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

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


Victor Henry Mair and Jane Hickman


"Concise and enlightening essays, . . . Collectively they paint a complex picture of the prehistory and early history of the areas covered by the Silk Roads, where grains, textiles, horses, and even languages were constantly moving. . . . All contributors are established scholars in their respective fields, so the articles serve not only to advance new ideas but also to summarize existing research."—Journal of Asian Studies

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.

Publication Year:

  • 2014


  • 9781934536681