are always warmly welcome -

18 December 2009

The Silk Road e-journal

The Silkroad Foundation, Saratoga, CA, US.

"Our journal [published by the Silkroad Foundation, Journal editor: Daniel C. Waug, University of Washington (Seattle)] is dedicated to public education about the history and cultures of Eurasia, especially in pre-modern times. While we invoke the historic "Silk Road" in our title, our view of the Silk Roads is an expansive one, encompassing pre-history, the era beginning with the establishment of trans-Eurasian trade and cultural interaction some two millennia ago, and the subsequent history of those interactions down through the centuries. Modern evocations of cultural traditions are of interest, especially in the areas which historically have been the domain of pastoral nomads. We publish articles by well known scholars and those who have other expertise on the regions and material of interest. Where possible we are communicating the results of the latest research, including new archaeological investigations. The journal also serves as the means to alert readers about upcoming programs connected with Silk Road topics."

Site contents:

* Current Issue! Volume 6 Number 2 Winter/Spring 2009 (# From the editor's desktop, # Korea and the Silk Roads - by Staffan Rosen, # Alexander the Great and the Emergence of the Silk Road - by Yang Juping, # Centaurs on the Silk Road: Recent Discoveries of Hellenistic Textiles in Western China - by Robert A. Jones, # Dialogue among the Civilizations: the Origin of the Three Guardian Deities' Images in Cave 285 Mogao Grottoes - by Zhang Yuanlin, # Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute: Possible Religious Symbolism within the Late-Song Paintings - by Lauren Arnold, # Shrine Pilgrimage among the Uighurs - by Rahilä Dawut);

* Volume 6 Number 1 Summer 2008 (# From the Editor's Desktop: Museums, Entrepreneurship and the Politics of Cultural Identity, # China and Islamic Civilization: Exchange of Techniques and Scientific Ideas - by George Saliba, # Caravan Routes of Iran - by Frank Harold, with photographs by Ruth Harold, # Some Buddhist Finds from Khotan: Materials in the Collections of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg - by Julia Elikhina, # The Buddhist Monuments of Adjina-tepa - by Vera Fominikh, # Mediating the Power of the Dharma: the Mongols' Approaches to Reviving Buddhism in Mongolia - by Vesna A. Wallace, # Tricky Representations: Buddhism in the Cinema during Socialism in Mongolia - by Manduhai Buyandelger, # The Tea Horse Road - by Jeff Fuchs);

* Volume 5 Number 2 Winter 2008 (# From the Editor's Desktop: Beyond the Sensational: The Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums' "Origins of the Silk Road", # The 'Silk Roads' Concept Reconsidered: About Transfers: Transportation and Transcontinental Interactions in Prehistory - by Hermann Parzinger, # The Dream and the Glory: Integral Salvage of the Nanhai No. 1 Shipwreck and Its Significance - by Xu Yongjie, # The Byzantine Element in the Turkic Gold Cup with the Tiger Handle Excavated at Boma Xinjiang - by Lin Ying, # Xiongnu Elite Tomb Complexes in the Mongolian Altai: Results of the Mongol-American Hovd Archaeology Project 2007 - by Bryan K. Miller Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan Tseveendorj Egimaa and Christine Lee, # Excavation of a Xiongnu Satellite Burial - by Jessieca Jones and Veronica Joseph, # The Tahilt Region: A Preliminary Archaeological Survey of the Tahilt Surroundings to Contextualize the Tahilt Cemeteries - by James T. Williams, # Food as Culture: The Kazakh Experience - by Alma Kunanbaeva);

* Volume 5 Number 1 Summer 2007 (# From the Editor's Desktop: Richthofen's "Silk Roads": Toward the Archaeology of a Concept, # Georgia: A Culinary Crossroads - by Darra Goldstein, # Food, Medicine and the Silk Roads: The Mongol-era Exchanges - by Paul D. Buell, # In Search of Mongolian Barbecue - by Debra McCown, # Investigation of a Xiongnu Royal Complex in the Tsaraam Valley. Part 2: The Inventory of Barrow No. 7 and the Chronology of the Site - by Sergei S. Miniaev and Lidiia M. Sakharovskaia, # A Chinese Inscription from a Xiongnu Elite Barrow in the Tsaraam Cemetery - by Michele Pirazzoli-t'Serstevens, # On Ancient Tracks in Eastern Anatolia - by Frank Harold, with photographs by Ruth Harold, # Dzchingis Khan und seine Erben (Chingis Khan and His Legacy) - reviewed by Florian Schwarz, # Conference Report: Marking the Centenary of Dunhuang - by Daniel Waugh, # Upcoming programs);

