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Fingerprints in ancient pots and idiosyncrasies of old tattered textiles remind us that the people we write about in textbooks had stories and memories of a time past too.



I have been engaged in the archaeology of central Eurasian prehistoric pastoralism since 2005. My research takes a ground up approach to this topic by focusing on the everyday rhythms of human creativity and technological practice to investigate how local community activity feeds into broad scale material culture patterns and social systems.

Using an interdisciplinary approach to Eurasian pastoral studies, my research is conducted with team members who are jointly investigating how Bronze Age (approximately 5500-3000 BP) nomadic populations were incorporated into, and crucial, to the establishment of trans-regional webs of exchange and technology transfer thousands of years before the historic Silk Roads.



2016-Present  Assistant Professor, Nazarbayev University, Astana (Kazakhstan)

2015-2016     Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (Germany)

2014-2016     Research Associate, Washington University in St. Louis (United States)

2014-2015     Instructor, Saint Louis University (United States)



Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis, 2014 (United States)

M.A. Washington University in St. Louis, 2009 (United States)

B.A. (Archaeology, Honors), University of Sydney, 2007 (Australia)






Peer-reviewed articles

Jia, P.W., Betts, A., Doumani Dupuy, P., Cong. D., Jia. X. (2018) Bronze Age Hill Forts: New evidence for defensive sites in the western Tian Shan, China. Archaeological Research in Asia 15:70-81

Doumani Dupuy P. N., Spengler III, R. N., Frachetti, M.D. (2018) Eurasian Textiles: Case Studies in exchange during the incipient and later Silk Road periods, Quaternary International (10.1016/j.quaint.2016.09.067.)

Jia, P.W., Betts, A., Cong. D., Jia. X., Doumani Dupuy, P. (2017) Adunqiaolu: New evidence for the Andronovo in Xinjiang, China, Antiquity.

Greene, A. F., Hartley, C. W., Doumani Dupuy, P. N., Chinander, M. (2017) The Digital Radiography of Archaeological Pottery: Programs and Protocols for the Analysis of Production, Journal of Archaeological Science 78:120-133.

Doumani Dupuy, P. N. (2016) Bronze Age Central Asia, Oxford Handbooks Online, ed. C. Riggs. New York: Oxford University Press.

Doumani, P. N., Frachetti, M. D., Beardmore, R., Schmaus, T., Spengler, R. N., Mar’yashev, A. (2015)  Burial Ritual, Agriculture, and Craft Production among Bronze Age Pastoralists at Tasbas (Kazakhstan), Archaeological Research in Asia 1-2:17-32.

Spengler, R., Frachetti, M., Doumani, P., Rouse, L., Cerasetti, B., Bullion, E., Mar’yashev, A. (2014) Early agriculture and crop transmission among Bronze Age mobile pastoralists of Central Eurasia, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281: 20133382.

Spengler, R. N., Frachetti M. D., Doumani, P. N. (2014) Agriculture on the Piedmont of Eastern Central Eurasia: The Late Bronze Age at Tasbas, Kazakhstan.  Quaternary International 348:147-157.

Doumani, P. N., Frachetti, M. D. (2012) Bronze Age Textile Evidence in Ceramic Impressions: Weaving and Pottery Technology among Mobile Pastoralists of Central Eurasia, Antiquity 86 (332): 368-382.

Frachetti M. D., Benecke N., Doumani, P. N., Mar’yashev, A. N. (2010) Eurasian Pastoralists and their Shifting Regional Interactions at the Steppe Margin: Settlement History at Mukri, Kazakhstan, World Archaeology 42(4): 622-646.


Book Chapters

Doumani Dupuy, P. N. (2017), Bronze Age Pottery Technology on the Kazakh Steppe Fringe, In A. T. Smith, L. Khatchadourian and E. Hite (Eds.) Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics, Fourth Eurasian Archaeology Conference Volume. Oxford University Press: Oxford.


