Home Region:  Turkestan (Central and Northern Eurasia)

Kara-Khanids

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  kg_kara_khanid_dyn / KgKarKh

Preceding:
819 CE 999 CE Samanid Empire (uz_samanid_emp)    [elite migration]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
1037 CE 1157 CE Seljuk Sultanate (ir_seljuk_sultanate)    [elite migration]
Add one more here.

Karakhanids were a Buddhist nomadic tribe from Kashgar who converted to Islam sometime in the 950s CE [1] After their conversion, the Karakhanids "accepted the nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs and directly or indirectly promoted the spread of Islam among the populace of Transoxania, Kashgar, and the Tarim basin." [2]
Starr (2013) describes their polity as "no state at all but a loose confederation of appendages, the ruling houses of which were linked by blood ties." [1] In the mid-11th century the state was formally divided into two separate Khanates, with Western and Eastern halves. [3]
Despite the decentralized system of government being the dominant characteristic of the Karakhanid Khanate, literature suggests there may have been a central government with a vizier [1] , and during the reign of Ibrahim in the mid-11th century "a single system of coinage with different denominations circulated throughout the Western Karakhanid Khanate, creating good, stable market conditions." [4]
Never entirely an independent polity, after the regress of the Abbasid Caliphate the Western Karakhanids became "dependent on the Seljuqs" who "placed on the Karakhanid throne in Samarkand whichever members of the dynasty they required. The vassal status of the Western Karakhanids is also reflected in the coinage, some of which bears the names of Seljuq sultans." [5]
Central Asia is considered to have reached its ’golden age’ in its civilizational achivement during the Karakhanid period. Davidovich describes the complexity of life in its populous cities, which may have exceeded 300,000 inhabitants:
"To the best of our knowledge, strenuous efforts were made to keep the towns clean. It was forbidden to throw rubbish into the streets and alleyways, which were considered to be public property. Deep wells for rubbish and sewage, covered by earthenware or wooden lids, were provided in private courtyards as well as in public places, houses and palaces, according to the archaeological evidence. Archaeologists have discovered ceramic water pipes and segments of paved streets and courtyards dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Blown window glass was also in use at the time." [6]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 144-145) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 136) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[5]: (Davidovich 1997, 138) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[6]: (Davidovich 1997, 148) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
42 T  
Original Name:
Kara-Khanids  
Capital:
Balasagun  
Samarkand  
Kashgar  
Bukhara  
Suyab  
Alternative Name:
Karakhanids  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,068 CE  
Duration:
[950 CE ➜ 1,212 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
nominal allegiance to [---]  
vassalage to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Perso-Islamic  
Succeeding Entity:
Khwarezmid Empire  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 3,500,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Samanid Empire (uz_samanid_emp)    [elite migration]  
Succeeding: Seljuk Sultanate (ir_seljuk_sultanate)    [elite migration]  
Degree of Centralization:
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Afro-Asiatic  
Turkic  
Language:
Arabic  
Turkic  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Islam  
Religion Family:
Sunni  
Religion:
Hanafi  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Islam  
Alternate Religion Family:
Sufi  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
200,000 people 1000 CE
[200,000 to 400,000] people 1200 CE
Polity Territory:
2,000,000 km2 1000 CE
[1,300,000 to 1,500,000] km2 1200 CE
Polity Population:
2,500,000 people 1000 CE
[2,000,000 to 2,500,000] people 1200 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3  
Religious Level:
3  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
inferred present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
absent  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
inferred present  
Fiction:
inferred present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
inferred present  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
inferred present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
inferred absent  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
inferred present  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
inferred present  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
inferred present  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
inferred present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Kara-Khanids (kg_kara_khanid_dyn) was in:
 (991 CE 1212 CE)   Sogdiana
Home NGA: Sogdiana

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Balasagun

Kashgar; Bukhara; Balasagun; Suyab. [1] "On October 23, 999, a Karakhanid army entered Bukhara without opposition, took control of the Samanid treasury, rounded up the remaining Samanis, and settled into their palace." [1] At this time Gurjang was the capital of Khwarazm. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Samarkand

Kashgar; Bukhara; Balasagun; Suyab. [1] "On October 23, 999, a Karakhanid army entered Bukhara without opposition, took control of the Samanid treasury, rounded up the remaining Samanis, and settled into their palace." [1] At this time Gurjang was the capital of Khwarazm. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Kashgar

Kashgar; Bukhara; Balasagun; Suyab. [1] "On October 23, 999, a Karakhanid army entered Bukhara without opposition, took control of the Samanid treasury, rounded up the remaining Samanis, and settled into their palace." [1] At this time Gurjang was the capital of Khwarazm. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Bukhara

Kashgar; Bukhara; Balasagun; Suyab. [1] "On October 23, 999, a Karakhanid army entered Bukhara without opposition, took control of the Samanid treasury, rounded up the remaining Samanis, and settled into their palace." [1] At this time Gurjang was the capital of Khwarazm. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Kashgar; Bukhara; Balasagun; Suyab. [1] "On October 23, 999, a Karakhanid army entered Bukhara without opposition, took control of the Samanid treasury, rounded up the remaining Samanis, and settled into their palace." [1] At this time Gurjang was the capital of Khwarazm. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Alternative Name:
Karakhanids

Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,068 CE

Under Ibrahim Tamghach Khan "We may assume that substantial sums flowed into the coffers of the central government. This was one of the factors underpinning the considerable building activity that took place." [1]
During the reign of Ibrahim "a single system of coinage with different denominations circulated throughout the Western Karakhanid Khanate, creating good, stable market conditions." [2]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 137) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 136) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Duration:
[950 CE ➜ 1,212 CE]

"First period": until 1040 CE? when state divided into two separate Khanates. [1]
Karakhanids were Buddhist but "in the 950s the new rulers of Kashgar proclaimed their conversion to Islam." [2]
Rule of Masud Tamghach Khan ended 1170-1171 CE. He had successors. [3] -- by this time under Seljuk authority.
Last Kara-Khanid ruler in Samarkand was Uthman who was removed by Khwarazms 1212 CE. [4]
"Muhammad b. Tekish did not initially intend to destroy the Karakhanid dynasty but merely sought allies in his struggle with the Kara Khitay. He considered it normal that the title of the Karakhanid Uthman should be higher than his own and laid no claim to any of the insignia of power in the Karakhanid state. Subsequently, however, the Karakhanids were obliged to acknowledge themselves as vassals of Muhammad b. Tekish ... In the third and final act, the Karakhanids gradually surrendered their domains - and, in many cases, their lives - to Muhammad b. Tekish." [4]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 144-145) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[2]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 140) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 142) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

Vassalage/Nominal allegiance
Nasr b. Ali, who held the Transoxania appanage "was in practice an independent ruler but formally recognized his brother, Ahmad b. Ali, as head of the dynasty. They both appear on most of the coins from Nasr’s appanage as suzerain and vassal (with the emphasis on Nasr’s independence, however)." [1]
Nominal allegiance to Abbasid caliphs
"The new rulers accepted the nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs and directly or indirectly promoted the spread of Islam among the populace of Transoxania, Kashgar, and the Tarim basin." [2]
Vassalage to Seljuks
"The Western Karakhanids were more dependent on the Seljuqs, although nothing is known of the financial aspect of their dependence. (Did they pay tribute?) Their political dependence was considerable, however: the Seljuqs placed on the Karakhanid throne in Samarkand whichever members of the dynasty they required. The vassal status of the Western Karakhanids is also reflected in the coinage, some of which bears the names of Seljuq sultans." [3]
Alliance
Alliance with Kara-Khitai against Khwarazmians lead to end of Kara-Khanid rule in Samarkand. [4]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 130-131) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 138) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 142) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

Suprapolity Relations:
nominal allegiance to [---]

Vassalage/Nominal allegiance
Nasr b. Ali, who held the Transoxania appanage "was in practice an independent ruler but formally recognized his brother, Ahmad b. Ali, as head of the dynasty. They both appear on most of the coins from Nasr’s appanage as suzerain and vassal (with the emphasis on Nasr’s independence, however)." [1]
Nominal allegiance to Abbasid caliphs
"The new rulers accepted the nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs and directly or indirectly promoted the spread of Islam among the populace of Transoxania, Kashgar, and the Tarim basin." [2]
Vassalage to Seljuks
"The Western Karakhanids were more dependent on the Seljuqs, although nothing is known of the financial aspect of their dependence. (Did they pay tribute?) Their political dependence was considerable, however: the Seljuqs placed on the Karakhanid throne in Samarkand whichever members of the dynasty they required. The vassal status of the Western Karakhanids is also reflected in the coinage, some of which bears the names of Seljuq sultans." [3]
Alliance
Alliance with Kara-Khitai against Khwarazmians lead to end of Kara-Khanid rule in Samarkand. [4]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 130-131) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 138) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 142) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]

Vassalage/Nominal allegiance
Nasr b. Ali, who held the Transoxania appanage "was in practice an independent ruler but formally recognized his brother, Ahmad b. Ali, as head of the dynasty. They both appear on most of the coins from Nasr’s appanage as suzerain and vassal (with the emphasis on Nasr’s independence, however)." [1]
Nominal allegiance to Abbasid caliphs
"The new rulers accepted the nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs and directly or indirectly promoted the spread of Islam among the populace of Transoxania, Kashgar, and the Tarim basin." [2]
Vassalage to Seljuks
"The Western Karakhanids were more dependent on the Seljuqs, although nothing is known of the financial aspect of their dependence. (Did they pay tribute?) Their political dependence was considerable, however: the Seljuqs placed on the Karakhanid throne in Samarkand whichever members of the dynasty they required. The vassal status of the Western Karakhanids is also reflected in the coinage, some of which bears the names of Seljuq sultans." [3]
Alliance
Alliance with Kara-Khitai against Khwarazmians lead to end of Kara-Khanid rule in Samarkand. [4]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 130-131) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 138) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 142) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Supracultural Entity:
Perso-Islamic

Perso-Islamic?: "the synthesis that had been developed since the early Abbasid period, bringing ancient Iranian, pre-Islamic ideas of kingship into an Islamic context. The tenth century had witnessed the heyday of this synthesis, as under ethnically Iranian dynasties like the Buyids ancient titles like shahanshah (king of kings) were revived." [1] Karakhanids were Buddhist but "in the 950s the new rulers of Kashgar proclaimed their conversion to Islam." [2] Turco-Islamic? The Karakhanids themselves formed a Turkic elite and likely to have used Turkic for the military.

