Home Region:  Turkestan (Central and Northern Eurasia)

Sogdiana - City-States Period

EQ 2020  uz_sogdiana_city_states / UzSogdi

General description:
The Sogdian City States Period, also referred to by the names of the principal cities of the age, Bukhara and Samarkand dates to between 604 and 711CE. The period ends with the conquest of the region by the Umayyad Dynasty. [1]
A number of City States rose to prominence in the Zarafshan and surrounding valleys, they formed alliances and competed amongst each other for control of the region . [2] Chef amongst these City States was Samarkand, which in the seventh century extended across the plateau of Afrasiab. [3]
The height of this period can be considered to have occurred in mid the 7th century CE when the city of Samarkand was at the peak of its economic and culture production, symbolized by the creation of the Afrasiab paintings. [4]
Although the City States had achieved de facto independence after the fall of the Western Kaghanate, they were nominally allied to the Chinese T’ang dynasty, however the dynasty did not meaningfully hinder the Arab incursions. [1]
Population and political organization:
Each city state was ruled by a king, conceived of as ‘first among equals’ who headed the administrative system which ran the state. [5] While there is clear evidence of a strong merchant class their relationship to the ruling elite remains unclear. [6]
Although there are no precise population figures the archaeological evidence indicates that the number of settlements, and thus population, in the region reached its height during this period. [7]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 242) Marshak, B. I. 1996. ‘Sughd and Adjacent Regions’. In B. A. Litvinsky (ed.), Co-editors: Zhang Guang-da and R. Shabani Samghabadi. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. The Crossroads of Civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. Volume III. Paris: UNESCO. p.242https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/5AW7RCHD

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 167) De la Vaissière, E. 2005. Sogdian Traders: a History. Translated by James Ward. Leiden; Boston: Brill. p.167 https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/8P724M2D

[3]: (Marshak 1996, 244) Marshak, B. I. 1996. ‘Sughd and Adjacent Regions’. In B. A. Litvinsky (ed.), Co-editors: Zhang Guang-da and R. Shabani Samghabadi. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. The Crossroads of Civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. Volume III. Paris: UNESCO. p.244https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/5AW7RCHD

[4]: (Frumkin 1970, 124) Frumkin, G. 1970. Archaeology in Soviet Central Asia. Leiden;Koln. Brill. p.124 https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/48WCJTCC

[5]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 167) De la Vaissière, E. 2005. Sogdian Traders: a History. Translated by James Ward. Leiden; Boston: Brill.p.167 https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/8P724M2D

[6]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168-169) De la Vaissière, E. 2005. Sogdian Traders: a History. Translated by James Ward. Leiden; Boston: Brill. pp.168-169 https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/8P724M2D

[7]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 103-4) De La Vaissiere, Etienne. 2005. Sogdian Traders: A History. [trans James Ward] Leiden: Brill.p.103-4 https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/IZCFUKJQ/itemKey/8P724M2D

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
42 T  
Original Name:
Sogdiana - City-States Period  
Capital:
Bukhara  
Samarkand  
Alternative Name:
Bukhara  
Samarkand  
Sogdiana  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
700 CE  
Duration:
[604 CE ➜ 711 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
nominal allegiance to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Sogdian  
Succeeding Entity:
Umayyad Caliphate  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
500,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Western Turk Khaganate  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Sogdian  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[11,000 to 44,000] people  
Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2  
Polity Population:
[15,000 to 50,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 4]  
Religious Level:
[1 to 3]  
Military Level:
[3 to 4]  
Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred present  
Court:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
inferred absent  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
inferred present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
inferred absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  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:
inferred present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
inferred present  
  Composite Bow:
inferred present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
inferred present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
present  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Sogdiana - City-States Period (uz_sogdiana_city_states) was in:
 (604 CE 711 CE)   Sogdiana
Home NGA: Sogdiana

General Variables
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
700 CE

About Samarkand: "The bewildering Afrasiab paintings belong to the 7th century AD, when the cultural activity of the city had reached its peak." [1]

[1]: (Frumkin 1970, 124)


Duration:
[604 CE ➜ 711 CE]

"The Islamic conquest of Central Asia began in earnest in 706 CE, when the Arab general Qutayba ibn Muslim pushed his forces across the Amu Darya to attack the outer reaches of the Sogdian city state of Bukhara." [1]

[1]: (Hanks 2010, 3) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.


