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Economic contradictions

22 August 2014

Historical period of the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. is characterized by significant social and economic changes. United stock-raising and agricultural economic system of the Andronovo tribes which had been quite stable before changed seriously. A number of wonderful necropolises in the Central part of Kazakhstan and some other regions, high-quality and richly decorated ceramics, a lot of treasures which are full of subjects of bronze art demonstrate height of cultural and economic achievements as well as the bounder which was then followed by the period of economic decline of the tribes of the Bronze Age.

At the turn of the 1st millennium B.C. population growth exceeded the speed of development of productive forces of the Andronovo society to a considerable degree. Crisis happened; the main reason of the crisis was, using the words of Karl Marx, population pressure on forces of production. In other words, there was economic disbalance between population growth and the level of industrial development.

There were two solutions two this problem. The first included intensive expansion of the area under crop and many-times increase in forages dried for winter. The second solution meant universal use of huge territory of virgin grazing lands and development of cattle-breeding sphere of economy on this basis.

The first option was unavailable for the Andronovo tribes. Improvement of agricultural economy was impeded by the low level of technological development. Heavy and poor watered soil of Kazakhstan’s steppe area was uncrossable barrier.

Partial overcoming of the crisis became possible when ancient tribes invented the method of winter cattle-breeding, so called tebenevka. Thus, the conditions for the transition to more suitable for that time seminomad type of cattle-breeding.

Archaeological excavation of settlements and graves dated back to that period gave a great number of evidences of complicated process of economic and social reconstruction. Findings of bridle remains demonstrate mastering the riding. Increase in the number of found heads of spears, arrows and battleaxes indicates strengthening of military organization of the society where protection of livestock and land was one of the most important needs.

For most steppe tribes on the territory of Kazakhstan seminomad cattle-breeding was a partial solution to the problem, a kind of deferment of economic crisis. Complete overcoming of the crisis became possible when people from central, northern and eastern parts of the country proceeded to a new economic basis — nomad cattle-breeding.

Agapov P., Kadyrbayev M. (1979) Treasure of ancient Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata: Zhalyn. 252 p. (in Russian)

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