Book Reviews

Doumani Dupuy, P. N. (2016) Review of: The Ecology of Pastoralism, edited by N. Kardulias, University of Colorado Press, (2015), American Journal of Archaeology. 120.3


Guest presentation & Public Lectures

Steppe Civilization and (Nomadic) Pastoralism. History of Kazakhstan undergraduate and public lecture series, Nazarbayev University. (2016, 2017)

Twill and Pastoralists: Indicators for Pre-Silk Roads Technology Transfer and Exchange. Workshop and Seminar on The Tibetan Plateau and Bronze Age Globalization - Washington University in St. Louis. (2015)

Working Hands: From St. Louis to Kazakhstan: How the lives of prehistoric nomads helped shape the ancient Silk Roads, the clothes on our backs and the foods on our tables. The Monthly Lecture Series - St. Louis Yoga. (2015)


Conference Presentations

2018 Pastoralists and operational complexity: shaping the materiality of Trans-Eurasian Exchange. Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting (11-15 April, Washington DC, USA)

2018 The materiality of permanence and cohesion within nomadic contexts of Bronze Age eastern Eurasia, European Archaeology Association Annual Meeting (5-8 September, Barcelona, Spain)

2018 Поселения Горной Части Семиречья И Вопросы Экологии и Хозяйства в Бронзовом Веке. Международную научно-практическую конференцию, Маргулановские чтения (with M. Frachetti, A.N. Mar’yashev, T. Hermes), (19-20 April, Aktobe, Kazakhstan)

2017 The intersection of clay and fiber in central Eurasian prehistory: Methods for evaluation. Society for American Archaeology – 82nd Annual Meeting in Vancouver

2017 Substantial Intensity of Millet Agriculture during the Bronze and Iron Ages in Kazakhstan Is Revealed in δ13C and δ18O Time Series of Incrementally Sampled Livestock Teeth. Society for American Archaeology – 82nd Annual Meeting in Vancouver (Co-authored with T. Hermes, M. Frachetti, E. Dubyagina, C. Makarewicz)

2016   Tethered, Ad-hoc, Resilient or Structured? An isotopic investigation of pastoral strategies in Mountain ecosystems of Central Asia. Society for American Archaeology – 81st Annual Meeting in Orlando (Co-authored with T. Hermes, M. Frachetti, A. Mar’yashev).

2014  Textiles as an Early Silk Road Commodity: Linen, Cotton, and Twill. Society for American Archaeology - 79th Annual Meeting in Austin (Co-authored with R.N. Spengler).

2014  Digital Radiography of Macro-Scale Variation in Archaeological Ceramics: The Assemblage-Based Analysis of Ancient Eurasian Potting Techniques, International Symposium on Archaeometry - Los Angeles (Co-authored with A.N., Greene, C.W. Hartley, M. R. Chinander).

2014  The Recursive-Relational Archaeological Database (ReArch), Sherd Image Viewer and Analysis (ShIVA): A post-Structural Model for Interdisciplinary Archaeological Research and Collaboration. Conference for Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology - Paris, France (Co-authored with A. N. Greene and C. W. Hartley).

2014  Forging a Eurasian Archaeometry: Nine Years of Materials Analysis and Technique Development by The Making of Ancient Eurasia (MAE) Project. Society for American Archaeology - 79th Annual Meeting in Austin (Co-authored with A. N. Greene and C. W. Hartley).

 2013  Technology Transfer in Bronze Age Kazakhstan: Mobile communities on the geographic margin of Central Eurasia. Chacmool Annual Archaeology Conference. “Trading Spaces: The Archaeology of Interaction, Migration, and Exchange” - University of Calgary, Alberta Canada.

2013  Technical Know-How in the Bronze Age: Migration and Household Production Among Pastoralists of Kazakhstan. Central Eurasian Studies Society, 14th Annual Conference - University of Wisconsin, Madison.

2013  Mobility, Technology Transfer, and Material Culture at the Heart of Eurasia: Prehistoric Nomads of Kazakhstan. On the Move: Migration and Mobility in East and Central Europe and Eurasia – Interdisciplinary Conference, Washington University in St. Louis.

2012  Subsistence on High: Pastoralist Technology and Domestication on the Kazakh Steppe Fringe. The 4th Annual Eurasian Archaeology Conference. “Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics: The Archaeology of Eurasia from Past to Present” - Cornell University.

