The Great Eurasian Steppe, highlighted in purple The Great Eurasian Steppe stretches from the plains of eastern Hungary to the Pacific coast of Asia, sandwiched between forests to the north and mountains and deserts to the south. The harshness of life in this high, dry landscape meant that humans of the past could only survive by relying on creatures even hardier than they.
Divisions[ edit ] A map of Eurasia with emphasis on deserts. Note the oval Tarim Basin at the center of the map. The Eurasian Steppe extends thousands of miles from near the mouth of the Danube almost to the Pacific Ocean.
There is no clear southern boundary although the land becomes increasingly dry as one moves south. The steppe narrows at two points, dividing it into three major parts.
Its northern edge was a broad band of forest steppe which has now been obliterated by the conversion of the whole area to agricultural land. In the west, the Great Hungarian Plain is an island of steppe separated from the main steppe by the mountains of Transylvania. On the north shore of the Black Sea, the Crimean Peninsula has some interior steppe and ports on the south coast which link the steppe to the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin.
This is not a major barrier to movement, but the area near the Caspian is quite dry. To the south, it grades off into semi-desert and desert which is interrupted by two great rivers, the Amu Darya Oxus and Syr Darya Jaxarteswhich flow northwest into the Aral Sea and provide irrigation agriculture.
In the southeast is the densely populated Fergana Valley and west of it the great oasis cities of TashkentSamarkand and Bukhara along the Zeravshan River.
The southern area has a complex history see Central Asia and Greater Iranwhile in the north, the Kazakh Steppe proper was relatively isolated from the main currents of written history. Dzungarian Narrowing[ edit ] On the east side of the former Sino-Soviet border mountains extend north almost to the forest zone with only limited grassland in Dzungaria.
Eastern Steppe[ edit ] Xinjiang is the northwestern province of China. Dzungaria is bounded by the Tarbagatai Mountains on the west and the Mongolian Altai Mountains on the east, neither of which is a significant barrier. Dzungaria has good grassland around the edges and a central desert.
It often behaved as a westward extension of Mongolia and connected Mongolia to the Kazakh steppe. To the north of Dzungaria are mountains and the Siberian forest.
To the south and west of Dzungaria, and separated from it by the Tian Shan mountains, is an area about twice the size of Dzungaria, the oval Tarim Basin. The Tarim Basin is too dry to support even a nomadic population, but around its edges rivers flow down from the mountains giving rise to a ring of cities which lived by irrigation agriculture and east-west trade.
The Tarim Basin formed an island of near civilization in the center of the steppe. The Northern Silk Road went along the north and south sides of the Tarim Basin and then crossed the mountains west to the Fergana Valley.
The two are separated by a relatively dry area marked by the Gobi Desert. South of the Mongol Steppe is the high and thinly peopled Tibetan Plateau. The northern edge of the plateau is the Gansu or Hexi Corridora belt of moderately dense population that connects China proper with the Tarim Basin.
The Hexi Corridor was the main route of the Silk Road.
China and surrounding regions. Note the oval Tarim Basin, the dryer area separating Inner and Outer Mongolia and the projection of steppe into Manchuria Manchuria is a special case.
Westerners tend to think of Manchuria as the northeast projection of China that they see on maps. The Chinese now call this, or the eastern two thirds of it, Northeast China.
The dryer western third west of the Greater Khingan Mountains has normally been part of Inner Mongolia. BeforeManchuria also included Outer Manchuria to the north and east, which is now part of Russia.The Eurasian steppe, occupying an extensive tract of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia, is in many ways very similar to the prairie of North America and hence harbours many similar plants and animals.
The following is an extract from By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia by Sir Barry Cunliffe. The thousand-year period from the . For centuries, Mongolian herders have maintained five types of livestock: Bactrian camels, horses, cattle, sheep and goats.
Although the domestication history of the other livestock species is well explored, our understanding of Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) domestication is still incomplete. The Eastern Mongolian Steppes are home to the largest remaining intact temperate grasslands of the Earth.
The ecosystem of Eastern Mongolian Steppes is characterized by treeless flat steppes, gently rolling hills, wetlands, and interlinkages with the Khyangan Mountain Range all the way to the border. History of the Steppe Introduction Geography. The Steppe (aka the Eurasian Steppe) is a vast strip of land stretching from Ukraine to Mongolia.
The term "steppe" denotes grassland: a low-precipitation region with enough rain for grass, but not enough for trees (see Climates and Biomes). Nov 20, · The Eurasian nomads were a large group of nomadic peoples from the Eurasian Steppe, who often appear in history as invaders of Europe, the Middle East and China.
The generic title encompasses the varied ethnic groups who have at times inhabited the steppes of Central Asia, Mongolia, and what is now Russia.