COPYRIGHT YEAR

2012

AUTHORS

Elizabeth Endicott

TITLE

Agriculture, Mining, Tourism: Competing Interests in Land Use

ABSTRACT

During the 1986–1987 academic year, while I was an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Owen Lattimore (1900–1989), the premiere American expert on Mongolia of his generation, at a few lunchtime talks sponsored by the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. On one such occasion, when I was seated next to Lattimore, I asked him whether he thought that agriculture had played any significant role in Mongolian history His reply was fascinating. Lattimore pointed out that agriculture has been practiced by most nomads in Central Eurasia, but in minimal and very specific ways. The type of agriculture that Owen Lattimore described was essentially nomadic agriculture: rough wooden ploughs broke up the earth; seeds were sown by hand; wheat or other grain crops were left unprotected as nomads pastured elsewhere; and either sickles or bare hands harvested the crops in autumn.1 Years later, when reading the 1910 report of the Moscow Trade Expedition to Mongolia, I discovered a photograph of a very simple wooden Mongolian plough as well as a photo of Mongols harvesting wheat near Khovd in western Mongolia.2 This type of nomadic farming was obviously very different from crop farming practiced by Chinese farmers in Mongolia, a fact that was abundantly evident to the Russian merchant-explorers who described the activities of Chinese farmers in the environs of Uliastai in 1910.3

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1 book-chapters:7b3d3e0d55754564e704e36ea2f394a5 sg:abstract Abstract During the 1986–1987 academic year, while I was an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Owen Lattimore (1900–1989), the premiere American expert on Mongolia of his generation, at a few lunchtime talks sponsored by the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. On one such occasion, when I was seated next to Lattimore, I asked him whether he thought that agriculture had played any significant role in Mongolian history His reply was fascinating. Lattimore pointed out that agriculture has been practiced by most nomads in Central Eurasia, but in minimal and very specific ways. The type of agriculture that Owen Lattimore described was essentially nomadic agriculture: rough wooden ploughs broke up the earth; seeds were sown by hand; wheat or other grain crops were left unprotected as nomads pastured elsewhere; and either sickles or bare hands harvested the crops in autumn.1 Years later, when reading the 1910 report of the Moscow Trade Expedition to Mongolia, I discovered a photograph of a very simple wooden Mongolian plough as well as a photo of Mongols harvesting wheat near Khovd in western Mongolia.2 This type of nomadic farming was obviously very different from crop farming practiced by Chinese farmers in Mongolia, a fact that was abundantly evident to the Russian merchant-explorers who described the activities of Chinese farmers in the environs of Uliastai in 1910.3
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6 sg:chapterNumber Chapter 6
7 sg:copyrightHolder Elizabeth Endicott
8 sg:copyrightYear 2012
9 sg:ddsId Chap6
10 sg:doi 10.1057/9781137269669_6
11 sg:esmRights OpenAccess
12 sg:hasBook books:2ad4d5fb231b9a04bf29077bc4cce77f
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15 sg:language En
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17 sg:metadataRights OpenAccess
18 sg:pageFirst 129
19 sg:pageLast 157
20 sg:scigraphId 7b3d3e0d55754564e704e36ea2f394a5
21 sg:title Agriculture, Mining, Tourism: Competing Interests in Land Use
22 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1057/9781137269669_6
23 rdf:type sg:BookChapter
24 rdfs:label BookChapter: Agriculture, Mining, Tourism: Competing Interests in Land Use
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