Home Region:  Afghanistan (Central and Northern Eurasia)

Tocharians

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  af_tocharian / AfTochr

Preceding:
[elite migration; Sakas] [elite migration]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
35 CE 319 CE Kushan Empire (af_kushan_emp)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

The period of Sogdian and Bactrian history between the disintegration of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in the late 2nd century BCE and the rise of the Kushan Empire in the 1st century CE is poorly understood. The region was politically fragmented and the local settled populations were subjected to nomadic invasions, notably by a group of pastoralists and traders known to us by their Chinese name, Yuezhi. [1] [2] The Yuezhi are also sometimes referred to as ’Tochari’ by scholars who believe they spoke a Tocharian language, part of an extinct Indo-European language group. [1] (Others argue that their original language was eastern Iranic or proto-Turkic.) [3]
In the mid-1st millennium BCE and perhaps even earlier, the Yuezhi were living on the steppes to the north of China. [2] However, after coming into conflict with other nomadic groups, the Xiongnu and Wusun, they migrated towards Sogdiana. [1] By 129 BCE, when the Han Chinese diplomat Zhang Qian visited the Yuezhi court on the Oxus river, they were ruling over a region that included parts of the old Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom. [2]
In the early 1st century CE, the first Kushan king, Kujula Kadphises, seized power and began ruling over south-eastern Sogdiana, marking the end of our Yuezhi period. [4] Kujula Kadphises was probably a member of one of five Yuezhi factions or subtribes, which he succeeded in unifying through military conquest, [4] but even this is disputed.
Population and political organization
The Yuezhi in Bactria and Sogdiana seem to have been organized into a federation of five tribes that competed for political supremacy in the new territory. [5] There is no written or numismatic evidence of a centralized Yuezhi state with a single paramount ruler before the rise of Kujula Kadphises. [4] Historian Craig Benjamin has characterized Yuezhi control over the sedentary population of northern Bactria and Sogdia as that of a militarily superior ruling dynasty of nomads, ’pastoralist conquerors’ whose ’nominal sovereignty’ was acknowledged by the locals because they feared violence if they refused to submit. [1]
Secure estimates for the combined population of the ruling Yuezhi and the settled population under their control in this period are lacking.

[1]: (Benjamin 2006) Benjamin, Craig. 2006. "The Yuezhi Migration and Sogdia." In Ēran Ud Anērān: Studies Presented to Boris Ilich Marshak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, edited by Matteo Compareti, Paola Raffeta, and Gianroberto Scarcia, Electronic version. Transoxiana Webfestschrift Series I. http://www.transoxiana.org/Eran/Articles/benjamin.html. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/KEWTMPWX.

[2]: (Liu 2001, 264-65) Liu, Xinru. 2001. "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies." Journal of World History 12 (2): 261-92. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QZA3GBJ7.

[3]: (Hill 2009, 312) Hill, John E. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the "Western Regions" from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/67NGJHIK.

[4]: (Hill 2009, 345) Hill, John E. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the "Western Regions" from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/67NGJHIK.

[5]: (Liu 2001, 272) Liu, Xinru. 2001. "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies." Journal of World History 12 (2): 261-92. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/QZA3GBJ7.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
42 T  
Original Name:
Tocharians  
Capital:
Chien-shih  
Alternative Name:
Kushans  
Yuezhi  
Yueh-chih  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[129 BCE ➜ 29 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
Greco-Persian  
Succeeding Entity:
Kushan Empire  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
4,000,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [elite migration]  
Succeeding: Kushan Empire (af_kushan_emp)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Tocharian  
Bactrian  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2  
Polity Population:
[100,000 to 225,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
2  
Religious Level:
[1 to 2]  
Military Level:
[3 to 4]  
Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Professional Military Officer:
unknown  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
absent  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
inferred present  
Script:
unknown  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
inferred present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
inferred present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
inferred present  
Fiction:
unknown  
Calendar:
inferred present  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred present  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred 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:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
inferred present  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  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 Tocharians (af_tocharian) was in:
 (129 BCE 29 CE)   Sogdiana
Home NGA: Sogdiana

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Chien-shih

Chinese sources called the Yueh-chih capital ’Chien-shih’. [1]

[1]: (Adboullaev 2001, 197)



Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[129 BCE ➜ 29 CE]

