Archaeology of the Silk Roads: Old Questions, New Answers

Case Studies in the Silk Roads Archaeology - Branka Franicevic

Branka Franicevic [+-]
University of Bradford
Branka Franicevic, archaeologist and forensic scientist, University of Oxford reader, Nottingham Trent University lecturer and a PhD student in University of Bradford. Her research interests concerns migration of people and animals, including funerary archaeology, in particular the treatment of the body and the inclusion of grave goods associated with the Silk Road cultures. Her second research area concerns environmental change in taphonomic context, and examination of the effects of microbiological and taphonomic processes on the decay of dismembered body parts.
Krisztina Kinga Hoppál [+-]
Eötvös Loránd University Budapest
Krisztina Kinga Hoppál is Assistant Research Fellow, MTA-ELTE-SZTE Silk Road Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, at Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Hungary, and Archaeologist/Site Manager and Coordinator of Sino-Hungarian student exchange program in archaeology at Damjanich János Museum, Szolnok, Hungary.


Relationships and exchanges between people and the environment are inseparable. Examination of the physical landscape can often help us understand communities and cultures, and vice-versa. Important features of human and physical geography therefore have to be taken into account in an attempt to study interactions along the Silk Roads, particularly since the networks stretched across an immense area of diverse terrains and cultures. The main theme of the book centres on how the frontier regions of the Silk Roads were transformed by trade: What do archaeological landscapes reveal about the formation of kingdoms? How are social identities represented in burial practices? How can animal imagery offer clues to the history of transcontinental trade? A number of contributors to this volume address key questions instrumental in understanding migratory practices, civilian settlements and belief systems. In doing so, they provide a context for comparative debate that takes into account both environments and societies, instead of focusing on them as separate research trajectories. This offers a broader interpretative potential of the trade networks which is highly applicable to the archaeological record as well as to an understanding of how and why it matters today. The journey the papers take us through demonstrates precisely this significance stretching across Europe, Asia and Africa from the 4th millennium BC to the 10th century AD. The book is a rare contribution that gives new insights into the complex dimensions of the journeys lost in history based solely on archaeological evidence. As such, it is of benefit to a wide-ranging readership interested in interpretations of the ways Afro-Eurasian ancient trade routes adopted cultural, religious and technological exchanges.

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Franicevic, Branka; Hoppál, Krisztina Kinga. Archaeology of the Silk Roads: Old Questions, New Answers. Case Studies in the Silk Roads Archaeology. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Feb 2023. ISBN 9781000000000. Date accessed: 09 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42847. Feb 2023

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