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

In response to the Islamic threat Samarkand "managed to form an alliance with some principalities in the Fergana valley". [1]
“These city-states, often at odds with one another, had been under Hephthalite, Türk and Arab rule at varions times." [2]
"In the middle of the seventh century, after the fall of the Western Kaghanate, the Sogdian states gained de facto independence, although formally recognizing the sovereignty of the T’ang dynasty. In the eighth century, this sovereignty proved to be purely nominal, because China gave no real support against the Arab invaders." [3]

[1]: (Hanks 2010, 3) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.

[2]: (Golden 1992, 190)

[3]: (Marshak 1996, 242)

Suprapolity Relations:
nominal allegiance to [---]

In response to the Islamic threat Samarkand "managed to form an alliance with some principalities in the Fergana valley". [1]
“These city-states, often at odds with one another, had been under Hephthalite, Türk and Arab rule at varions times." [2]
"In the middle of the seventh century, after the fall of the Western Kaghanate, the Sogdian states gained de facto independence, although formally recognizing the sovereignty of the T’ang dynasty. In the eighth century, this sovereignty proved to be purely nominal, because China gave no real support against the Arab invaders." [3]

[1]: (Hanks 2010, 3) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.

[2]: (Golden 1992, 190)

[3]: (Marshak 1996, 242)


Supracultural Entity:
Sogdian

Alternatively, a wider region of oasis city states: Transoxania + Tarim basin (1,500,000 km2). "Only in the7thcentury, it seems, was theinternal political structure of the countries of Transoxiana finally constituted - a system of petty independent sovereigns recognizing the paramountcy of a kingwho also has his own territory and is, essentially, a " sovereign ofsovereigns " . In this period we canagain observe comparatively large countries on the political map of the region - Bukharan Sughd, Samarkandian Sughd, Chorasmia, northern Tukharistan, Chach, Farghana - the political cohesion of these countries being apparently of varying extent." [1]

[1]: (Zeimal 1983, 259)



Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
500,000 km2

km squared.



Preceding Entity:
Western Turk Khaganate

Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

City state principalities e.g. in Bukhara and Samarkand. "Sogdiana was not unified, and several Sogdian city-states shared the Zarafshan and adjacent valleys. Samarkand was certainly the principal political power: it occasionally managed to secure control of certain small cities,33 and its king claimed the title of “King of Sogdiana, Sovereign of Samarkand” (sgwdy’nk MLK’ sm’rkndc MR’Y ). Each city had its particular aristocracy, and the cas- tles of the nobles made the Sogdian countryside bristle with many fortified towns around which the population was organized. The nobles drew vast revenues from the land and possessed properties in both town and country." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 167)


Language

Language:
Sogdian

Sogdian until the ninth century: "The previous faiths of Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, Buddhism, and others almost entirely disappeared under Saminid rule, and Sogdian gradually gave way to Persian as the dominant tongue in the oasis cities." [1] "The Bactrian script and language were used for a long time after the Kushan age but only small fragments of Bactrian literary works have been discovered so far." [2]

[1]: (Hanks 2010, 5) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.