"The Yueh-chih first arrived in Bactria around 125 BCE." [1]
After they had been expelled from the Tarim Basin by the Hsiung-nu and before they entered the region of Sogdiana the Yueh-chih polity was based "north of the Oxus river"
In the early 2nd century BCE Chinese emissary to the Yueh-chih, Zhang Qian, said "The Great Yueh-chih live north of the Oxus river. They are bordered in the south by Daxia (Bactria) and on the west by Anxi (Parthia). They are a nation of nomads, moving from place to place with their herds." [1]
The end of Yuezhi rule is marked by the seizure of power by the first Kushan king, Kujula Kadphises. We have no fixed date for this but Loeschner thinks it may have been as early as 20 BCE. [2] In contrast, Osmund Bopearachchi gives a date of 40 CE for the start of Kujula Kadphises’ reign. [3]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[2]: (Loeschner 2008, 11) Hans Loescher. 2008. ’Notes on the Yuezhi-Kushan Relationship and Kushan Chronology’. Oriental Numismatic Society, document available online at http://orientalnumismaticsociety.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Yuezhi-Kushan_Hans-Loeschner_2008-04-15-corr.11835732.pdf.

[3]: (Bopearachchi 2007 in Loeschner 2008, 16) Hans Loescher. 2008. ’Notes on the Yuezhi-Kushan Relationship and Kushan Chronology’. Oriental Numismatic Society, document available online at http://orientalnumismaticsociety.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Yuezhi-Kushan_Hans-Loeschner_2008-04-15-corr.11835732.pdf.


Political and Cultural Relations
Supracultural Entity:
Greco-Persian

"... in this period all the Yeuh-chih tribes had an opportunity to adjust themselves to the environment prevailing in the Bactrian region." [1] "By the time Kajula Kadphrises ... established the Kingdom of the Kushans in Bactria, the Kushans had adopted Bactrian as their spoken language and started worshipping a number of Iranian and Mesopotamian deities." [1]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 88) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.


Succeeding Entity:
Kushan Empire

Hou Han Shu said: "When the Yeuh-chih were destroyed by the Hsiung-nu, they migrated to Ta-Hsia [Bactria] and divided the country into five Hsi-hou [Chiefdoms] ... Then 100 years later Chiu-chiu-chu’ueh [Kujula Kadphises] hsi-hou [Chief] of Kuei-shuang having attacked and destroyed [the other] four hsi-hou became independent and set himself on the throne." [1]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
4,000,000 km2

km squared. Greco-Persian area corresponding to Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Transoxania.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration

"The Yueh-chih, as the ancestors of the Kushans were known, were settled in the Tarim Basin in the 3rd century BCE." [1] "After being driven out of the Tarim Basin the Yueh-chih settled on either side of the Amu Darya, in a region called collectively in ancient times Bactria." [2]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 77) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[2]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.


Preceding Entity:
Sakas

(Relationship): "The Yueh-chih, as the ancestors of the Kushans were known, were settled in the Tarim Basin in the 3rd century BCE." [1] "After being driven out of the Tarim Basin the Yueh-chih settled on either side of the Amu Darya, in a region called collectively in ancient times Bactria." [2]
(Entity): "Around 100 BCE the Yueh-chih conquered Bactria and drove the Scythians southwards to Gandhara." [3]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 77) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[2]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[3]: (Samad 2011, 88) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

Preceding Entity:
Tocharians [af_tocharian] ---> Kushan Empire [af_kushan_emp]

(Relationship): "The Yueh-chih, as the ancestors of the Kushans were known, were settled in the Tarim Basin in the 3rd century BCE." [1] "After being driven out of the Tarim Basin the Yueh-chih settled on either side of the Amu Darya, in a region called collectively in ancient times Bactria." [2]
(Entity): Hou Han Shu said: "When the Yeuh-chih were destroyed by the Hsiung-nu, they migrated to Ta-Hsia [Bactria] and divided the country into five Hsi-hou [Chiefdoms] ... Then 100 years later Chiu-chiu-chu’ueh [Kujula Kadphises] hsi-hou [Chief] of Kuei-shuang having attacked and destroyed [the other] four hsi-hou became independent and set himself on the throne." [2] "The Yueh-chih first arrived in Bactria around 125 BCE." [2] The Yueh-chih were the Tocharians, who were the ancestors to the Kushans. Also preceded by the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. [3]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 77) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[2]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[3]: (Preiser-Kapeller, Johannes. Personal Communication to Jill Levine, Dan Hoyer, and Peter Turchin. April 2020. Email.)


Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

"Around 100 BCE the Yueh-chih conquered Bactria and drove the Scythians southwards to Gandhara. During the period 100 BCE to 40 CE, conditions in and around Bactria remained unsettled as the five factions of the Yueh-chih battled against each other for supremacy." [1]
"Thus, both the written sources and the numismatic data show that Transoxiana in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.lacked internal political unity. Even Sughd (the basin of the river Zarafshan) was divided between at least two realms, this corresponding more or less to the later partition of the Zarafshan valley into "Bukharan Sughd" and "Samarkandian Sughd"; accordingly we have imitations of tetradrachms of Euthydemus and imitations of drachms of Antiochus I, with a horse’s head on the reverse side." [2]

[1]: (Samad 2011, 88) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[2]: (Zeimal 1983, 246)


Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European

Language:
Tocharian

There is still no consensus on the language of the Yuezhi: ’Some authors believe they originally spoke a "Tocharian" language, and others that they spoke an eastern Iranic or proto-Turkic language’. [1] Benjamin describes Tocharian as ’the Indo-European language spoken by the core Yuezhi’. [2] However, ’By the time Kajula Kadphrises ... established the Kingdom of the Kushans in Bactria, the Kushans had adopted Bactrian as their spoken language". [3]

[1]: (Hill 2009, 312) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.

[2]: (Benjamin 2003) C. Benjamin. 2003. ’The Yuezhi Migration and Sogdia’, in Ēran ud Anērān: Studies Presented to Boris Ilich Marshak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, edited by Matteo Compareti, Paola Raffeta and Gianroberto Scarcia. Transoxiana Webfestschrift Series I, published online at http://www.transoxiana.org/Eran/.

[3]: (Samad 2011, 88) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

Language:
Bactrian

There is still no consensus on the language of the Yuezhi: ’Some authors believe they originally spoke a "Tocharian" language, and others that they spoke an eastern Iranic or proto-Turkic language’. [1] Benjamin describes Tocharian as ’the Indo-European language spoken by the core Yuezhi’. [2] However, ’By the time Kajula Kadphrises ... established the Kingdom of the Kushans in Bactria, the Kushans had adopted Bactrian as their spoken language". [3]

[1]: (Hill 2009, 312) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.

[2]: (Benjamin 2003) C. Benjamin. 2003. ’The Yuezhi Migration and Sogdia’, in Ēran ud Anērān: Studies Presented to Boris Ilich Marshak on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, edited by Matteo Compareti, Paola Raffeta and Gianroberto Scarcia. Transoxiana Webfestschrift Series I, published online at http://www.transoxiana.org/Eran/.

[3]: (Samad 2011, 88) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2

in squared kilometers
If we divide the Zarafshan valley between two realms we get about 15,000 km2 for each of them.
"Thus, both the written sources and the numismatic data show that Transoxiana in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.lacked internal political unity. Even Sughd (the basin of the river Zarafshan) was divided between at least two realms, this corresponding more or less to the later partition of the Zarafshan valley into "Bukharan Sughd" and "Samarkandian Sughd"; accordingly we have imitations of tetradrachms of Euthydemus and imitations of drachms of Antiochus I, with a horse’s head on the reverse side." [1]
"The five hsi-hou or regions where the five tribes established their presence were located on either side of the Amu Darya - approximately the territory included in modern Bactria, Southern Tajikistan and Southern Uzbekistan (Sogdiana). The Kabul region (Kao-fu) and Parthia were initially not occupied by any of the Yueh-chih tribes." [2]
On the area of southeastern Sogdiana which came under Yuezhi domination in this period: ’The next five hundred years of Sogdian history [after the Graeco-Bactrian period] are extremely obscure. There is basically no information on Sogdiana concerning this period other than what is related in the Chinese sources [...] Around 160-130 BCE, the region was crisscrossed by various waves of migratory nomads from the north, whether they were Iranian-speaking Saka or the Yuezhi from within China. Beginning in the first century BCE, most of Sogdiana was included in a larger nomadic state, centered on the middle Syr Darya, namely Kangju. On the other hand, the Yuezhi principalities and then the Kushan empire incorporated the southeast part of Sogdiana (south of the Hissar mountains), which thereafter left the Sogdian sphere and was attached to Bactria.’ [3]

[1]: (Zeimal 1983, 246)

[2]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.

[3]: (de la Vaissière 2011) É. de la Vaissière. 2011. ’Sogdiana iii: History and Archeology’, Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sogdiana-iii-history-and-archeology (accessed on 10 September 2016).


