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H 290 x W 205 mm

218 pages

214 figures (67 colour pages)

Published Dec 2019

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789694062

Digital: 9781789694079

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The Cultures of Ancient Xinjiang, Western China: Crossroads of the Silk Roads

Edited by Alison Betts, Marika Vicziany, Peter Weiming Jia, Angelo Andrea Di Castro

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One of the least known but culturally rich and complex regions located at the heart of Asia, Xinjiang was a hub for the Silk Roads, serving international links between cultures to the west, east, north and south. Trade, artefacts, foods, technologies, ideas, beliefs, animals and people traversed the glacier covered mountain and desert boundaries.


About the Author

Alison Betts, Professor of Silk Road Studies, University of Sydney, has worked on the archaeology of Central Asia for more than two decades and more recently on Xinjiang.

Marika Vicziany, Professor Emerita in Arts, Monash University, has specialised during the last four decades in Indian and Chinese culture and socioeconomic change.

Peter Weiming Jia, Research Fellow, University of Sydney, has for more than a decade studied the Bronze Age sites of Xinjiang.

Angelo Andrea Di Castro, Research Adjunct in Arts, Monash University, has been working on archaeological sites in Italy, Nepal, Australia and China for some three decades.


'This is a major achievement in Xinjiang archeology. The editors and authors are to be warmly congratulated for making available to researchers worldwide a rich assemblage of raw data that has been carefully described and informatively analyzed. The forthright presentation of so much primary evidence for civilization during the Bronze and Iron Age constitutes a tremendous breakthrough in Xinjiang archeology.'

'... the volume as a whole is outstanding. It gives readers a new view on the recent development of archaeology in Xinjiang and helps bridge the gap between Chinese and Western scholarship on this heartland of the Silk Roads. Researchers interested in the ancient cultures of Xinjiang will find it useful for informing them about recent research progress and stimulating inspiration for future directions.'

'This is an invaluable set of essays dedicated to dating, identifying and analyzing material culture, funerary features and crops in the modern province of Xinjiang. Often claimed as the entry point of exchange between the eastern world leading to China and the west, these essays document evidence for this interaction through object-based study by using formal analysis and discuss­ing use patterns non-local items. The application of scien­tific methods to date and identify plant residues, and to investigate metallurgical details of manufacture including sources of ores adds immeasurably to our ability to under­stand the processes by which such exchanges took place.'