[2]: (Harmatta 1994, 424) Harmatta, J. Languages and literature in the Kushan Empire. 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 civilizations 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[11,000 to 44,000] people

Inhabitants. Assuming 50-200 inhabitants per hectare. "In the seventh century Samarkand again covered the whole plateau of Afrasiab, an area of 219 ha." [1]
Samarkand was "the strongest of the Sogdian city states." [2]
“In the seventh century Samarkand again covered the whole plateau of Afrasiab, an area of 219 ha" [1]
Population data for the settlement of Khujand: "In this corpus the term “merchant” (gw’kr—xwàkar) appears only one time, in connection with the Sogdians besieged in the city of Khujand (at the border between Sogdian Ustrushana and Ferghana):8 docu- ment A 9 is a report addressed to Dèwà“tì‘ which describes the political situation to the east and the surrender of the city. The text specifies:This is the news: Khujand is at an end, and the whole people has gone out on trust of the amir, and whatever (there were) of noble- men, of merchants, and of workmen, 14 000 (altogether), they have evacuated.9This text shows that the existence of a structured social class of merchants is not the simple effect of an external perspective.1" [3]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 244)

[2]: (Hanks 2010, 3) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 161-162)


Polity Territory:
[10,000 to 20,000] km2

in squared kilometers. If we draw a line mid-way between Samarkand and Bukhara and then turn the region around the cities into squares we get a figure of about 15km.
e.g. 2 Km2 for Samarkand. we should infer that a region beyond the city was also controlled by this urban center due to the conflict between the cities.
“In the seventh century Samarkand again covered the whole plateau of Afrasiab, an area of 219 ha" [1]
“These city-states, often at odds with one another, had been under Hephthalite, Türk and Arab rule at varions times." [2]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 244)

[2]: (Golden 1992, 190)


Polity Population:
[15,000 to 50,000] people

Inhabitants. Additional 10% or so for this region for population who live in villages outside the city?
[11,000-44,000] Assuming 50-200 inhabitants per hectare in the city. "In the seventh century Samarkand again covered the whole plateau of Afrasiab, an area of 219 ha." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 244)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 4]

levels.
1. City state
2. Outlying satellite village
“In the seventh century Samarkand again covered the whole plateau of Afrasiab, an area of 219 ha. Other Sogdian towns were much smaller. The area of Bukhara (without the citadel) was 34 ha, and that of Panjikent (also without the citadel) 13.5 ha. The buildings within the city walls have been best studied in Panjikent." [1]
these are settlement levels for whole region, not for individual polity within region
1. Capital (Samarkand - 219 ha)
2. Large town (e.g. Bukhara - 34 ha)
3. Small town (Panjikent - 13.5 ha)
4. Villages

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 244)


Religious Level:
[1 to 3]

levels.
Zoroastrianism in Bukhara. Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, Buddhism, and other religions still in existence until the ninth century. [1]

[1]: (Hanks 2010, 5) Hanks, R R. 2010. Global Security Watch-Central Asia. ABC-CLIO.


Military Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. Ruler
2. Head guard officer3. Member of the Guard4.
2. Dihqan"class of dihqans, aristocratic landholders who lived in fortified castles." [1]
3. Head retainer of Dihqan4. Member of Dihqan’s guard
“The rulers and great merchants also maintained personal retinues or guards called Cakirs (Chin. Che-chieh, Arab. sâ.kariyya). In these guards, who, perhaps, were drawn from the sons of the aristocracy, one may see a possible source for the later gulam/mamluk system of the lslamic world (see below).4 [2]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 189)

[2]: (Golden 1992, 190)


Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. Ruler
"Within each state, the king enjoyed only the status of “first among equals.”" [1]
2. Collective body/council? who claim equality with ruler3. Scribes
3. Administrator with specific role like treasurer or public works4. Assistant
3. Head of mint inferred could be level 4 but collective body/council? could be level 14. Mint worker inferred"The Sogdian coins were simple tokens of account issued by city-states with feeble political power and were intended solely for economic exchange in Sogdiana" [2]
"No text makes it possible for us to make a direct connection between the presence of a strong merchant class and the Sogdian political structure. While it cannot be proven, the hypothesis of this connection is nonetheless very tempting. Indeed, the summit of Sogdian society was occupied by an oligarchy whose exact social nature we must struggle to discern. One can suppose that it was formed by the union of the families of noble dihqans, with their possessions in the countryside, and the merchant families. At Bukhara, in any case, when the Arabs had seized the city, the merchant family of Kashkathan was at the head of the resistance to Islamization. Likewise, at Paykent, the “city of merchants” par excellence in the Arabic sources, no sovereign is ever named and the merchants seem to have acted collectively. The community (naf ) of Turfan is cited together with the Chinese king of Gaochang/Turfan." [3]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 167)