[1]: (Peacock 2015, 134-135) Peacock, A C S. 2015. The Great Seljuk Empire. Edinburgh University Press.

[2]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Succeeding Entity:
Khwarezmid Empire

First period: Seljuk Empire. Whole period: Khwarezmid Empire.


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,000,000 to 3,500,000] km2

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration

"The immigrant Karakhanid population was not large, its leadership was divided, and the Karakhanids’ control always tenuous." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Preceding Entity:
Samanid Empire [uz_samanid_emp] ---> Kara-Khanids [kg_kara_khanid_dyn]

(Relationship): "The immigrant Karakhanid population was not large, its leadership was divided, and the Karakhanids’ control always tenuous." [1]
(Entity): "probable that the dynasty came from the Yaghma or Chigil tribes" of the Kara-Khanids. [2]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 127) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

Preceding Entity:
Kara-Khanids [kg_kara_khanid_dyn] ---> Seljuk Sultanate [ir_seljuk_sultanate]

(Relationship): Early Seljuk expansion saw land given out to tribal leaders and their family and kin. [1] Elite migration: "Unlike the earlier military slaves, they came accompanied by their families and their livestock, and their advance consisted of great nomadic migrations which permanently transformed the demography of the parts of the Middle East where they settled." [2] The Seljuks were a Turkic dynasty who had began in the territory east of the Aral Sea. [3] [4]
(Entity): "the Seljuks themselves seem to have originated from the ruins of the last great non-Muslim Turkish empire, the Khazar state which dominated southern Russia and the north Caucasus between the eighth and tenth centuries." [5] The Seljuk homeland was originally Jand in northwest Kazakhstan. [6] Jand on the eve of the Seljuk invasions was controlled by the Kara-Khanids. [7] Their first conquest of the settled world was the taking of Nishapur and Khurasan region in 1040 CE, from the Ghaznavids. [8] [9]

[1]: Andrew C. S. Peacock, Nomadic Society and the Seljūq Campaigns in Caucasia, Iran & the Caucasus, Vol. 9, No. 2 (2005):224-225.

[2]: (Peacock 2015, 2) Peacock, A C S. 2015. The Great Seljuk Empire. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.

[3]: C. E. Bosworth, ’Turks, Seljuk and Ottoman’ in The Oxford Companion to Military History eds. Richard Holmes, Charles Singleton, and Dr Spencer Jones (2001)

[4]: Ahmed H. al-Rahim, ’Seljuk Turks’ in The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages ed. Robert E. Bjork (2010)

[5]: (Peacock 2015, 3) Peacock, A C S. 2015. The Great Seljuk Empire. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.

[6]: (Peacock 2015, 1) Peacock, A C S. 2015. The Great Seljuk Empire. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.

[7]: (Peacock 2015, Map 1.1) Peacock, A C S. 2015. The Great Seljuk Empire. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.

[8]: (Peacock 2015, 1

[9]: Map 1.1) Peacock, A C S. 2015. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.


Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

Confederated state
"The persistent tendency toward fragmentation within the Karakhanid clan was the Achilles heel of this first Turkic Muslim state, as it was to be for the many other Turkic dynasties that followed. In truth, it was no state at all but a loose confederation of appendages, the ruling houses of which were linked by blood ties." [1]
Ibrahim "did not set up a centralized state, but managed to reduce considerably the number of appanages and the rights of appanage-holders." [2]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 137) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Language

Language:
Arabic

After the Arab conquest of Central Asia in the eighth century Arabic became the "new language for official communication and intellectual interchange". [1] However, the Karakhanids themselves formed a Turkic elite and likely to have used Turkic for the military.

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Language:
Turkic

After the Arab conquest of Central Asia in the eighth century Arabic became the "new language for official communication and intellectual interchange". [1] However, the Karakhanids themselves formed a Turkic elite and likely to have used Turkic for the military.

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
200,000 people
1000 CE

Inhabitants.
Samarkand 200,000 in 1000 CE. [1] Cities continued to grow in size under the Kara-Khanids.
Samarkand 200,000-400,000 in 1200 CE. "Barthold claims that 100,000 families lived there before Mongol invasion. Abu-Lughod (179,184) views this claim as exagerated. 1220 defended by 120,000 men; razed; 300-400,000 inhabitants killed or forced to flee; 1300, 100,000 left (Int.Dict.of Hist.Places, vol.5, 1996, 718-20)." [2]
"Balasagun had a densely built-up urban core (shahristan) with high walls that encompassed a rectangular area of fifty acres and were fully sixty-five feet thick at the base." [3]
Balkh: urban walls enclosed 1000 acres. [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Afrasiab: "Afrasiab, the predecessor to Samarkand ... covered over five hundred densely built acres." [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Termez: "the river port of Tirmidh (Termez), which covered a thousand acres on the Uzbek side of the Amu Darya". [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Merv: "an enormous urban complex." [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
"Central Asian cities were densely populated - one expert estimates that 230-270 persons per acre was typical - and the footprint of four-fifths of the houses was as small as 380 square feet, even though they typically housed up to six people on two or three floors." [3] Expert cited: K. M. Baybakov (1986). Also recommends "O. G. Bolshakov’s estimates of population densities in Merv, Bukhara, Termez, etc." [4] [5]

[1]: (Modelski 2003, 55) Modelski, George. 2003. World Cities: -3000 to 2000. Washington DC. Faros 2000.