Polity Population:
[100,000 to 225,000] people

People. [225,000; 105,000], coded as a range 100,000-225,000. AD. This is a rough estimate that needs to be checked by an expert.
If there were at least two realms within the Zarafshan basin then the population estimate should be divided between them (200,000). Another source suggests a federation of five tribes - so the estimate could also be divided between five (80,000). These figures presumably refer to the migrant population: how many inhabitants were there already living in the locales (if the invasion was not accompanied by genocide)? (JR: Woodcock said that ’there is no evidence of any general or even local massacre of the ordinary Greek population [in Bactria] after the nomad victories’. [1] ) Given the relatively small size of these polities, this latter estimate could be directly added to the total. The largest settlement size for Greco-Bactria 200 BCE currently is estimated about 25,000.
According to Chinese sources, the Yueh-chih had a total population of 400,000 including 100,000 warriors. [2] This number would correspond to the federation of five tribes, not to each separate polity.
"Thus, both the written sources and the numismatic data show that Transoxiana in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.lacked internal political unity. Even Sughd (the basin of the river Zarafshan) was divided between at least two realms, this corresponding more or less to the later partition of the Zarafshan valley into "Bukharan Sughd" and "Samarkandian Sughd"; accordingly we have imitations of tetradrachms of Euthydemus and imitations of drachms of Antiochus I, with a horse’s head on the reverse side." [3]

[1]: (Woodcock 1966, 130 in Hill 2009, 319) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.

[2]: (Burjakov 1991, 199)

[3]: (Zeimal 1983, 246)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
2

levels.
1. City or town
2. Village
Three cities are mentioned by Chinese chronicles: [1]
Chien-shih, the capital
Hu-Tsao, belonging to the principalty of Kuei-shuang
Lan-Chih, capital of the Ta Hsia kingdom (Bactria)

[1]: (Abdoullaev 2001, 200-201)


Religious Level:
[1 to 2]

levels.
Buddhism


Military Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. Ruler
2.3.4.


Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. Governor
Governor’s residence in the capital city mentioned by Abdoullaev in his review of Chinese chronicles. [1]
2.3.4.
Five chiefdoms.
Hou Han Shu said: "When the Yeuh-chih were destroyed by the Hsiung-nu, they migrated to Ta-Hsia [Bactria] and divided the country into five Hsi-hou [Chiefdoms] ... Then 100 years later Chiu-chiu-chu’ueh [Kujula Kadphises] hsi-hou [Chief] of Kuei-shuang having attacked and destroyed [the other] four hsi-hou became independent and set himself on the throne." [2]

[1]: (Abdoullaev 2001, 202)

[2]: (Samad 2011, 78) Samad, R. U. 2011. The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul and Indus Valleys. Angora Publishing.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown

present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE but the invading Tocharian tribes may not have been, at least not initially.


Professional Priesthood:
present

Buddhism


Professional Military Officer:
unknown

present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE but the invading Tocharian tribes may not have been, at least not initially.s


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Governor’s residence in the capital city mentioned by Abdoullaev in his review of Chinese chronicles. [1] Presence of governor in a residence in the city would suggest some inheritance of centralized institutions from earlier Greco-Bactrians, which might also included specialised governmental buildings.

[1]: (Abdoullaev 2001, 202)



Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE


Examination System:
unknown

Law
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

"While recognizing the supremacy of the Great Yueh-chih, who remained in Transoxiana, Bactria still retained its independence (Chang-Ch’ien went there as to another country), and normal life went on without any obvious effects of"nomad invasions": there were cities and settlements of permanent inhabitants, surrounded by walls; in the capital there was a market with a great variety of goods; trade flourished, including international trade (merchants from Bactria travelled on business to India). This situation probably continued into the first century B.C., if we accept the account given in the Han shu." [1]

[1]: (Zeimal 1983, 243-244)


Irrigation System:
present

In the Khwarazm region. [1] "In Sogdiana, as in Bactria, only irrigated oases were fertile, "but a large part of this territory consists of uninhabited desert; owing to its aridity these cheerless regions are without inhabitants and produce nothing".1 Large settlements provided with walls (the site at Afrasiyab = Maracanda, and the Kyuzeligyr site in Chorasmia), apparently lacked continuous built-up areas and were (like the "cliffs" mentioned in connection with Alexander’s campaigns) places of refuge for the whole population of an oasis (comparable to the refugia of the European "barbarians") rather than towns. Only about the beginning of theChristian era and in the first centuries of it do archaeological data give evidence of the appearance of trunk-canals of great length for irrigation purposes, and the rise of urban life in the full sense of the word." [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]: (Zeimal 1983, 244)



Drinking Water Supply System:
unknown

public-fountains were present under Greco-Batrians in 200 BCE.


