Bryan K. Miller received a M.A. in Archaeology from UCLA and a Ph.D. in East Asian Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania. His research investigates the history and archaeology of early empires in East Asia, focusing on intrapolity social and economic developments that occurred over the course of large polities as well as the interaction between regimes of Mongolia and China. His publications include studies of political substrata and the roles of local elites in regional polities, alternate models of interaction for frontier matrices of cultures in contact, functions and configurations of urban settings, and the interplay between local politics and larger processes of globalization. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the Xiongnu Empire for Oxford University Press.
Xiongnu Archaeology – Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the First Steppe Empire in Central Asia. 2011. Ursula Brosseder and Bryan K. Miller (Eds.), Bonn Contributions to Asian Archaeology, vol.5. Bonn: VFG-Arch Press.
One of the main challenges to productive archaeological investigations of the peoples, practices, and politics associated with the Xiongnu phenomenon is to surpass multidisciplinary studies and develop truly inter-disciplinary investigations. Sources of different forms or of different social lives may be analyzed separately but require a common research goal within which to frame these independent analyses so that they may be productively synthesized. This requires an integrative approach at the outset of investigation, and one which would likely lead to research outcomes that would not have been possible through any one discipline or resource. While the current state of research in the field of what might be broadly termed “Xiongnu studies” is certainly multidisciplinary – as one may easily ascertain by the wide range of contributions in this volume – our understanding of the Xiongnu steppe polity and its constituents is only in the nascent stages of being pursued via truly inter-disciplinary investigations. This book thus presents a comprehensive collection of the different agendas and methods of scholars engaged with records and remains of Iron Age Inner Asia in hopes that such a compilation will open avenues between disciplines and stimulate the development of integrated research.