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Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Regional Security Issues
Regional Security Issues
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
Historical Silk Route   Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 August 2007 )

The Silk Road, Art and History Art and History
Jonathan Tucker  •  Antonia Tozer
Tucker, a specialist in Asian Art, interweaves history, exploration, culture, art, archaeology and literature in this richly illustrated celebration of the ancient Silk Road from Xi'an to Rome. Organized geographically, brimming with excellent maps and featuring 300 color photographs, the book is an essential reference. Among the many images in the book are the photographs by Tucker and his wide, Antonia Tozer, of the monumental Buddhas at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. more...

The Silk Road
The story of one of the world's oldest and most historically important trade routes and its influences on the culture of China, Central Asia and the West/Oliver Wild
Chinese miniatureThe region separating China from Europe and Western Asia is not the most hospitable in the world. Much of it is taken up by the Taklimakan desert, one of the most hostile environments on our planet. There is very little vegetation, and almost no rainfall; sandstorms are very common, and have claimed the lives of countless people. The locals have a very great respect for this `Land of Death'; few travellers in the past have had anything good to say about it. It covers a vast area, through which few roads pass; caravans throughout history have skirted its edges, from one isolated oasis to the next. The climate is harsh; in the summer the daytime temperatures are in the 40's, with temperatures greater than 50 degrees Celsius measured not infrequently in the sub-sealevel basin of Turfan. In winter the temperatures dip below minus 20 degrees. Temperatures soar in the sun, but drop very rapidly at dusk. Sand storms here are very common, and particularly dangerous due to the strength of the winds and the nature of the surface. Unlike the Gobi desert, where there there are a relatively large number of oases, and water can be found not too far below the surface, the Taklimakan has much sparser resources. more...

The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History/John S. Major, Stephen FieserThe Silk Route
This well-matched pair explores an unusual picture-book topic: the Silk Route, which ran from the Chinese city of Chang'an to the European capital of Byzantium during the Tang Dynasty (618-906). Major (The Land and People of China) guides readers through a stop-by-stop excursion, devoting each spread to a different city along the way and explaining its importance to the caravans' progress. He surveys the different cultures traversed, adding drama in the form of such obstacles as bandits and the arid Taklamakan desert ("Its name means 'if you go in, you won't come out'"). Brief discussions of each city's religion, industry and daily life supply historical context while explaining the Route's social and economic importance. With their impressive variety of subjects and perspectives, Fieser's (The Christmas Sky) illustrations convey the scope and sweep of this famous passage. From a river rushing through Afghanistan's Pamir mountains to a sprawling overview of Baghdad, his pictures vivify Major's meticulous descriptions. more... 

A lesser known Silk Road revisited
Borderlands, frontiers… They are what fascinate Assistant Professor Yang Bin at theA lesser known Silk Road revisited Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It has been a challenge for Dr Yang as there is often a paucity of documentation on the history of borderlands. For more than six years, Dr Yang has been studying the history of Yunnan, a border province in Southwest China. During the pre-modern times, there were no boundaries like what we know today. To a large degree, borderlands or frontiers have been so because they were marginalised by imperial states or nation-states. more...

Life along the Silk Road/Susan Whitfield
life along the silk roadLife along the Silk Road brings alive the now ruined and sand-covered desert towns and their inhabitants. Readers encounter an Ulghur nomad from the Gobi Desert accompanying a herd of steppe ponies for sale to the Chinese state; Ah-long, widow of a prosperous merchant, now reduced to poverty and forced to resort to law and charity to survive; and the Chinese princess sent as part of a diplomatic deal to marry a Turkish kaghan. In the process we learn about women's lives, modes of communication, weapons, types of cosmetics, methods of treating altitude sickness in the Tibetan army, and ways that merchants cheated their customers. Throughout the narrative, Whitfield conveys a strong sense of what life was like for ordinary men and women on the Silk Road--everyone from itinerant Buddhist monks, to Zoroastrians and Nestorian Christians seeking converts among the desert settlers, to storytellers, musicians, courtesans, diviners, peddlers, and miracle-workers who offered their wares in the marketplaces and at temple fairs. A work of great scholarship, Life along the Silk Road is at the same time extremely accessible and entertaining. more...