[2]: (Modelski 2003, 182) Modelski, George. 2003. World Cities: -3000 to 2000. Washington DC. Faros 2000.

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[4]: K. M. Baybakov, Srednevekovaia gorodskaia kultura iuzhnogo Kazakhstana i Semirechia (Moscow, 1986), 88

[5]: O. G. Bolshakov, Goroda iuzhnogo Kazakhstana i Semirechiia (vi-xiii v.) (Alma Ata, 1973), 256-68.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[200,000 to 400,000] people
1200 CE

Inhabitants.
Samarkand 200,000 in 1000 CE. [1] Cities continued to grow in size under the Kara-Khanids.
Samarkand 200,000-400,000 in 1200 CE. "Barthold claims that 100,000 families lived there before Mongol invasion. Abu-Lughod (179,184) views this claim as exagerated. 1220 defended by 120,000 men; razed; 300-400,000 inhabitants killed or forced to flee; 1300, 100,000 left (Int.Dict.of Hist.Places, vol.5, 1996, 718-20)." [2]
"Balasagun had a densely built-up urban core (shahristan) with high walls that encompassed a rectangular area of fifty acres and were fully sixty-five feet thick at the base." [3]
Balkh: urban walls enclosed 1000 acres. [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Afrasiab: "Afrasiab, the predecessor to Samarkand ... covered over five hundred densely built acres." [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Termez: "the river port of Tirmidh (Termez), which covered a thousand acres on the Uzbek side of the Amu Darya". [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
Merv: "an enormous urban complex." [3] (Undated reference for Central Asia in Middle Ages)
"Central Asian cities were densely populated - one expert estimates that 230-270 persons per acre was typical - and the footprint of four-fifths of the houses was as small as 380 square feet, even though they typically housed up to six people on two or three floors." [3] Expert cited: K. M. Baybakov (1986). Also recommends "O. G. Bolshakov’s estimates of population densities in Merv, Bukhara, Termez, etc." [4] [5]

[1]: (Modelski 2003, 55) Modelski, George. 2003. World Cities: -3000 to 2000. Washington DC. Faros 2000.

[2]: (Modelski 2003, 182) Modelski, George. 2003. World Cities: -3000 to 2000. Washington DC. Faros 2000.

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[4]: K. M. Baybakov, Srednevekovaia gorodskaia kultura iuzhnogo Kazakhstana i Semirechia (Moscow, 1986), 88

[5]: O. G. Bolshakov, Goroda iuzhnogo Kazakhstana i Semirechiia (vi-xiii v.) (Alma Ata, 1973), 256-68.


Polity Territory:
2,000,000 km2
1000 CE

in squared kilometers.
"Qarluq peoples, lead by the Qarakhanid dynasty, took Bukhara in 992 and Samarqand in 999." [1]
1000 CE
1200 CE
Region around Bukhara and Samarkand and the region of the Eastern Khanate.

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

Polity Territory:
[1,300,000 to 1,500,000] km2
1200 CE

in squared kilometers.
"Qarluq peoples, lead by the Qarakhanid dynasty, took Bukhara in 992 and Samarqand in 999." [1]
1000 CE
1200 CE
Region around Bukhara and Samarkand and the region of the Eastern Khanate.

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Polity Population:
2,500,000 people
1000 CE

People.
"Russian Turkestan" is a reasonable approximation of the territory held by the Kara-Khanids in 1000 CE, particularly with respect to the urban areas. Estimate 2.5 million for 1000 CE. The Kara-Khanids held slightly less territory in 1200 CE, however since McEvedy and Jones considered the overall population of the region was rising have kept the estimate almost the same for 1200 CE (perhaps minus population for lost territory in Khwarazm region). [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1987. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

Polity Population:
[2,000,000 to 2,500,000] people
1200 CE

People.
"Russian Turkestan" is a reasonable approximation of the territory held by the Kara-Khanids in 1000 CE, particularly with respect to the urban areas. Estimate 2.5 million for 1000 CE. The Kara-Khanids held slightly less territory in 1200 CE, however since McEvedy and Jones considered the overall population of the region was rising have kept the estimate almost the same for 1200 CE (perhaps minus population for lost territory in Khwarazm region). [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1987. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3

levels.
1. Metropolitan centre
2. Town3. Village
"Satellite towns and villages like those that surrounded Merv were to be found at all the other metropolitan centers." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Religious Level:
3

levels.
3 was the code for Abbasid Caliphate. "The new rulers accepted the nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs and directly or indirectly promoted the spread of Islam among the populace of Transoxania, Kashgar, and the Tarim basin." [1]
1. Caliph as head of the Sunni Muslim umma.
2. Imams, successors of the prophet and leaders of the muslim world.
3. The Umma, i.e all Muslims.