Transport Infrastructure

Greco-Bactrians had streets.




Bridge:
unknown

Possibly bridges over the Zarastran but unsure.


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

’It is thought that prior to entering Bactria [the Da Yuezhi] were not literate. By the time they invaded northern India in the first century CE, they had become capable administrators, traders and scholars’. [1]

[1]: (Hill 2009, 319) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Bactrian, Indo-European


Nonwritten Record:
present

’It is thought that prior to entering Bactria [the Da Yuezhi] were not literate. By the time they invaded northern India in the first century CE, they had become capable administrators, traders and scholars’. [1]

[1]: (Hill 2009, 319) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

present or inferred present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE


Sacred Text:
present

Buddhist scriptures.


Religious Literature:
present

Ghosaka: "Buddhist theologian and author from Balkh who played an important role in the deliberations at the Fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir in the first century AD." [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.


Practical Literature:
present

e.g. used in governor’s administration


Philosophy:
present

present or inferred present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

e.g. used in governor’s administration


History:
present

present or inferred present for Greco-Bactrians in 200 BCE



Calendar:
present

Khwarazm region: "The Khwarazmian solar calendar, related to the Zoroastrian system, is known to us thanks to Biruni, who argued that it was in advance of most other ancient systems for measuring time." [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


Indigenous Coin:
present

’In the 1st centuries B.C. and A.D. many countries and peoples situated on the periphery of the Hellenistic and Roman civilization passed through the stage of striking "barbarous imitations". Perhaps the closest analogy as regards both the external phenomena and the essential processes underlying them is provided by a comparison between the"barbarous imitations" of Transoxiana and those of the western European tribes and peoples. In both cases there occurred a penetration of foreign coins into regions which were still without their own currency and ignorant of the circulation of money - and with these coins there arrived the idea itself of using for commercial dealings metal tokens of a certain shape and appearance. Subsequently the foreign coins were "reproduced" by local craftsmen - usually at a lower artistic and technical level.’ [1] Heraus was a ’Central Asian clan chief of the Kushans, one of the five constituent tribes of the Yuezhi confederacy in the early first century C.E. He struck tetradrachms and obols in relatively good silver’. [2]

[1]: (Zeimal in Yarshater 1983, 233)

[2]: (Mac Dowall 2003) D. W. Mac Dowall. 2003. ’Heraus’, Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/heraus (accessed on 10 September 2016).


Foreign Coin:
present

Roman and Parthian coins were found in a burial dating from the early 1st century CE at Tillya Tepe, apparently ’the family cemetery of the rulers of one of the larger Kushan princedoms’. [1] Roman coins: "coins of the second and third centuries B.C. from towns on the Black Sea, such as Pantiapaion and Olbia, have been found in Western Zungaria; and in the Chinese province of Shen-si copper coins of Roman Emperors from Tiberius to Aurelian have turned up. Roman coins were also very common in Sogdiana. Thus the portrayal of the young Romulus and Remus with the wolf appearing on coins minted by Constantine, was copied on Sogdian brakteati." [2]

[1]: (Sarianidi 1985 in Hill 2009, 336-37) John E. Hill. 2009. Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. An Annotated Translation of the Chronicle on the ’Western Regions’ from the Hou Hanshu. Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing.

[2]: (Haussig 1971, 104) Haussig, H W. trans Hussey, J M. 1971. History of Byzantine Civilization. Thames and Hudson.



Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
unknown


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Stone Walls Mortared:
present

"While recognizing the supremacy of the Great Yueh-chih, who remained in Transoxiana, Bactria still retained its independence (Chang-Ch’ien went there as to another country), and normal life went on without any obvious effects of"nomad invasions": there were cities and settlements of permanent inhabitants, surrounded by walls; in the capital there was a market with a great variety of goods; trade flourished, including international trade (merchants from Bactria travelled on business to India). This situation probably continued into the first century B.C., if we accept the account given in the Han shu." [1]

[1]: (Zeimal 1983, 243-244)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown

Modern Fortification:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era






Complex Fortification:
present

The site of Kalai Zakhoki Maron is composed of three concentric terraces separated by walls. However, its identification as Tocharian has not been confirmed. It could however be characteristic of nomadic cities in the region. [1]

[1]: (Abdoullaev 2001, 205)


Military use of Metals

At this time in Central Asia if high-quality steel was used it would have been imported. The following sources suggest later dates for fine steel. However, note that northern India (a location repeatedly associated with fine steel) as early as 1st CE was exporting iron and steel as far as East Africa. [1] 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.” [2] 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." [3] 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." [4] "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." [5] "The principal centres for the manufacture of steel weapons in Central Asia were Khwarazm, Ferghana and northern India.” [2]

[1]: (Hatke 2013) Hatke, George. 2013. Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa. New York University Press.