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 173)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168-169)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

“The rulers and great merchants also maintained personal retinues or guards called Cakirs (Chin. Che-chieh, Arab. sâ.kariyya). In these guards, who, perhaps, were drawn from the sons of the aristocracy, one may see a possible source for the later gulam/mamluk system of the lslamic world (see below).4 [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 190)


Professional Priesthood:
present

Zoroastrian temples at Merv. Christian and Manichean missionaries based at Merv. [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.


Professional Military Officer:
present

“The rulers and great merchants also maintained personal retinues or guards called Cakirs (Chin. Che-chieh, Arab. sâ.kariyya). In these guards, who, perhaps, were drawn from the sons of the aristocracy, one may see a possible source for the later gulam/mamluk system of the lslamic world (see below).4 [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 190)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Mints. "The Sogdian coins were simple tokens of account issued by city-states with feeble political power and were intended solely for economic exchange in Sogdiana, in contrast to the Sassanid coins, which were instruments of dynastic prestige whose value remained more or less accurate over the long term." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 173)


Merit Promotion:
absent

"No text makes it possible for us to make a direct connection between the presence of a strong merchant class and the Sogdian political structure. While it cannot be proven, the hypothesis of this connection is nonetheless very tempting. Indeed, the summit of Sogdian society was occupied by an oligarchy whose exact social nature we must struggle to discern. One can suppose that it was formed by the union of the families of noble dihqans, with their possessions in the countryside, and the merchant families. At Bukhara, in any case, when the Arabs had seized the city, the merchant family of Kashkathan was at the head of the resistance to Islamization. Likewise, at Paykent, the “city of merchants” par excellence in the Arabic sources, no sovereign is ever named and the merchants seem to have acted collectively. The community (naf ) of Turfan is cited together with the Chinese king of Gaochang/Turfan." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168-169)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Literacy widespread enough for the rulers to draw upon specialist scribes and assistants. However, the lead bureaucrats might have been aristocrats part-time/non-specialist.
"No text makes it possible for us to make a direct connection between the presence of a strong merchant class and the Sogdian political structure. While it cannot be proven, the hypothesis of this connection is nonetheless very tempting. Indeed, the summit of Sogdian society was occupied by an oligarchy whose exact social nature we must struggle to discern. One can suppose that it was formed by the union of the families of noble dihqans, with their possessions in the countryside, and the merchant families. At Bukhara, in any case, when the Arabs had seized the city, the merchant family of Kashkathan was at the head of the resistance to Islamization. Likewise, at Paykent, the “city of merchants” par excellence in the Arabic sources, no sovereign is ever named and the merchants seem to have acted collectively. The community (naf ) of Turfan is cited together with the Chinese king of Gaochang/Turfan." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168-169)


Examination System:
absent

"No text makes it possible for us to make a direct connection between the presence of a strong merchant class and the Sogdian political structure. While it cannot be proven, the hypothesis of this connection is nonetheless very tempting. Indeed, the summit of Sogdian society was occupied by an oligarchy whose exact social nature we must struggle to discern. One can suppose that it was formed by the union of the families of noble dihqans, with their possessions in the countryside, and the merchant families. At Bukhara, in any case, when the Arabs had seized the city, the merchant family of Kashkathan was at the head of the resistance to Islamization. Likewise, at Paykent, the “city of merchants” par excellence in the Arabic sources, no sovereign is ever named and the merchants seem to have acted collectively. The community (naf ) of Turfan is cited together with the Chinese king of Gaochang/Turfan." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168-169)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

