13. Muslim Bodies in the Russian Steppe
Irina Shingiray [+]
Islam arrived in the Caspian Steppe from the territories of the Caliphate in the 9th-10th centuries AD. Its influence and material culture have been found throughout Eastern Europe and even in Scandinavia. This cultural transmission of goods and people was often facilitated by the nomadic communities of the Eurasian Steppe, such as the Khazars, Oghuz, and Bulgars, who themselves began converting to Islam. ‘Nomadic Islam’, however, is generally poorly understood. This chapter demonstrates that archaeological research is in a unique position to provide evidence for the Islamisation of nomadic peoples and for the pluralistic practices that followed this process in the Caspian Steppe.