Eurasian textiles: Case studies in exchange during the incipient and later Silk Road periods

Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Robert N. Spengler III, Michael D. Frachetti Quaternary International (2017) 1-12


In thiQuaternary Internationals article, we introduce a new line of evidence for the passage and consumption of one commodity – textiles – into the Dzhungar Mountains of southeastern Kazakhstan during the incipient (i.e., Bronze Age), and later (i.e., Iron Age and Medieval Period) Silk Road periods. Although woolen textiles are known for neighboring western China from several discoveries of clothing in its prehistoric cemeteries, poorer preservation of textile remains across the interior length of central Eurasia has hindered comprehensive documentation of the full range of fibers used to produce textiles in antiquity, or of their exchange overland. Thus, the present study aims to provide new insight into the geographic distribution of fiber technologies across areas of settled agricultural and mobile pastoralists through applying multi-technique analytical approaches to three recently discovered and fragmentary pieces of textile data from southeastern Kazakhstan.