"The urban community, n’b—nàf, had rights of its own in Sogdiana. This is specified in the legal texts." [1] . A lawsuit is mentioned: "Without mentioning the case of Maniakh, who mounted an expedition from the Altai to Byzantium, and to whom I will return at greater length below, it is enough to recall the case of Nanai-vandak, who wrote to Samarkand from Guzang/Wuwei, and to compare it with the lawsuit of the Cao family against the Chinese merchant Li of Chang’an: the range of activity in this instance was from Almalig, in the Ili valley north of the Tianshan, to Chang’an, which is not exactly local!" [2] "The contract for the lease of the bridge at Panjikent shows that relatively complex legal and commercial formulae were in contemporary use in Sogdiana." [3] "On the other hand, we do not possess the texts of any Sogdian laws. We know of their existence from a reference in an inscription on the great painting of Samarkand, but nothing of them has reached us.44 Further to the south, Syriac texts have preserved scraps of the commercial regulations of the Sassanid Empire, and testify to a developed organization of commerce. A detailed jurisprudence made allowances for the risks of long-distance trade (shipwreck, fire, confiscations or plundering) in the rules of compensation in case of bankruptcy, organized the collective ownership of merchandise and the distribution of the shares in case of a separation of the partners, and fixed the rates of interest for merchants providing themselves with credit and counting on the profits from sales for their reim- bursement.45 We can only suppose the existence of such rules among the Sogdians, but the proofs are lacking." [4]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168)

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 165)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 170-171)

[4]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 171)


Judge:
present

"The urban community, n’b—nàf, had rights of its own in Sogdiana. This is specified in the legal texts." [1] . A lawsuit is mentioned: "Without mentioning the case of Maniakh, who mounted an expedition from the Altai to Byzantium, and to whom I will return at greater length below, it is enough to recall the case of Nanai-vandak, who wrote to Samarkand from Guzang/Wuwei, and to compare it with the lawsuit of the Cao family against the Chinese merchant Li of Chang’an: the range of activity in this instance was from Almalig, in the Ili valley north of the Tianshan, to Chang’an, which is not exactly local!" [2] "The contract for the lease of the bridge at Panjikent shows that relatively complex legal and commercial formulae were in contemporary use in Sogdiana." [3] "On the other hand, we do not possess the texts of any Sogdian laws. We know of their existence from a reference in an inscription on the great painting of Samarkand, but nothing of them has reached us.44 Further to the south, Syriac texts have preserved scraps of the commercial regulations of the Sassanid Empire, and testify to a developed organization of commerce. A detailed jurisprudence made allowances for the risks of long-distance trade (shipwreck, fire, confiscations or plundering) in the rules of compensation in case of bankruptcy, organized the collective ownership of merchandise and the distribution of the shares in case of a separation of the partners, and fixed the rates of interest for merchants providing themselves with credit and counting on the profits from sales for their reim- bursement.45 We can only suppose the existence of such rules among the Sogdians, but the proofs are lacking." [4]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168)

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 165)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 170-171)

[4]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 171)


Formal Legal Code:
present

"The urban community, n’b—nàf, had rights of its own in Sogdiana. This is specified in the legal texts." [1] . A lawsuit is mentioned: "Without mentioning the case of Maniakh, who mounted an expedition from the Altai to Byzantium, and to whom I will return at greater length below, it is enough to recall the case of Nanai-vandak, who wrote to Samarkand from Guzang/Wuwei, and to compare it with the lawsuit of the Cao family against the Chinese merchant Li of Chang’an: the range of activity in this instance was from Almalig, in the Ili valley north of the Tianshan, to Chang’an, which is not exactly local!" [2] "The contract for the lease of the bridge at Panjikent shows that relatively complex legal and commercial formulae were in contemporary use in Sogdiana." [3] "On the other hand, we do not possess the texts of any Sogdian laws. We know of their existence from a reference in an inscription on the great painting of Samarkand, but nothing of them has reached us.44 Further to the south, Syriac texts have preserved scraps of the commercial regulations of the Sassanid Empire, and testify to a developed organization of commerce. A detailed jurisprudence made allowances for the risks of long-distance trade (shipwreck, fire, confiscations or plundering) in the rules of compensation in case of bankruptcy, organized the collective ownership of merchandise and the distribution of the shares in case of a separation of the partners, and fixed the rates of interest for merchants providing themselves with credit and counting on the profits from sales for their reim- bursement.45 We can only suppose the existence of such rules among the Sogdians, but the proofs are lacking." [4]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168)

