Volume 52 / Issue 3


Issue Cover

Special Issue: Silk Road

On the cover: Yingpan Man, excavated from Yingpan, Yuli (Lop Nur) County, dates to the 3rd to 4th century CE. His clothing is finely made, and his painted mask is decorated with gold leaf.
Photo credit: Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology Collection)

Bronze Age Languages of the Tarim Basin

By: J. P. Mallory

The earliest accounts of the Tarim Basin depict a society whose linguistic and ethnic diversity rivals the type of complexity one might otherwise encounter in a modern transportation hub. The desert sands that did so much to preserve the mummies, their clothes, and other grave goods also preserved an enormous collection of documents, written on […]

Textiles from the Silk Road

Intercultural Exchanges among Nomads, Traders, and Agriculturalists

By: Angela Sheng

Silk was one of the most luxurious commodities traded along the many routes of the Silk Road. But one should not assume that only silks were traded, or that silks were the most important of all exchanged goods. Since the late 19th century, archaeologists have unearthed textile fragments made of other fibers such as wool, […]

The Mummies of East Central Asia

By: Victor H. Mair

In 1988, while visiting the Ürümqi Museum in China, I came upon an exhibition which changed the course of my professional life. At the time, my academic career focused on the philological study of manuscripts from caves at Dunhuang, a site where the Silk Road splits, proceeding to the north and south. But after I […]