[2]: (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.

[3]: (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.

[4]: (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.

[5]: (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.

At this time in Central Asia if high-quality steel was used it would have been imported. The following sources suggest later dates for fine steel. However, note that northern India (a location repeatedly associated with fine steel) as early as 1st CE was exporting iron and steel as far as East Africa. [1] 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.” [2] 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." [3] 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." [4] "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." [5] "The principal centres for the manufacture of steel weapons in Central Asia were Khwarazm, Ferghana and northern India.” [2]

[1]: (Hatke 2013) Hatke, George. 2013. Aksum and Nubia: Warfare, Commerce, and Political Fictions in Ancient Northeast Africa. New York University Press.

[2]: (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.

[3]: (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.

[4]: (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.

[5]: (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.


Iron had been used in by the steppe nomads from 330 BCE - 200 BCE. [1]

[1]: Grousset, Rene. The empire of the steppes: a history of Central Asia. Rutgers University Press, 1970 p. 17



Bronze had been used on the central steppes from 1500 BCE. [1]

[1]: Grousset, Rene. The empire of the steppes: a history of Central Asia. Rutgers University Press, 1970. p. 4


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.



Likely made obsolete by composite bow.


"There are a number of artistic depictions, from different eras, that show steppe warriors on horseback and armed with a javelin". [1] ET: Whilst searching for data for the Hephthalites I found this late 19th century quote from an encyclopaedia. I cannot confirm it refers to the Hephthalites but it mentions horsemen. Did the horse backed warriors also carry a javelin? Bone-tipped javelins are less likely to leave finds for archaeologists. "Like the Mongols they were a race of horsemen. They fought with bone-tipped javelins, with sabers, and with slings or lassoes. They ate herbs and half- raw meat, which they first used as saddles ; and they clothed themselves with the skins of wild animals”.

[1]: Karasulas, Antony. Mounted archers of the steppe 600 BC-AD 1300. Vol. 120. Osprey Publishing, 2004, p.28.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Present due to the following in contemporary Chinese sources, which are relevant for gaining insight on the weapons and armor of Steppe Nomads. "Even with strong crossbows that shoot far, and long halberds that hit at a distance, the Hsiung-nu would not be able to ward them off. If the armors are sturdy and the weapons sharp, if the repetition crossbows shot far, and the platoons advance together, the Hsiung-nu will not be able to withstand. If specially trained troops are quick to release (their bows) and the arrows in a single stream hit the target together, then the leather outfit and wooden shields of the Hsiung-nu will not be able to protect them. If they dismount and fight on foot, when swords and halberds clash as [the soldiers] come into close quarters, the Hsiung-nu, who lack infantry training, will not be able to cope." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 203


Composite Bow:
present

Parthian king Artabanus II killed in battle 124-125 BCE "in the region of Bactria against the ’Tochai’ perhaps the Yueh-chi of the Chinese records, he received a wound in the forearm, possibly from a poisoned weapon, which almost immediately caused his death." [1] "Among their weapons we find the compound bow, bronze and bone arrowheads (their arrows also contained beads that gave them a whistling effect), broadswords, short swords, lances, and maces." [2]

[1]: (Debevoise 1938, 37-38) Debevoise, Neilson C. 1938. A Political History of Parthia. University of Chicago Press Chicago. https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/political_history_parthia.pdf

[2]: (Golden 1992, 60)


Weapon of the Americas, extremely unlikely to have been in use here


Handheld weapons

"Among their weapons we find the compound bow, bronze and bone arrowheads (their arrows also contained beads that gave them a whistling effect), broadswords, short swords, lances, and maces." [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 60)


"During the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. several nomadic states of northern Iranian tribes came into being in Central Asia. In the west some Saka tribal confederations are mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Old Persian inscriptions, while in the east the Hsien-yün, and later the Yüeh-chih and the Hsiung-nu, tribal confederations are attested by the Chinese sources. ... Lively contacts and easy communications promoted the rise and spread of a fairly uniform nomadic culture in the steppe zone. The same types of horse-harness (bridle, bit, cheek-piece, saddle, trappings), arms (bow, bow-case, arrow and quiver, sword, battle-axe, mail) and garments (trousers, caftan, waist-girdle, boots, pointed cap) were used in the steppe zone from Central Europe to Korea." [1]

[1]: (Harmatta 1994, 476-477) Harmatta, J. Conclusion. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.