* Volume 4 Number 2 Winter 2006 - 2007 (# From the Editor, # News from Ancient Afghanistan, # Bamiyan 2006: The Fifth Excavation Campaign of Prof. Tarzi's Mission - by Zemaryalai Tarzi, # Balkh and the Plains of Turkestan - by Frank Harold, with photographs by Ruth Harold, # Further Evidence for the Interpretation of the 'Indian Scene' in the Pre-Islamic Paintings at Afrasiab (Samarkand) - by Matteo Compareti, # Mapping Early Buddhist Sites in Western Tibet: Recent Findings from Tsamda County, China - by Karl E. Ryavec, # Han Lacquerware and the Wine Cups of Noin Ula - by Francois Louis, # Trade and Commerce on the Silk Road after the End of Mongol Rule in China, Seen from Chinese Texts - by Ralph Kauz, # Hunting Hounds along the Silk Road-Which Way Did They Go? - by Sir Terence Clark, # A Thousand Years on the Silk Road: Epic Poetry and Music from the Kyrgyz Republic - by Rysbai Isakov, Akylbek Kasabolotov, and Helen Faller);

* Volume 4 Number 1 Summer 2006 (# From the Editor, # Boris Il'ich Marshak, 1933-2006 - by Daniel Waugh, # The Rock Art of Mongolia - by Esther Jacobson-Tepfer, # The Origins of the Great Wall - by Nicola di Cosmo, # Archaeological Investigations of Xiongnu Sites in the Tamir River Valley: Results of the 2005 Joint American-Mongolian Expedition to Tamiryn Ulaan Khoshuu, Ogii nuur, Arkhangai aimag, Mongolia - by David E. Purcell and Kimberly C. Spurr, # The Challenges of Preserving Evidence of Chinese Lacquerware in Xiongnu Graves - by Daniel Waugh, # The Date of the TLV Mirrors from the Xiongnu Tombs - by Guolong Lai, # Foreign Tribes in the Xiongnu Confederation - by Zagd Batsaikhan, # Investigation of a Xiongnu Royal Tomb Complex in the Tsaraam Valley - by Sergei S. Miniaev and L. M. Sakharovskaia, # Archaeology of the Mongolian Period: A Brief Introduction - by D. Tumen, D. Navaan and M. Erdene, # Tombs of Chingisids Are Still Being Found... An Interview with Senior Archaeologist, Professor Dorjpagma Navaan, # The August Hermann Francke and Hans Kör Collection: Archaeological Finds from Khotan in the Munich State Museum of Ethnography - by Ulf TODO, # Digital Collections: New Additions to Silk Road Seattle);

* Volume 3 Number 2 December 2005 (# From the Editor - by Daniel Waugh, # The International Dunhuang Project, # Monuments in the Desert: A Note on Economic and Social Roots of the Development of Buddhism along the Silk Road, # Solidi in China and Monetary Culture along the Silk Road, # Silk Road or Paper Road?, # East Meets West under the Mongols, # Two Travelers in Yazd, # Kyrgyz Healing Practices: Some Field Notes);

* Volume 3 Number 1 June 2005 (# From the Editor - by Daniel Waugh, # Xinjiang: China's Pre- and Post-Modern Crossroad - by Dru Gladney, # Uyghur Art Music and the Ambiguities of Chinese Silk Roadism in Xinjiang - by James A. Millward, # The Polychrome Rock Paintings in the Altay Mountains - by Wang Binghua, # Viticulture and Viniculture in the Turfan Region - by Xinru Liu, # Annotated Bibliography of the History and Culture of Eastern Turkistan, Jungharia/Zungaria/ Dzungaria, Chinese Central Asia, and Sinkiang/Xinjiang - by Nathan Light, # Bactrian Camels and Bactrian-Dromedary Hybrids - by Daniel Potts, # One of the Last Documents of the Silk Road: The Khataynameh of Ali Akbar - by Ralph Kauz);

* Volume 2 Number 2 December 2004 (# The Maikop Treasure - by Aleksandr Leskov, # In Celebration of Aleksandr Leskov - by Aleksandr Naymark, # Greeks, Amazons, and Archaeology - by James F. Vedder, # Archaeological GIS in Central Asia - by Mariner Padwa & Sebastian Stride, # Archaeological GIS and Oasis Geography in the Tarim Basin - by Mariner Padwa, # An Archaeological GIS of the Surkhan Darya Province (Southern Uzbekistan) - by Sebastian Stride, # Methods and Perspectives for Ancient Settlement Studies in the Middle Zeravshan Valley - by Bernardo Rondelli & Simone Mantellini, # Reasoning with GIS : Tracing the Silk Road and the Defensive Systems of the Murghab Delta (Turkmenistan) - by Barbara Cerasetti, # Evolving the Archaeological Mapping of Afghanistan - by Mariner Padwa, # Storing and Sharing Central Asian GIS: The Alexandria Archive - by Eric Kansa, # The Search for the Origins of the Jew's Harp - by Michael Wright, # Excavation and Survey in Arkhangai and Bulgan Aimaqs, Mongolia July 20-August 17, 2005);