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 165)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 170-171)

[4]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 171)


Court:
present

"The urban community, n’b—nàf, had rights of its own in Sogdiana. This is specified in the legal texts." [1] . A lawsuit is mentioned: "Without mentioning the case of Maniakh, who mounted an expedition from the Altai to Byzantium, and to whom I will return at greater length below, it is enough to recall the case of Nanai-vandak, who wrote to Samarkand from Guzang/Wuwei, and to compare it with the lawsuit of the Cao family against the Chinese merchant Li of Chang’an: the range of activity in this instance was from Almalig, in the Ili valley north of the Tianshan, to Chang’an, which is not exactly local!" [2] "The contract for the lease of the bridge at Panjikent shows that relatively complex legal and commercial formulae were in contemporary use in Sogdiana." [3] "On the other hand, we do not possess the texts of any Sogdian laws. We know of their existence from a reference in an inscription on the great painting of Samarkand, but nothing of them has reached us.44 Further to the south, Syriac texts have preserved scraps of the commercial regulations of the Sassanid Empire, and testify to a developed organization of commerce. A detailed jurisprudence made allowances for the risks of long-distance trade (shipwreck, fire, confiscations or plundering) in the rules of compensation in case of bankruptcy, organized the collective ownership of merchandise and the distribution of the shares in case of a separation of the partners, and fixed the rates of interest for merchants providing themselves with credit and counting on the profits from sales for their reim- bursement.45 We can only suppose the existence of such rules among the Sogdians, but the proofs are lacking." [4]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168)

[2]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 165)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 170-171)

[4]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 171)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

"This growth has primarily been studied at Samarkand and still more so at Panjikent. [...] The city continued to grow, although at a less steady rate, for at the end of the 7th century a small bazaar appeared outside the walls to the northeast, as did an artisans’ suburb to the south." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 106)


Irrigation System:
present

“Other peoples knew the Sogdians mainly as silk merchants, but the basis of the Sogdian economy was agriculture on artificially irrigated land." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 238)



Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

Not on the travel routes themselves: "A more direct route was conceivable, in a straight line from Samarkand to Tashkent: beginning in the 9th century it was provided with a line of cisterns which made possible a gain of two days’ travel.139 But this occurred during the Islamic period, and archaeology shows that the soils were virgin beneath these improvements.140 The Sogdians had therefore not carried out necessary improvements over an extremely busy section of their network. A second example supports the first: between Merv and Bukhara, over the route by which all traffic with Iran necessarily flowed, and which was one of the major highways of the Muslim world under the Abbasids, the numerous improvements date in general from the 9th century at the earliest. Only a few wells— vital because no alternative route was possible—existed before that time.141" [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 193-194)


Transport Infrastructure

“The Türk state aspired to make the roads safe and gave its backing to the Sogdian diplomats’ trade negotiations." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 242)


landlocked and no major riverrine port?


