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Ancient Chorasmia : a polity between the semi-nomadic and sedentary cultural areas of Central Asia : cultural interactions and local developments from the sixth century BC to the first century AD

Author: Michele Minardi
Publisher: Leuven : Peeters, 2015. ©2015
Series: Acta Iranica, 56.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Ancient Chorasmia was a polity which belonged to the Indo-Iranian cultural koine of Central Asia. It was situated at the northern borders of these territories surrounded by deserts, thus relatively isolated as an "oasis" during its long history. After the pioneering work of Soviet archaeologist S.P. Tolstov and colleagues in the region (correspondent with parts of today's Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), the polity has  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Achaemenid dynasty; Achaemenid dynasty
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michele Minardi
ISBN: 9789042931381 9042931388
OCLC Number: 951724409
Description: xiv, 199 pages : illustrations (some color), maps, plans ; 32 cm.
Contents: Abstract --
Acknowledgments --
List of tables and figures --
Introduction : Soviet archaeology in ancient Chorasmia --
Methodological foreword --
Written sources and historical geography : what they say and what it is possible to argue --
Introduction : criticism of written sources --
The boundaries of the achaemenid empire --
Lists of "nations" mentioning Chorasmia or the Chorasmians before Alexander --
Introduction --
Chorasmia in the Avesta --
The Achaemenid corpus of inscriptions --
Achaemenid reliefs and the iconography of the chorasmians --
Historians of the anabasis of Alexander : the exploration of Asia --
Herodotus' catalogues --
Massagetae, issedones and Dahae --
Cyrus, Darius and the Sacae/Massagetae --
Chorasmians and massagetae --
Dahae and Aparnii --
Sources of the roman imperial age and late antiquity --
Chorasmia in other geographical accounts --
The history of Menander protector (circa 570 AD) --
Summary --
Geographical information within the han histories (IInd-Ist centuries BC) : the Chinese sources on central Asia --
Preliminary note --
The Shih-Chi by Ssuma Ch'ien, Chapter 123 --
The Han-Shu by Pan Ku, Chapter 96 : the monograph on the Western Řgions --
The rise of the chorasmian state (the "archaic period") : VIth century BC : Vth century BC --
Introduction --
Notes on the end of the bronze age in the chorasmian area --
External stimuli and local developments : the chorasmian iron age (vilh-vth cen-turies bc) --
Material culture : VITH century BC --
Material culture : VTH Century BC --
Contents --
Summary : the Persians in Ancient Chorasmia --
The connection with the steppes --
Remarks on kingship and language --
The internal development of the IV"!century chorasmian material culture and the impact of hellenism --
Material culture --
Notes on the "late kangyuĭ" chorasmian material culture --
Kalalȳ-gȳr 1 --
The unbaked-clay modelled sculpture, "stucco", and wall painting techniques --
The chorasmian era : political and social change in f century bc chorasmia --
Introduction --
The Toprak-kala documents, the inscriptions from Tok-kala Cemetery and the dates on silver bowls --
Al-Bīrunī and the Arab conquest of Chorasmia --
Al-Tạbarī and the Arab conquest of Chorasmia --
Numismatic evidence, stratigraphy and the destruction of Tok-kala --
Summary --
General conclusion --
Bibliography --
Tables and figures.
Series Title: Acta Iranica, 56.
Responsibility: Michele MINARDI.

Abstract:

Ancient Chorasmia was a polity which belonged to the Indo-Iranian cultural koine of Central Asia. It was situated at the northern borders of these territories surrounded by deserts, thus relatively isolated as an "oasis" during its long history. After the pioneering work of Soviet archaeologist S.P. Tolstov and colleagues in the region (correspondent with parts of today's Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), the polity has been neglected and since then the idea of its cultural isolation in the frame of Central Asian antiquity acknowledged by scholars. But the history of this ancient Persian "nation" is a history of exchanges and interrelations, closely related with the social and cultural development of the whole Central Asian region and of the Eurasian Steppes. This book is centred on the study of these external relations and considers their impact on the inner development of the polity during a time span of ca. six centuries. The chosen timeframe corresponds with the period beginning with the emergence of true settled civilisation in Ancient Chorasmia - with its integration in the Achaemenid sphere of influence - and ends with the expansion of the Kushan Empire in Central Asia - after the advance of the Hellenistic civilisation. This volume presents new hypotheses on the historical position of Chorasmia within Central Asia, challenging the current established chronology which needed to be revisited in the light of the most recent scholarly and field works on the subject.

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