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Sogdian Traders: A History

TL;DR: The Sogdian traders were the main go-between of Central Asia from the fifth to the eighth century as mentioned in this paper, from their towns of Samarkand, Bukhara or Tashkent, their diaspora is attested by texts, inscriptions or archaeology in all the major countries of Asia (India, China, Iran, Turkish Steppe, but also Byzantium).
Abstract: The Sogdian Traders were the main go-between of Central Asia from the fifth to the eighth century. From their towns of Samarkand, Bukhara, or Tashkent, their diaspora is attested by texts, inscriptions or archaeology in all the major countries of Asia (India, China, Iran, Turkish Steppe, but also Byzantium). This survey for the first time brings together all the data on their trade, from the beginning, a small-scale trade in the first century BC up to its end in the tenth century. It should interest all the specialists of Ancient and Medieval Asia (including specialists of Sinology, Islamic Studies, Iranology, Turkology and Indology) but also specialists of Medieval Economic History.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
09 Mar 2017-Nature
TL;DR: It is argued that highland Silk Road networks emerged slowly in relation to long-established mobility patterns of nomadic herders in the mountains of inner Asia.
Abstract: There are many unanswered questions about the evolution of the ancient ‘Silk Roads’ across Asia. This is especially the case in their mountainous stretches, where harsh terrain is seen as an impediment to travel. Considering the ecology and mobility of inner Asian mountain pastoralists, we use ‘flow accumulation’ modelling to calculate the annual routes of nomadic societies (from 750 m to 4,000 m elevation). Aggregating 500 iterations of the model reveals a high-resolution flow network that simulates how centuries of seasonal nomadic herding could shape discrete routes of connectivity across the mountains of Asia. We then compare the locations of known high-elevation Silk Road sites with the geography of these optimized herding flows, and find a significant correspondence in mountainous regions. Thus, we argue that highland Silk Road networks (from 750 m to 4,000 m) emerged slowly in relation to long-established mobility patterns of nomadic herders in the mountains of inner Asia. The authors use modelling to show that the network of trading routes known as the Silk Road emerged from hundreds of years of interactions between pastoralists as they moved their herds and flocks between higher and lower elevations in generally mountainous regions. The Silk Road refers to a network of ancient trade routes that have crossed central Asia since time immemorial. But how did it get started? Conventional models usually start by inferring the easiest paths between sites already known to be part of the network. This introduces a circular argument as it biases the results towards what is already known. Here Michael Frachetti and colleagues take a different approach to show that the network emerged from hundreds of years of interactions between pastoralists moving their livestock between higher and lower elevations in response to the seasons in this generally mountainous region. They suggest that the Silk Road network therefore materialized slowly from the long-established, local mobility patterns of nomadic herders. This finding may encourage archaeologists to seek more nuanced explanations for the evolution of ancient connectivity.

133 citations


Cites background or methods from "Sogdian Traders: A History"

  • ...Unused data: (1) output backlink raster; (2) output drop raster....

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  • ...Briefly setting aside the diverse social factors that influence mountain pastoralism in regional contexts, we consider broadly documented variables that shape its expression in highland inner Asia including: (1) seasonal geography of settlement and mobility; (2) grass (fodder) quality and distribution; (3) settlement density and population size; and (4) time....

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  • ...Variables: (1) number of iterations; (2) current iteration value; (3) number of output points....

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  • ...Inputs: (1) model source directory; (2) NDVI data; (3–6) DEM images; (7–10) model parameter files: settlement_class....

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  • ...Outputs: (1) processing geodatabase; (2) results geodatabase; (3) NDVI converted to GRID format; (4–7) DEM images converted to GRID format; (8) study area DEM; (9) study area NDVI; (10) probablity surface; (11) cost surface; (12) weight raster; (13) 5,000 random spatially balanced points; (14) cost distance raster; (15) flow direction raster; (16) flow accumulation raster....

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Dissertation
10 Dec 2016
TL;DR: A detailed study of a particular representation of the Buddha, in which he sits on a prominent throne, i.e., a bhadrapīṭha or bhadrāsana, in a majestic posture with two legs pendant, is presented in this paper.
Abstract: This dissertation provides a detailed study of a particular representation of the Buddha, in which he sits on a prominent throne, i.e. a bhadrapīṭha or bhadrāsana, in a majestic posture with two legs pendant, that is, in bhadrāsana or the “auspicious pose.” This pendant-legged imagery, generally associated with the throne, has been found widely depicted in South, East, and Southeast Asian art and is, as a rule, mostly associated with kingship, fertility, and even divinity. The results of this iconological examination have wide implications for understanding the origins, spread, and development of Buddhist art in those lands, particularly during the first millennium CE.

126 citations

Book
07 Mar 2016
TL;DR: This paper examined the institutional foundations, continuities and discontinuities in China's economic development over three millennia, from the Bronze Age to the early twentieth century, and found that China's preindustrial economy diverged from the Western path of development.
Abstract: China's extraordinary rise as an economic powerhouse in the past two decades poses a challenge to many long-held assumptions about the relationship between political institutions and economic development. Economic prosperity also was vitally important to the longevity of the Chinese Empire throughout the preindustrial era. Before the eighteenth century, China's economy shared some of the features, such as highly productive agriculture and sophisticated markets, found in the most advanced regions of Europe. But in many respects, from the central importance of irrigated rice farming to family structure, property rights, the status of merchants, the monetary system, and the imperial state's fiscal and economic policies, China's preindustrial economy diverged from the Western path of development. In this comprehensive but accessible study, Richard von Glahn examines the institutional foundations, continuities and discontinuities in China's economic development over three millennia, from the Bronze Age to the early twentieth century.

75 citations

01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a table of Table of Table 1 : Table of contents of the table of this paper : Table 2 : Table 1.1.3.1
Abstract: ........................................................................................................................................ iii Table of

65 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors trace the development of post-Iranian regimes through the dynamic interplay of nomadic and sedentary political institutions in the fourth through early seventh centuries.
Abstract: Contemporaneously with the fall and transformation of the Roman West, the Iranian Empire yielded its East to Hun—and later Turk—conquerors. This article traces the development of post-Iranian regimes through the dynamic interplay of nomadic and sedentary political institutions in the fourth through early seventh centuries. The conquerors adopted Iranian institutions, integrated the Iranian aristocracy, and presented themselves as the legitimate heirs of the kings of kings in a manner reminiscent of post-Roman rulers. At the same time, however, the Huns and the Turks retained the superior military resources of nomadic imperialism, included the Iranian East in trans-Eurasian networks, and distinguished themselves as ruling ethno-classes tied to the steppe. The resulting hybrid political culture came to be known as Turan.

50 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...6 de la Vaissière 2005a, 6–16; Atwood 2012....

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  • ...54 de la Vaissière 2005b, 112–16....

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  • ...53 Grenet 1996, 372–74; de la Vaissière 2005, 105–6....

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  • ...18 de la Vaissière 2005b, 199–210; Stark 2008, 293–314....

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  • ...13 Grenet 2002, 205–9; de la Vaissière 2005b, 107–109....

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