What edge did Eastern Steppe peoples have over Western Steppe peoples in the Ancient/Early middle ages that allowed them to replace them

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,655
#31
the steppe is an unforgiving environment , good years would see the population increase
bad years would see a lot of herders travel looking for food , or work
the settled agriculture were a natural prey

something similar to the Sahara pump , when the environment contract , it expel people toward the fringes
I agree with the basic premise but backwards- it was in the good decades that expansion happened with extra healthy population, horses, fodder, and the knowledge in the bad years the environment couldn't support that number of people but they also would have no time to organize invasions when trying to survive.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,655
#32
I read somewhere that this is due to China

Essentially, the constant threat of steppe raids triggered China to become more centralized in order to fight them, and this in turn caused the Eastern steppe nomads to become more centralized in order to successfully raid China. This caused the Eastern steppe nomads to become stronger than the Western steppe nomads, which causes steppe migrations to happen mainly from East to West.

For instance, the formation of the Xiongnu empire was caused by when the Qin dynasty tried to stop their raiding by capturing the Ordos region and evicting them from their pastures on the Yellow river (which would deny them a launching point for raids), and then build the Great Wall to keep them out. This led to the rise of Modu Chanyu, who would use this crisis to unite the tribes and form the Xiongnu empire. After the Qin was replaced by Han, the Han was initially pretty decentralized. However, the constant threat by the Xiongnu empire would prompt the Han dynasty to become more centralized, which eventually allowed them to defeat the Xiongnu empire after decades of war. And the Xiongnu, hardened by war with China, would be stronger than other neighboring tribes, and allow them to migrate all the way to the West to form the Hunnic empire. We would see this happen again for the Turks, the Khitians and the Mongols.
I somewhat agree with this- simply the competition between states and peoples in the east tended to be more intense and long lasting while the western steppers were more fluid and less intense (but still ongoing) competition for resources and influence.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,791
Sydney
#33
It is possible that the front edge of the migrant nomads was substantially with more warriors density than the spread out population they were trespassing on
they would be ready for conflict while their target was still unprepared
this could create an initial superiority
 
Likes: Aupmanyav
Mar 2015
1,436
Yorkshire
#34
The revolution in animal hsubandry and domestiation of the true horse totally transformed the Western Steppe from 4000 BCE with the Yamnaya IE horizon. The excellent books by Mallory "in search of the Indo-Europeans" and Anthony, "Horse, wheel and language" have treansformed our understanding of this period in the Western Steppe. I believe we are on the cusp of doing the same (thanks to linguistics and genetic studies) in the Eastern Steppe.

Topogaphy is important. The real divide between East and West Eurasia is not the low mounds of the Urals but the Altai/ Tien Shan. The Eastern Steppe is higher and even less accommodating than the West. The Yamna and its Eastern offshoots Sintasta (2100-1800BCE) and Androvo (1800-1300 BCE) transformed the economy through animal husbandry and dairying, which converted poor grassland into meat and milk, high calorie sustenance. Around 1500 BCE through a process of cultural exchange this technology was passed on to the East Steppe Hunter\Gatherer giving rise to a commensurate increase in Eastern population but apparently not involving any gene flow from West to East.

Steppe East West.JPG

The Sintasta Civilisation had been responsible for the innovation of the chariot and together with the horse, eagerly imported by Middle East and Chinese Empires, transforming warfare.

In, my view, the Turkic\Mongol mastery of cavalry and the improved compound bow to suit the demand of the horsed warrior must have been an important factor giving them the means to conduct success terror warfare initially against their Eastern Chinese neighbour but ultimately against the Western Steppe.
 
Likes: sparky
Aug 2019
7
Abuja, Nigeria
#35
What edge did Eastern Steppe peoples (Turks, Huns, Avars, Magyars, Bulgars, Heptalites etc) have over thatWestern Steppe peoples (Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Massagatae, etc) that allowed the Eastern Steppe peoples displace and assimilated the Eastern Steppe Peoples
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The examples you give of different tribes don't seem to divide them into East and West categories. Can't say I am an expert but aren't the steppe people usually just steppe people? Furthermore, it seems to me that it was one continuous movement from East to West. Everyone was displaced.
Okay i think a better distinction would be why the Iranian Nomads and what was left of the Indo European Nomads that were dominant in the Western Steppe were replaced by the Turkic, Hunnic and to some extent Mongolic peoples of the Eastern Steppe
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,655
#37
The revolution in animal hsubandry and domestiation of the true horse totally transformed the Western Steppe from 4000 BCE with the Yamnaya IE horizon. The excellent books by Mallory "in search of the Indo-Europeans" and Anthony, "Horse, wheel and language" have treansformed our understanding of this period in the Western Steppe. I believe we are on the cusp of doing the same (thanks to linguistics and genetic studies) in the Eastern Steppe.

Topogaphy is important. The real divide between East and West Eurasia is not the low mounds of the Urals but the Altai/ Tien Shan. The Eastern Steppe is higher and even less accommodating than the West. The Yamna and its Eastern offshoots Sintasta (2100-1800BCE) and Androvo (1800-1300 BCE) transformed the economy through animal husbandry and dairying, which converted poor grassland into meat and milk, high calorie sustenance. Around 1500 BCE through a process of cultural exchange this technology was passed on to the East Steppe Hunter\Gatherer giving rise to a commensurate increase in Eastern population but apparently not involving any gene flow from West to East.

View attachment 22643

The Sintasta Civilisation had been responsible for the innovation of the chariot and together with the horse, eagerly imported by Middle East and Chinese Empires, transforming warfare.

In, my view, the Turkic\Mongol mastery of cavalry and the improved compound bow to suit the demand of the horsed warrior must have been an important factor giving them the means to conduct success terror warfare initially against their Eastern Chinese neighbour but ultimately against the Western Steppe.
I agree the topography did much to shape the cultures that arose but I think this biome map is probably more useful to get a sense of where the steppe peoples could flourish and where the land was too hostile and where the settled agricultural cultures had the best regions.

https://steppesinsync.files.wordpre...th-yellow-colored-temperate-steppes.png?w=810
 

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