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For the full pdf text of The Silk Road, Vol. 15 (2015), click here.
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Note: Volume 15 (2017) of The Silk Road is the last one that will be printed in hard copy at the same time it is posted on-line at the Silkroad Foundation website. The electronic publication of the journal will continue at The Silk Road , which already has an archive of all the volumes of the journal to date and links to all the individual articles. All future submissions for the journal should be sent to the new editor, Prof. Justin Jacobs, whose contact information is posted on that website.


From the editor’s desk: Hail and Farewell iii
Dedication ix
Raising the Alarm: Defensive Communication Networks and the Silk Roads through Wakhan and Chitral 1
by John Mock Download
A fortress network in the Wakhan and Chitral areas of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan was important in defense against Chinese penetration of the region under the Tang Dynasty. The information and photographs here are based on recent visits to the sites.
Caravanserais in the Golden Horde 13
by Emma D. Zilivinskaia Download
Given the significance of international trade for the Mongol Golden Horde, the existence of caravanserais to accommodate travelers along key routes is a subject of considerable interest. The focus here is on the network across the forbidding Ustiurt Plateau from Central Asia to the northern end of the Caspian.
A Photo Essay: Sasanian Bishapur and its Rock Reliefs 32
by Daniel C. Waugh Download
As an early capital of the Sasanian Empire, Bishapur in Iran was provided with an array of rock reliefs celebrating the victories of the kings and their investiture by the gods.
The Silk Road and the Economy of Gaochang: Evidence n the Circulation of Silver Coins 39
by Pei Chengguo Download
While the presence of Sogdian merchants in the Turpan region is now well known, the degree to which silver coinage (for the most part from Iran) was used in the local economy requires further study, key information found in the documents analyzed and translated here.
The Central Asian Ties of a Tenth-Century Muslim Ruler in Egypt 59
by Jere L. Bacharach Download
Slave soldiers from Central Asia often rose to power in the Islamic world, the example here being one of the rulers of Egypt in the 10th century CE who sought to emphasize his Central Asian family heritage in his titulature and coinage.
Décor of the Eighth-Century Turkic Rulers' Residence in the Citadel of Kulan Town65
by Serik Sh. Akylbek, Erbulat A. Smagulov, and Sergey Yatsenko Download
The important urban site of Kulan in southeastern Kazakhstan has been the focus of new excavations, which uncovered in the citadel a palace structure decorated with carved clay and painting and including interesting graffiti.
A Photo Essay:Light on the Liao 83
by Daniel C. Waugh Download
In recent years, the Kitan/Liao, who ruled in northern China in the late 10th to the 12th centuries have been getting their due. This photo essay highlights how interesting Liao material is for any study of the Silk Roads..
Tamed by Religion: Centaurs in Gandhara. A unique sculpted necklace of a Gandharan schist Bodhisattva Maitreya in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco 107
by Ulf Jäger Download
Buddhist sculpture from Gandhara is in a sense well known, but there is still much to be learned from it. The focus here is on sculpted imagery on a necklace, which leads into the subject of how centaurs are to be found across Eurasia and how the perception of them changed.
An Analysis of the Early Unified Silla Bas-relief of Pearl Roundel, Tree of Life, Peacocks, and Lion from the Gyeongju National Museum, Korea116
by Hongnam Kim Download
A carved granite slab in the Gyeongju National Museum in Korea has images in roundels whose iconography suggests widely ranging connections to the West in the Unified Silla period. It is likely that the craftsman who executed the work was familiar with Christian imagery.
A Relic from Samarkand in the Urals 134
by Rustam Ganiev, Anton Kochnev, Konstantin Anikin, and Nikolai Neuimin Download
A Russian officer obtained in Samarkand at the time of its conquest in 1868 a piece of the original 15th-century lattice fence from around the cenotaphs in the Timurid Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. The relic is now in the museum in Ekaterinburg.
The Tumu Incident and the Chinggisid Legacy in Inner Asia142
by Johan Elverskog Download
When the Oirad Mongols defeated the Ming and captured their emperor at Tumu in 1449, they could have invaded Central China and perhaps brought down the still young Ming state, but did not. The significance of the Chingissid legacy both for the Mongols and the Ming helps to explain why.
Exploring the Origins of Horse Herding and Riding in the Mongolian Steppe 153
by William Taylor, Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal, and Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan Download
A brief report concerning ongoing research in Mongolia that is providing new evidence about the emergence of horse domestication and riding.
Symposia reports:
Short report on the symposium “From Khotan to Dunhuang—Case Studies of History and Art along the Silk Road” held 13.6-14.6.2017 at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary
by Lilla Russell_Smith
Art and Archaeology of the Silk Road, a symposium on October 11-13, 2017, at Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA
by Daniel C. Waugh
On-line resources:
Two at Oxford
Gary Lee Todd's World History Photos
Dick Osseman's Pictures of Turkey, Syria and Jordan
by Daniel C.Waugh
Book Reviews (by Daniel C. Waugh) 163
von Folsach and Meyer, The Human Figure in Islamic Art: Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners
Russell-Smith and Konczak-Nagel, The Ruins of Kocho: Traces of Wooden Architecture on the Ancient Silk Road167
Munshi Abdul Rahim: Forgotten Hero of the Great Game (rev. of Kreutzmann, Wakhan Quadrangle: Exploration and espionage during and after the Great Game 171
Short notices 173
Download all these notices
  • Dähne. Karabalgasun--Stadt der Nomaden, by Burkart Dähne.
  • Wang, Mandalasin the Making: The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang

  • The following all written/compiled by Daniel Waugh:

  • Hansen. The Silk Road. A New History with Documents.
  • Frankopan. The Silk Roads. A New History of the World.
  • Jackson. The Mongols and the Islamic World from Conquest and Conversion.
  • Burns. Aleppo: A History.
  • Biedronska-Slota and Görlich. Textiles of the Silk Road. Design and Decorative Techniques: From Far East to Europe.
  • Allinger et al. Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: Processes of Transfer, Translation and Transformation in Art, Archaeology, Religion and Polity.
  • Altai v krugu evraziiskikh drevnostei.Derevianko and Molodin, eds.
  • Dvurechenskaia. Terrakotovaia plastika drevneishikh gosudarstv Srednei Azii IV v. do n. e. – IV v. n. e. .
  • Kozlov. Dnevniki Mongolo-Sychuan’skoi ekspeditsii 1907–1909 .Iusupova et al., eds.
  • Svobodová. Iranian and Hellenistic Architectural Elements in Chinese Art. Sino-Platonic Papers, No. 274.
  • Asian Archaeology. Published by the Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University.
  • Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology , Vol. 7/2012 [2016].
    Contents of The Silk Road, Vols. 1-18 (2003-2017)181
    Postscript (notes and images) Water 187
    by Daniel C. Waugh Download
    Is water a guiding thread through the tapestry of the Silk Roads?

    For the full pdf text of The Silk Road, Vol. 15 (2017), click here.