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Military Level:
6

levels. Based on likely Abbasid or Samanid structure - about six levels. If structure nomadic, based on cavalry, then could be decimal 10, 100, 1000, 10000 which would be six levels including individual soldier.
"A common image of Islamic armies consisting almost entirely of cavalry is very misleading. In reality these forces reflected their places of origin, patterns of recruitment and the military heritage of their ruling elite. None relied soley on horse-archers..." [1]
However, the military heritage of the Kara-Khanids was nomadic so one might suspect that cavalry was the main force. Did the Karakhanids maintain a standing army of slave forces?
There was some continuity with the Samanids: "Certain leading representatives of the military and bureaucratic class assisted the Karakhanids, and the dihqans (major landowners) also took their side." [2]
{the following infers continuity with Abbasid hierarchy):
1. Amir al-mu’ minin (official title of the Caliph)
2. Amir (commander or governor of a province or army)
3. Qa-id (military officer)
4. Arif (leader of a militay unit of ten to fifteen soldiers)
5. Muquatila(Muslim soldiers paid a salary); Malwa(rank and file Turkish soldier)
6. Arrarun (irregular volunteers) [3]

[1]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 129) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[3]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphate pp. 209-210


Administrative Level:
6

levels. Central government may have had 6 levels as it was based on Samanid/Abbasid administrations.
-- from 999 CE
Early Kara-Khanid state: appanages.
"Typical of nomadic families, all the sons of the founder demanded their share of his patrimony. After they settled into urban life, this meant that each one appropriated for himself a capital city and a territory to go with it. By the time Mahmud Kashgari set out for Baghdad, there were no fewer than four Karakhanid capitals: the oldest at Kashgar; a second at the ancient city of Samarkand; and two others at Uzgend and Balasagun, both in present-day Kyrgyzstan." [1]
"Ibrahim waged a successful struggle against the appanage system, which had been the cause of endless fratricidal strife, and the reassignment of towns and regions." [2]
-- from c1040 CE
"the east ... has connotations of seniority in Turkic culture: with both the Gok turks and the Qarakhanids, the rulers of the eastern divisions of the empire, considering it to be superior." [3]
1. Western Khanate ruled by Alid dynasty [4]
"In Inner Asian fashion, the new rulers divided their domains into a western khanate that ruled Transoxania until 1211 and an eastern khanate for Farghana and Kashgaria." [5]
1. Eastern Khanate ruled by Hasanid dynasty [4]
_Central government_
2. VizierIn Balasaguni’s "Wisdom of Royal Glory" the Khan has a vizier. [1]
3. Diwans?4.5.6
Continuity with Samanids: "Certain leading representatives of the military and bureaucratic class assisted the Karakhanids, and the dihqans (major landowners) also took their side." [6]
_Vassals_
2. dihqans ruled Ilaq directly under the Kara-Khanids [7]
-- Late 12th Century
2. Ra’is of Bukhara (headman of Bukhara)Thus Bukhara was held on a hereditary basis by members of a clerical line, the Al-i Burhan, upon whom was conferred the title of sadr-i jahan (Pillar of the World) and the office of ra’is
(headman) of Bukhara. They themselves collected the taxes, and the Kara Khitay sent a special envoy to receive the town’s tribute. The local rulers did not issue coins in their own names (we know only of Karakhanid coins in Bukhara during this time), but were otherwise independent." [8]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 137) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[3]: (Peacock 2015, 41) Peacock, A C S. 2015. Edinburgh University Press Ltd. Edinburgh.

[4]: (Davidovich 1997, 135) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[5]: (Lapidus 2012, 230) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[6]: (Davidovich 1997, 129) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[7]: (Davidovich 1997, 129-130) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[8]: (Davidovich 1997, 146) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

"The inscriptions on the coins cannot tell us whether, under the Karakhanids, small grants were made to ordinary soldiers and to minor and middle-ranking members of the army and the civilian bureaucracy; consequently, there are simply no data available for the purposes of comparison with the Seljuq system. On the other hand, we may confidently conclude that there are no similarities between the Ghaznavid and Karakhanid systems during the first period." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 146) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Professional Priesthood:
present

Professional Military Officer:
present

"We can also deduce from inscriptions on the coins that the system of rewards and ownership had developed and acquired features ’in the upper echelons of power’ that clearly demonstrate the inappropriateness of applying the term iqta to it." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 146) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

"Numismatists have identified no fewer than thirty Karakhanid mints". [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Merit Promotion:
present

this was the code for the Samanid bureaucracy.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

The Karakhanids had the bureaucratic position of Vizier.


Examination System:
absent

this was the code for the Samanid bureaucracy.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

Legal scholars. "Under the Qarakhanids, the Hanafi school of law and Maturidi school of theology were established in Transoxania". [1]
Legal documents."The purchase of milk [private property] was registered in the offices of the qadi (judge) through the issue of a wathiqa (legal deed) and was a secure form of property protected by the law." [2]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 543) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 147) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


qadi. "The purchase of milk [private property] was registered in the offices of the qadi (judge) through the issue of a wathiqa (legal deed) and was a secure form of property protected by the law." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 147) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Formal Legal Code:
present

"Under the Qarakhanids, the Hanafi school of law and Maturidi school of theology were established in Transoxania". [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 543) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Court:
present

"The purchase of milk [private property] was registered in the offices of the qadi (judge) through the issue of a wathiqa (legal deed) and was a secure form of property protected by the law." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 147) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Karakhanids took an active interest in the success of trade: "The Karakhanids built caravanserais to foster trade along heretofore neglected routes. Notable among these was the monumental Ribat-i-Malik on the road between Bukhara and Samarkand and Bukhara." [1] "It may be concluded from indirect evidence that state control of market prices existed during Ibrahim’s reign." [2] "Every town had its bazaars and caravanserai." [3]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 136) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

[3]: (Davidovich 1997, 148) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Irrigation System:
present

Present in Central Asia from about 800 BCE - 1200 CE: "the major Central Asian hydraulic systems appear to have been maintained with few serious interruptions for over two millenniums, extending down to the Mongol invasion in the thirteenth century." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.



Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Residents of Central Asian cities "including slaves, had good access to running water" [1] "Within the cities the maze of underground pipes of baked clay that served public baths and private homes became yet more complex, for they included valves, catch basins, and access points for cleaning, as well as exceedingly complex changes of gradients. ... intricate underground pipe systems that provided urban dwellings with potable water." [1] In one of the Kara-Khanid capitals, Balasagun: "In the area of this outer ring stood at least five semi-urban estates, large walled compounds with dozens of rooms and broad central corridors up to a hundred feet in length. Running water, baths, and under-the-floor heating systems rendered these multistoried estates very comfortable, even by modern standards." [1] "Archaeologists have discovered ceramic water pipes" [2]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Davidovich 1997, 148) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Transport Infrastructure

Achaeologists have found "segments of paved streets and courtyards dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 148) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.




Bridge:
present

"In the course of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, baked brick came to be used more widely, especially in major construction projects such as palaces, mosques, madrasas, mausoleums and bridges." [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 149) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Compendium of the Turkic Dialects. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Script:
present

Turkic. [1] Arabic.

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

e.g. Arabic.


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

Compendium of the Turkic Dialects. [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"no great astronomer, mathematician, chemist, or doctor appeared in the Karakhanid lands or found support from their rulers." [1] However, this was the age of Ibn Sina and Al-Biruni and text of this sort must have existed even if the great minds to read or build on them did not.

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Sacred Text:
present

Koran.


Religious Literature:
present

Maturidi school of theology. [1]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 544) Lapidus, Ira M. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


Practical Literature:
present

Mahmud al-Kashgari: "Eleventh-century author of A Compendium of the Turkic Dialects, a comprehensive guide to the Turkic languages and their oral literature." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Philosophy:
present

Yusuf Balasaguni(Yusuf of Balasagun): "Author in 1069 of the Wisdom of Royal Glory, a guide for rulers and an essay on ethics. ... Yusuf’s volume for the first time brought a Turkic language into the mainstream of Mediterranean civilization and thought. A native of Balasagun in present-day Kyrgyzstan, he died near Kashgar in Xinjiang, China." [1] "Examples of Diplomacy in the Aims of Government by a Samarkand writer named Muhammad bin Ali al-Katib". [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Advanced, literate, scientific culture.


History:
present

Abolfazi Beyhaqi (995-1077 CE): "Independent-minded court historian at Ghazni, Afghanistan. Author of a thirty-volume study of the reigns of Mahmud and Masud of Ghazni, only three volumes of which survive." [1] "History of Turkestan and a volume entitled Turkish Peoples and the Marvels of Turkestan." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Fiction:
present

Abu Mansur Ali Asadi: "Eleventh-century poet from Tus ... Working at a court in Azerbaijan, Asadi versified The Epic of Garshasp (Garshaspnameh), which ranks second only to Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh among Persian epic poems." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Calendar:
present

"what do the highly sophisticated calendar systems that were in use in Khwarazm, Bactria, Parthia, Tokharistan, and Sogdiana tell us about the state of Central Asian science in the pre-Islamic centuries? It is surely worth noting that Biruni’s research on calendar systems, which he undertook in the early years of the eleventh century, took as its point of departure the Khwarazian calendar." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Information / Money

Precious Metal:
present

Great trading region.


Paper Currency:
absent

Had paper. need to check whether paper formed the basis of any financial instruments within the banking system that could be called money.


Indigenous Coin:
present

"The dirhams struck with the name and title of Ibrahim Tamghach Khan were known as mu’ayyadi. They were made of low-grade silver, but the addition of copper was not a fraud carried out in secret. The population knew the official standard of purity of the mu’ayyadi dirhams; their value, which tallied with that standard, fluctuated slightly and was fixed in terms of pure gold. Greater purchasing power was attached to the Bukhar Khudat dirhams, which were struck on the model of the Sasanian coinage" [1]

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 136) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Foreign Coin:
present

During the reign of Ibrahim "a single system of coinage with different denominations circulated throughout the Western Karakhanid Khanate, creating good, stable market conditions." [1] -- presumably present before Ibrahim, if Ibrahim created the single monetary system (if that is what "a single system of coinage" means).

[1]: (Davidovich 1997, 136) Davidovich, E A. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.


Article:
present

Great trading region.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

Were the Samanid era barid and the postal stations maintained?


