume 1, (In Mongolian).

Sukhbaatar D, Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar and Bayandelger Ch. 2017. The Newly Discovered Incised Rock Art at Del Mountain., Nomadic Heritage Studies. Book XVIII-II. Volume 7, p 122-131 (In Mongolian).

Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav, Taylor, William, and Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2017. Archaeological Investigation at Morin murt, Nomadic Heritage Studies. Book XVIII-Volume 11. Fasc 1, p 7-14 (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2016. Play house of children. Kureltogoot - 2016 Conference. p 18-26 (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2016. Khirgisuur or Khirigsuur. Nomadic Heritage Studies XVII. Volume 2. (In Mongolian).

Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav and Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2016. Grave in the Yamaat Cave of the Aguit Tsahir Mountain. Museum Studies XVII, Volume 14. (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2015. Study of Horse Riding Indications in the Late Bronze Age. Studia Archaeologica. Book XXXV. p 530-543. (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2015. The Eliminated Unique Object. Nomadic Heritage Studies. Book XVII. Volume 9. (In Mongolian).

Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav, Odbaatar Tserendorj, Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar, and Enkhbold Sanjperlee. 2014. Cave burial of Murui Am. Талын дайчдын өв соёл. p 282- 293. (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2013. Ancient Flint and Pouch. Nomadic Heritage Studies. Book XV. Volume 9. (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2013 Ancient making fire tool. Nomadic Heritage Studies. Book XIV. Volume 10. (In Mongolian).

Tuvshinjargal Tumurbaatar. 2012. Association of Animal Backbone in the Burial of Early Medieval Nomads of Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology, Volume 7, № I (378): 134-142 (In Mongolian).