"Among their weapons we find the compound bow, bronze and bone arrowheads (their arrows also contained beads that gave them a whistling effect), broadswords, short swords, lances, and maces." [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 60)


Present due to the following in contemporary Chinese sources, which are relevant for gaining insight on the weapons and armor of Steppe Nomads. "Even with strong crossbows that shoot far, and long halberds that hit at a distance, the Hsiung-nu would not be able to ward them off. If the armors are sturdy and the weapons sharp, if the repetition crossbows shot far, and the platoons advance together, the Hsiung-nu will not be able to withstand. If specially trained troops are quick to release (their bows) and the arrows in a single stream hit the target together, then the leather outfit and wooden shields of the Hsiung-nu will not be able to protect them. If they dismount and fight on foot, when swords and halberds clash as [the soldiers] come into close quarters, the Hsiung-nu, who lack infantry training, will not be able to cope." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 203


"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." [1]

[1]: (Karasulas 2004, 28)


Battle Axe:
present

"During the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. several nomadic states of northern Iranian tribes came into being in Central Asia. In the west some Saka tribal confederations are mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Old Persian inscriptions, while in the east the Hsien-yün, and later the Yüeh-chih and the Hsiung-nu, tribal confederations are attested by the Chinese sources. ... Lively contacts and easy communications promoted the rise and spread of a fairly uniform nomadic culture in the steppe zone. The same types of horse-harness (bridle, bit, cheek-piece, saddle, trappings), arms (bow, bow-case, arrow and quiver, sword, battle-axe, mail) and garments (trousers, caftan, waist-girdle, boots, pointed cap) were used in the steppe zone from Central Europe to Korea." [1]

[1]: (Harmatta 1994, 476-477) Harmatta, J. Conclusion. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.


Animals used in warfare

"During the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. several nomadic states of northern Iranian tribes came into being in Central Asia. In the west some Saka tribal confederations are mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Old Persian inscriptions, while in the east the Hsien-yün, and later the Yüeh-chih and the Hsiung-nu, tribal confederations are attested by the Chinese sources. ... Lively contacts and easy communications promoted the rise and spread of a fairly uniform nomadic culture in the steppe zone. The same types of horse-harness (bridle, bit, cheek-piece, saddle, trappings), arms (bow, bow-case, arrow and quiver, sword, battle-axe, mail) and garments (trousers, caftan, waist-girdle, boots, pointed cap) were used in the steppe zone from Central Europe to Korea." [1]

[1]: (Harmatta 1994, 476-477) Harmatta, J. Conclusion. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.



"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.



Coded as present, due to all the domestic animals being owned by a household, in which all males were nomadic warriors and would very likely have used domestic animals as pack animals. It may be a Chinese account about Steppe Nomads along the silk road, but this is close to Sogdiana and camels are indigenous to the area: Sima’s records state " Most of their domestic animals are horses, cows, sheep, and they also have rare animals such as camels, donkeys, mules, hinnies and other equines known as t’ao-t’u and tien-hsi.53 They move about according to the availability of water and pasture, have no walled towns or fixed residences, nor any agricultural activities, but each of them has a portion of land.54 " [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 272


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Coded present due to the following in contemporary Chinese sources, which are relevant for gaining insight on the weapons and armor of Steppe Nomads: "Even with strong crossbows that shoot far, and long halberds that hit at a distance, the Hsiung-nu would not be able to ward them off. If the armors are sturdy and the weapons sharp, if the repetition crossbows shot far, and the platoons advance together, the Hsiung-nu will not be able to withstand. If specially trained troops are quick to release (their bows) and the arrows in a single stream hit the target together, then the leather outfit and wooden shields of the Hsiung-nu will not be able to protect them. If they dismount and fight on foot, when swords and halberds clash as [the soldiers] come into close quarters, the Hsiung-nu, who lack infantry training, will not be able to cope." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 203