* Volume 2 Number 1 June 2004 (# From the Editor - by Daniel Waugh, # Archaeological Explorations of Bronze Age Pastoral Societies in the Mountains of Eastern Eurasia - by Michael D. Frachetti, # On the Antiquity of the Yurt: Evidence from Arjan and Elsewhere - by David Stronach, # The Burial Rite: an Expression of Sogdian Beliefs and Practices - by Guitty Azarpay, # Palmyra as a Caravan City - by Albert E. Dien, # The "Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road," the "Silk Road" of Southwest China - by Yang Fuquan, # Klavdiia Antipina -- a Tribute to the Ethnographer of the Kyrgyz - by John L. Sommer, # Mongolia: a different view - by Morris Rossabi, # British Library Symposium on "The Kingdom of Khotan to AD 1000: A Meeting of Cultures" - by Richard Salomon, # Guidelines for Contributors);

* Volume 1 Number 2 December 2003 (# From the Editor - by Daniel Waugh, # The Archaeology of Sogdiana - by Boris I. Marshak, # Returning to Varakhsha - by Aleksandr Naymark, # Sogdians in China: A Short History and Some New Discoveries - by Etienne de la Vaissiere, # The Pre-Islamic Civilization of the Sogdians (seventh century BCE to eighth century CE): A Bibliographic Essay (studies since 1986) - by Frantz Grenet, # Bamiyan: Professor Tarzi's Survey and Excavation Archaeological Mission, 2003 - by Zemaryalai Tarzi, # 'Knowing the Road That Leads You Home': Family, Genealogy, and Migration in Post-Socialist Kazakhstan? - by Saulesh Yessenova, # Among the Kazakhs of Xinjiang - by Bob Jones, # Announcements);

* Volume 1 Number 1 January 15, 2003 (# Welcome to the First Issue! - by Roger L. Olesen, # Sheba@Saba- A Yemeni Trading Link Three Thousand Years Old - by Diana Pickworth, # The Origin of Chess and the Silk Road - by Horst Remus, # The Mongols and the Silk Road - by John Masson Smith, Jr., # Age of Mongolian Empire: A Bibliographical Essay - by Paul D. Buell, # Lecture Summary: "Genesis of the Indo-Iranians: Archaeological and Linguistic Aspects" - by Professor Elena Kuzmina, # Letters).

Please note that the above details were correct on the day of their publication. To suggest an update, please email the site's editor at

Please note that the above details were correct on the day this post was published. To suggest an update, please email the site's editor at

07 December 2009

The Asian Spice/Ceramics Trade in Pre-European Era

"Trade within Southeast Asia has existed since the Han dynasty (25BC - 220AD). [...]

Manufactured goods such as silk and cotton textiles, iron implements, Porcelain and cash coins from China were exchanged for mainly native products of tropical countries. These Southeast Asian products included plant-based goods (such as spices, herbal medicines and hardwoods), exotic rarities (like pearls, precious stones, colourful bird feathers and animal tusks) and raw materials (sulfur, animal hides, copper, tin and raw cotton).
The Asian Spice Trade in Pre-European Era
Of thousands of products traded, Ceramics reigns supreme today because of its remarkable ability to preserve itself in mint condition even after being submerged in the sea or buried in the soil for hundreds of years.

Ceramics tell the story of how the peoples of Asia forged social and commercial ties with each other over the past 1,000 years.

Please note that the above details were correct on the day this post was published. To suggest an update, please email the site's editor at

06 December 2009

Marine Insurance in the Late Middle Ages

Ceccarelli, Giovanni. 2007.
The Price for Risk-Taking: Marine Insurance and Probability Calculus in the Late Middle Ages. Electronic Journal for History of Probability and Statistics (ISSN 1773-0074) vol. 3 no. 1 Juin/June 2007.

The practice of marine insurance allowed late Medieval merchants to evaluate various of factors of risk involved in the sea trade, either structural or contingent, as can be shown through a detailed inquiry mainly based on the Datini archives in Prato. Although businessmen did not develop a notion of probability in a strict "statistical" sense, they made use of various levels of "probabilistic reasoning", depending on the degree of uncertainty that they had to face.

[G. Ceccarelli - Università degli Studi di Parma, Dipartimento di Economia, Via J.F. Kennedy, I - 43100 Parma,]

A 350KB document.


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Please note that the above details were correct on the day this post was published. To suggest an update, please email the site's editor at