Glossary

Aimag
largest administrative unit in Mongolia.

Altai-Sayan
mountainous uplift including the Altai Mountains and the Sayan Mountains within Russia’s Tuvan Republic.

Balbal
a standing stone associated with burials and Turkic enclosures; see under Archaeology: Standing Stones.

Bayan Ölgiy
aimag in western Mongolia.

Bronze Age
a broad cultural period dated from the beginning of the second millennium through the early first millennium BCE.

Deer stone
a form of decorated standing stone; see under Archaeology: Standing Stones.

Dwelling
a form of surface structure; see under Archaeology: Dwellings and Lines.

Early Nomads
Horse dependent herding people who emerged out of the Altai–Sayan uplift in the Late Bronze Age.

Enclosure
a square or rectangular stone structure on the surface of the earth; see under Archaeology: Turkic Memorial Structures.

Gher
a portable felt dwelling, known elsewhere as a yurt.

Iron Age:
a broad cultural period; in the Altai region coincides with the spread of iron making technology, about 5th c. BCE.

Khirigsuur
an elaborate ritual or funerary structure; see under Archaeology: Khirigsuur.

Karasuk Culture
a specific Bronze Age culture centered in the region of present day Minusinsk, Tuva, and northern Mongolia; dated between c. 1300 and the early first millennium BCE.

Ovoo
a kind of altar, usually of piled stones; see under Archaeology: Altars.

Pazyryk Culture
a specific culture of the Early Iron Age; entered in the Altai Republic and dated between the fifth and third centuries BCE.

Sum
the largest administrative unit within each aimag.

Tamga
believed to be a clan sign and of uncertain antiquity; see under Archaeology: Tamga.

Türks
Türk speaking people who emerged out of Mongolia (possibly even out of the Altai Mountains) in the sixth century CE. The Türks were a significant power in Eurasia between the sixth and the eighth centuries.

Uighurs
a late Türk speaking people who established a powerful steppe empire centered in Mongolia during the eighth and ninth centuries.