4. Saian Mountains

The Saian Mountains form an unique region in that although they are situated relatively south, they still have an arctic climate. Further the mountain range is intersected by several international and regional boundaries. As with the Northeastern Baikal region, the Saian Mountains are considered to be one of the oldest 'cradles' of horse and reindeer domestication. The Arctic Domus team has investigated the multi-species interplay between reindeer, horse and dogs. 


The region forms the fieldsite of the doctoral candidate Alex Oehler who began his fieldwork in the Soyot district of Buriatiia in 2013. Fieldworker Prof. Konstantin Klokov has made an initial survey of the district inhabited by Tofalar hunters within Irkutsk province. In 2014 and 2015 we extended the ethnographic and historical fieldwork to include pollen core analysis of specific sites of long-term reindeer and horse pastoralism.