As far as the Persian tradition, "cavalry, it would appear, did not always carry shields, and it is not until Sassanian times that warriors, particularly the heavily armed horsemen, are shown carrying small convex circular shields." [1] Coded present due to the following in contemporary Chinese sources, which are relevant for gaining insight on the weapons and armor of Steppe Nomads: "Even with strong crossbows that shoot far, and long halberds that hit at a distance, the Hsiung-nu would not be able to ward them off. If the armors are sturdy and the weapons sharp, if the repetition crossbows shot far, and the platoons advance together, the Hsiung-nu will not be able to withstand. If specially trained troops are quick to release (their bows) and the arrows in a single stream hit the target together, then the leather outfit and wooden shields of the Hsiung-nu will not be able to protect them. If they dismount and fight on foot, when swords and halberds clash as [the soldiers] come into close quarters, the Hsiung-nu, who lack infantry training, will not be able to cope." [2]

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

[2]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 203


Scaled Armor:
present

Scaled armor from Iran appears to have been used by Steppe Nomads and has been coded present in other Steppe polities for different reasons. "Sauromatian bronze helmets and scale or plate armor not of local production appear in the Volga River region and southern Ural Steppes in the fifth-fourth century b.c., showing an increase in the exchange economy among neighboring communities." [1] "Scale armor of leather protected his body. He carried a twig-woven quiver for a bow and sometimes more than 200 arrows, covered with leather and decorated with an umbor, an arms belt with a buckle for crossing the belts; a richly decorated quiver hook; a long spear with a massive head and spike; a short iron akinakes sword; and iron axe. This complete image recalls a picture from a novel featuring medieval western European knights; these Sarmatian ’proto-types,’ however, are 2,000 years older.” [2]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 42

[2]: (Yablonsky 2010, 142) Leonid Teodorovich Yablonsky. Jan 2010. New Excavations of the Early Nomadic Burial Ground at Filippovka (Southern Ural Region, Russia). American Journal of Archaeology. Vol. 114. No. 1. pp. 129-143.


Plate Armor:
present

Plate armor from Iran appears to have been used by Steppe Nomads and has been coded present in other Steppe polities for different reasons. "Sauromatian bronze helmets and scale or plate armor not of local production appear in the Volga River region and southern Ural Steppes in the fifth-fourth century b.c., showing an increase in the exchange economy among neighboring communities." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 42



Leather Cloth:
present

Coded present due to the following in contemporary Chinese sources, which are relevant for gaining insight on the weapons and armor of Steppe Nomads: "Even with strong crossbows that shoot far, and long halberds that hit at a distance, the Hsiung-nu would not be able to ward them off. If the armors are sturdy and the weapons sharp, if the repetition crossbows shot far, and the platoons advance together, the Hsiung-nu will not be able to withstand. If specially trained troops are quick to release (their bows) and the arrows in a single stream hit the target together, then the leather outfit and wooden shields of the Hsiung-nu will not be able to protect them. If they dismount and fight on foot, when swords and halberds clash as [the soldiers] come into close quarters, the Hsiung-nu, who lack infantry training, will not be able to cope." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 203



Bronze helmets from Iran appear to have been used by Steppe Nomads. Also Steppe Nomads in other polities have been found to use leather or other helmets, therefore I have coded this as present. "Sauromatian bronze helmets and scale or plate armor not of local production appear in the Volga River region and southern Ural Steppes in the fifth-fourth century b.c., showing an increase in the exchange economy among neighboring communities." [1]

[1]: Nicola Di Cosmo. 2002. Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, p. 42


Chainmail:
present

"During the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. several nomadic states of northern Iranian tribes came into being in Central Asia. In the west some Saka tribal confederations are mentioned in ancient Greek literature and Old Persian inscriptions, while in the east the Hsien-yün, and later the Yüeh-chih and the Hsiung-nu, tribal confederations are attested by the Chinese sources. ... Lively contacts and easy communications promoted the rise and spread of a fairly uniform nomadic culture in the steppe zone. The same types of horse-harness (bridle, bit, cheek-piece, saddle, trappings), arms (bow, bow-case, arrow and quiver, sword, battle-axe, mail) and garments (trousers, caftan, waist-girdle, boots, pointed cap) were used in the steppe zone from Central Europe to Korea." [1]

[1]: (Harmatta 1994, 476-477) Harmatta, J. Conclusion. in Harmatta, Janos. Puri, B. N. Etemadi, G. F. eds. 1994. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizatins 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.



Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown

Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

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.