General Postal Service:
absent

need to check whether postal station network was used only by government officials



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Walls of Central Asian cities generally constructed with "sun-dried bricks faced with fired bricks". [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Walls of Central Asian cities generally constructed with "sun-dried bricks faced with fired bricks". [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

defensive forts mentioned below, but no information on whether the locations were decided for defensive reasons


Modern Fortification:
absent

cannon forts were not available at this time


"Krasnaya Rechka. Site in northern Kyrgyzstan, c. 36 km east of Bishkek. ... identified with either Sarigh or Navakat ... Located along the Silk Route, the settlement developed in the 6th century and explanded in the 7th. ... The city was fortified with a pise and mud-brick wall (h. 15m; w. 12.3 m) with protuding bastions, fortified gates and a large moat. In the center of the site was an extensive area (20 sq. km) with traces of an irrigation system, sections of inner walls ... Excavation of a palace (10th-12th century), manor houses, craft workshops, pottery kilns and vineyards suggest that this became the city center during the period of Karakhanid (r. 940-1211) rule." [1]

[1]: (Bloom and Blair 2009, 399) Jonathan M Bloom. Sheila S Blair. eds. 2009. Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture: Three-Volume Set. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



Earth Rampart:
present

"Krasnaya Rechka. Site in northern Kyrgyzstan, c. 36 km east of Bishkek. ... identified with either Sarigh or Navakat ... Located along the Silk Route, the settlement developed in the 6th century and explanded in the 7th. ... The city was fortified with a pise and mud-brick wall (h. 15m; w. 12.3 m) with protuding bastions, fortified gates and a large moat. In the center of the site was an extensive area (20 sq. km) with traces of an irrigation system, sections of inner walls ... Excavation of a palace (10th-12th century), manor houses, craft workshops, pottery kilns and vineyards suggest that this became the city center during the period of Karakhanid (r. 940-1211) rule." [1] The pise and mud-brick wall mentioned here.

[1]: (Bloom and Blair 2009, 399) Jonathan M Bloom. Sheila S Blair. eds. 2009. Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture: Three-Volume Set. Oxford University Press. Oxford.



Complex Fortification:
present

"Unlike Chinese cities, Central Asian cities had several rings of walls, the outermost to keep out invading nomads and the encroaching sand. At the Merv oasis the outermost rampart ran for more than 155 miles, three times the length of Hadrian’s Wall separating England from Scotland." [1] "Krasnaya Rechka. Site in northern Kyrgyzstan, c. 36 km east of Bishkek. ... identified with either Sarigh or Navakat ... Located along the Silk Route, the settlement developed in the 6th century and explanded in the 7th. ... The city was fortified with a pise and mud-brick wall (h. 15m; w. 12.3 m) with protuding bastions, fortified gates and a large moat. In the center of the site was an extensive area (20 sq. km) with traces of an irrigation system, sections of inner walls ... Excavation of a palace (10th-12th century), manor houses, craft workshops, pottery kilns and vineyards suggest that this became the city center during the period of Karakhanid (r. 940-1211) rule." [2] Inner walls mentioned here.

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

[2]: (Bloom and Blair 2009, 399) Jonathan M Bloom. Sheila S Blair. eds. 2009. Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture: Three-Volume Set. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Military use of Metals

Reference for high quality of the steel (no beginning date provided): “In the context of this work, it is important to note that crucible steel of fine quality was made at Herat, in Bukhara and in northern India.” [1] Reference for high quality of the steel (this one dates from 900 CE): "Further east from Merv along the Silk Road is a region praised for its iron and steel production by Greek, Islamic, and Chinese writers. The Sogdian state of Ustrushana, a mountainous region east of Samarkand, and the Ferghana basin ... material related to the medieval iron and steel industry has been uncovered here. Most relevant ... is a workshop excavated at a city-site of the +9th-13th centuries in Feghana, at Eski Achsy, Uzbekistan. ..” Crucible fragments ”The excavators consider that the process used here was direct production of steel from ore, just as He Tangkun argues for the Luoyang crucibles. It is quite possible, however, that they were (also) used in co-fusion steel production as suggested by the Merv excavators." [2] Fine steel swords may have been produced at an earlier time than 900 CE with the technology coming from northern India or from this region via Persia: In Tibet c700 CE "steel swords were certainly available through trade with Sogdia and Fergana ... and many steel blades are known from Central Asia from the late first millennium until the arrival of Genghis Khan in the early thirteenth century." [3] "The Sogdian cities of Samarqand and Bukhara probably also manufactured iron and steel weapons that were exported to Tibet. We know that by the early eighth century, the Sogdians, having probably borrowed the technology from the Sasanians, were manufacturing mail armor and offered suits of the material as gifts to the Tang court in 718. ... The Sasasnians may themselves have developed knowledge of steelmaking from contacts with northern India." [4] "The principal centres for the manufacture of steel weapons in Central Asia were Khwarazm, Ferghana and northern India.” [1]

[1]: (Hill 2000, 270) D R Hill. Physics and mechanics. Civil and hydraulic engineering. Industrial processes and manufacturing, and craft activities. C E Bosworth. M S Asimov. eds. 2000. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. The age of achievement: A.D. 750 to the end of the fifteenth century. UNESCO. Paris.

[2]: (Wagner and Needham 2008, 265) Donald B Wagner. Joseph Needham. 2008. Science and Civilisation in China. Volume V. Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.