2009  Local Signatures, Interaction and Mobility: Bronze Age Kazakhstan. Society for American Archaeology - 74th Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

2009  Prehistoric Ceramic and Textile Industries of Southeastern Kazakhstan. Graduate Workshop on Eurasian Archaeology - University of Pittsburgh


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Spring 2016-2019 Nazarbayev University 

Materiality and Eurasian Society (ANT 520)

Nomads: Nomads around the World and Through Time (ANT 286) 

Life, Death & Economy: Archaeology of Central Asia (ANT 232)

Being Human: Introduction to 4-Field Anthropology (ANT 180)

World Prehistory (ANT 140)


Spring 2012, 2014, 2015 Saint Louis Univeristy

Introduction to four-field anthropology (SOC 120)

materiality and eurasian society (ANT 520)

This seminar designed for the MA Program in Eurasian Studies is designed to introduce students to key theories about “Things” and Agency that are relevant to the modern and historic making of Eurasia. We aim to merge the longstanding focus on finished objects with an investigation of technological behaviors and human negotiations with the material world through time. Of particular interest will be the role of archaeology and anthropology in constructing narratives of things and what has been overlooked. Case studies will encompass Eurasia from prehistory to the present day by examining object categories such as the carpet trade, architecture of Post-Soviet capital cities, and ritual and utility of glazed pottery and bronze. The goal of the course is to attain familiarity with, and a critical perspective of, contemporary theoretical approaches to materiality and how it shape(d) Eurasia.

Nomads: Around the World and Through Time (ANT 286)

The global survey course explores the essential role nomads have played in the formation and transfer of culture, language, and power from prehistoric times to the current era – often in the most inhospitable of regions. We examine past and present nomadic pastoral societies in light of their artistic traditions, their ecological, political, and cultural environments, and adaptations to change. Moving through six regions of the world we cross-culturally examine nomadism through reading archaeology, ethnography, and viewing documentary films. Students learn where Kazakhstan fits globally in nomadic studies and also learn why nomads, who are imagined as unchanging and in conflict with the sedentary world, are in fact incredibly adaptive and integral to world empires.


Life, Death & Economy: Archaeology of Central Asia (ANT 232)

This course examines the history of nomadic warriors, chariots, shamans, the transmigration of gold and treasure, and the Ancient Empires of the Steppe. In this study of the prehistory of Central Asia we look at hunter/gatherer, farming, and pastoral societies; see the impact of technological innovations on social revolutions, how groups cope with death and their ideas and beliefs of the afterlife. We then survey why and how people fight to protect the region’s dynamic past. Students learn of key archaeological discoveries from prehistoric phases through lectures, readings, discussions, and learn to analyze and categorize 4,000 year old artifacts while working in NU’s state of the art archaeological lab.

world prehistory (ANT 140)

For the 4+ million years we have been on earth, humans have witnessed triumphs and tragedies among individuals, communities, and empires. Most of these events can only be discovered through the material record because they happened before writing was invented – during PRE-history, or where just not written down by anyone. Therefore, our understanding of the human past greatly depends on the tools of archaeology. Archaeology is also our only way to unlock the secret lives of people often ignored or misrepresented in written history (e.g., nomads, slaves, peasants, and women). During this semester you will learn the ways archaeologists use material culture to reconstruct the rich variety of human behavior across the globe through time.

Being Human: Intro' to 4-Field Anthropology (ANT 180)

In this course, students are introduced to the complexities of what it means to be human and given tools to help them foster ideas on how to approach contemporary social issues as critical and intellectual thinkers. We spend the semester examining the period of the dawn of our primate ancestors through to modern day societies. We look at the interrelated components of Anthropology - cultural, linguistic, archaeological, and physical - to examine the distinctive and common aspects of humanity. We begin our exploration of humankind deep in Africa at the dawn of human evolution, and then trace the first human footsteps that led us to eventually colonize the globe. We will look at the rise of culture, art, warfare, religion, states, and world empires through the material and biological record, and end the course by studying the diversity of human language and culture traditions across the world.