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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity

Editors: 
Victor H. Mair and Jane Hickman

Publisher: 

University Penn Press

Publication Year: 

2014

Abstract:


From the Bronze Age through the Middle Ages, a network of trade and migration routes brought people from across Eurasia into contact. Their commerce included political, social, and artistic ideas, as well as material goods such as metals and textiles. Reconfiguring the Silk Road offers new research on the earliest trade and cultural interactions along these routes, mapping the spread and influence of Silk Road economies and social structures over time. This volume features contributions by renowned scholars uncovering new discoveries related to populations that lived in the Tarim Basin, the advanced state of textile manufacturing in the region, and the diffusion of domesticated grains across Inner Asia. Other chapters include an analysis of the dispersal of languages across the Eurasian Steppe and a detailed examination of the domestication of the horse in the region. Contextualized with a foreword by Colin Renfrew and introduction by Victor Mair, Reconfiguring the Silk Road provides a new assessment of the intercultural evolution along the steppes and beyond.


Table of Contents:


Foreword: the Silk Roads before silk / Colin Renfrew -


Introduction: reconceptualizing the Silk Roads / Victor H. Muir -


At the limits: long-distance trade in the time of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Kings / J.G. Manning -


The Silk Road in late antiquity / Peter Brown -


The northern cemetery: epigone or progenitor of Small River Cemetery no. 5 / Victor H. Muir -


More light on the Xinjiang textiles / Elizabeth Wayland Barber -


Seeds for the soul: ideology and diffusion of domesticated grains across Inner Asia / Michael D. Frachetti -


Horseback riding and Bronze Age pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes / David W. Anthony and Dorcas R. Brown -


Indo-European dispersals and the Eurasian Steppe / J.P. Mallory -


Concluding comments: reconfiguring the Silk Road, or when does the Silk Road emerge and how does it qualitatively change over time? / Philip L. Kohl -


Index.


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