[3]: (Clarke 2006, 22) John Clarke. A History of Ironworking in Tibet: Centers of Production, Styles, and Techniques. Donald J LaRocca. ed. 2006. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. Yale University Press. New Haven.

[4]: (Clarke 2006, 21) John Clarke. A History of Ironworking in Tibet: Centers of Production, Styles, and Techniques. Donald J LaRocca. ed. 2006. Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet. Yale University Press. New Haven.


’The mass spread of iron in Central Asia is an event of the 6th-4th centuries BC. Hence it is reasonable to begin the Iron Age in Central Asia only from the second quarter of the 1st millennium BC’. [1]

[1]: Kuzmina, Elena Efimovna. 2007. The Origin of the Indo-Iranians. BRILL. p. 426


’The mass spread of iron in Central Asia is an event of the 6th-4th centuries BC. Hence it is reasonable to begin the Iron Age in Central Asia only from the second quarter of the 1st millennium BC’. [1]

[1]: Kuzmina, Elena Efimovna. 2007. The Origin of the Indo-Iranians. BRILL. p. 426


’The mass spread of iron in Central Asia is an event of the 6th-4th centuries BC. Hence it is reasonable to begin the Iron Age in Central Asia only from the second quarter of the 1st millennium BC’. [1]

[1]: Kuzmina, Elena Efimovna. 2007. The Origin of the Indo-Iranians. BRILL. p. 426


Projectiles

Sling Siege Engine:
absent

First use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE at Byzantine siege of Zevgminon. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.



Inferred absent if the more powerful composite bow was available.


Under the Seljuks, later period, ghulams or mamluks had javelins. [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2]

[1]: Nicolle, David. Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era, 1050-1350: Islam, Eastern Europe and Asia. Rev. and updated ed. London : Mechanicsburg, Pa: Greenhill Books ; Stackpole Books, 1999. p.221.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era



Composite Bow:
present

Nomadic horsemen used the composite bow.


Weapon of the Americas, extremely unlikely to be present here


Handheld weapons

"In the seventh century the Arab Caliphate overran the Sāssānian Empire and, as far as we can tell, no great changes took place in the Persian equipment then or for a long time afterwards." [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


"In the seventh century the Arab Caliphate overran the Sāssānian Empire and, as far as we can tell, no great changes took place in the Persian equipment then or for a long time afterwards." [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


"In the seventh century the Arab Caliphate overran the Sāssānian Empire and, as far as we can tell, no great changes took place in the Persian equipment then or for a long time afterwards." [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


Not mentioned in the sources so far consulted. "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [1]

[1]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


"In the seventh century the Arab Caliphate overran the Sāssānian Empire and, as far as we can tell, no great changes took place in the Persian equipment then or for a long time afterwards." [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2] "Among the steppe riders a dagger was typically carried in all periods, and a number of dagger designs are encountered in the archaeological and artistic record." [3]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.

[3]: (Karasulas 2004, 28)


Battle Axe:
present

"In the seventh century the Arab Caliphate overran the Sāssānian Empire and, as far as we can tell, no great changes took place in the Persian equipment then or for a long time afterwards." [1] "Turkish weapons, 10th-12th centuries. An assortment of typical Turco-Mongol or Central Asian weapons fragments were found during archaeological excavations at the Citadel of Kuva. This area, close to the frontier with China, became the heartland of the Kara-Khanid Sultanate which rivalled the Seljuks for the domination of the north-eastern provinces of the Islamic world ... The weapons themselves, including parts of daggers, arrowheads and spearheads, would have been identical to those used by Seljuk warriors both here in Transoxania, in Iran and in Syria". [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Nicolle 2001, 51) Nicolle, David. 2001. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing.


Animals used in warfare

Nomadic Kara-Khanids were horse archers.


Not available.


"Donkeys were among the key pack animals used to carry silk from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean" [1]

[1]: R K Koslowsky. 2004. A World Perspective through 21st Century Eyes. Trafford. Victoria.



Nomadic Kara-Khanids would have had no tradition using camels in warfare.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


"Many of the early Persian miniatures, particularly those under Mongol influence of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, seldom illustrate shields. When they do the shields would seem to be of stout hide—small, circular, and convex, with applied metal bosses." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Scaled Armor:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1] The Sassanid Persians had scale armour. [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Farrokh 2012, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Plate Armor:
unknown

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Limb Protection:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Leather Cloth:
present

"Many of the early Persian miniatures, particularly those under Mongol influence of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, seldom illustrate shields. When they do the shields would seem to be of stout hide—small, circular, and convex, with applied metal bosses." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Laminar Armor:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Chainmail:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1] The Sassanid Persians had mail armour. [2]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.

[2]: (Farrokh 2012, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Breastplate:
present

"The dearth of illustrative material for the greater part of six centuries is largely due to the wanton destruction caused by two savage invasions from the east and only such finds as the stucco figures from Kara-shar [Central Asian warrior, eighth to tenth century] tell us that in all this period there had been little change." [1]

[1]: (Robinson 1967) Robinson, H. Russell. 1967. Oriental Armour. Walker and Co. New York.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Landlocked.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

"Central Asia’s traders ... moved their goods by large, solidly built boats on the region’s three main rivers." [1]

[1]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.