Silk Routes Rewoven: Inner Asia at 4000 and 1000 years ago
Washington University in St Louis
Tuesday November 3, 2015
NEW LOCATION: ROSENWALD 015
This lecture presents two parallel snapshots of “Silk Road” interaction. The first snapshot comes from Bronze Age archaeological investigations in Southeastern Kazakhstan (ca. 2500 cal BCE), which reveal the earliest known evidence for interaction networks between East Asia and SW Asia. Such networks are attested in the form of early domesticated grains, which trace the introduction of wheat and barley to China as well as millet into Central and SW Asia. The second snapshot explores the Silk Routes during the height of their use in the Medieval era and examines the formation of complex political and economic landscapes in Southeastern Uzbekistan. As both cases are drawn from “nomadic” contexts, they require us to reevaluate the models for social complexity and institutional organization that shape both common and academic ideas about the world’s most extensive ancient overland trade network.