"People living along the great trunk-canal not only jointly used itswater andkept it clean and in repair; from the social standpoint they formed a close and stable community, whose economic cohesion waseventually given political form. This process found itsfullest expression inthe7th and early 8thcenturies, when the entire territory of Transoxiana, occupied by settled agricultural inhabitants, was divided into small oasis-states." [1]

[1]: (Zeimal 1983, 250)


Bridge:
present

"It was in the name of the com- munity that the town could rent out certain properties, such as the bridge at Panjikent, the toll of which was entrusted to two persons, on condition that they pay 150 silver drachms in advance for the annual receipts." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 168)


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

" The Sogdians had an important silver mine in Cac.60 " [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 175)


Information / Writing System

Script:
present

"Sogdians used different types of script according to the religion to which they belonged. The Buddhists used a national script of Aramaic origin, with heterograms. This script is also known from secular writings and from what is probably the only Zoroastrian text in it.26 The Manichaeans had their own alphabet and the Christians used Syriac script, but both sometimes wrote in the national Sogdian script." [1] "The Bactrian script and language were used for a long time after the Kushan age but only small fragments of Bactrian literary works have been discovered so far." [2]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 255)

[2]: (Harmatta 1994, 424) Harmatta, J. Languages and literature in the Kushan Empire. 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 civilizations 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. UNESCO Publishing.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Xuanzang indicates that the Sogdian alphabet was composed of 20 characters which were combined to create words. [1]

[1]: (de la Vaissière and Riboud 2003, 128)




Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"There was also what could be described as scientific literature in Sogdian, in particular a book about minerals, documents on medicine and on the calendar, and glossaries." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 255-257)


Sacred Text:
present

E.g. the Bible, Buddhist scriptures. "Sogdians used different types of script according to the religion to which they belonged. The Buddhists used a national script of Aramaic origin, with heterograms. This script is also known from secular writings and from what is probably the only Zoroastrian text in it.26 The Manichaeans had their own alphabet and the Christians used Syriac script, but both sometimes wrote in the national Sogdian script." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 255)


Religious Literature:
present

"Sogdians used different types of script according to the religion to which they belonged. The Buddhists used a national script of Aramaic origin, with heterograms. This script is also known from secular writings and from what is probably the only Zoroastrian text in it.26 The Manichaeans had their own alphabet and the Christians used Syriac script, but both sometimes wrote in the national Sogdian script." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 255)


Practical Literature:
present

"Direct and remarkably vivid evidence of the past is provided by the ‘ Ancient Sogdian Letters’ from Dunhuang (probably written at the beginning of the fourth century) and the documents from Mount Mug on the upper reaches of the Zerafshan (Figs. 26 and 27). The ‘Ancient Letters’ describe the life of Sogdian settlers in China, while the Mug papers show Sughd at the time of the Arab conquest. These letters were found with legal and economic documents in a castle that served as the last refuge of Divashtich, the ruler of Panjikent, who was captured by the Arabs in 722." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 259)



Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Contracts. "The principal collection of Sogdian documents available to us from 8th century Sogdiana—the documents from Mount Mugh—were found in 1933 in Tadjikistan. This collection is made up of the archives of one of the great Sogdian nobles who resisted the Arabs, Dèwà“tì‘, the lord of Panjikent and self-proclaimed king of Sogdiana. It is made up primarily of letters dealing with the struggle against the Arabs and the administration of his agricultural domains, but also contains a few contracts (for marriage, the purchase of a burial plot, et cetera)." [1]

[1]: (de la Vaissière 2005, 161)


History:
present

Xuanzang’s texts indicate the presence of historical literature and/or epics. [1]

[1]: (de la Vaissière and Riboud 2003, 128)


Fiction:
present

"A fragment of the epic of Rustam, probably translated from Middle Persian, has been found near Dunhuang.27 Among the Manichaean writings, tales and fables, including some from the Indian Panchatantra and the Greek fables of Aesop, have been discovered. There are also non-Manichaean fairy-tales." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 257)


Calendar:
present

"There was also what could be described as scientific literature in Sogdian, in particular a book about minerals, documents on medicine and on the calendar, and glossaries." [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 255-257)


Information / Money

"On the whole, Sogdian great commerce did extremely well without any coinage of its own. A large-scale barter economy operated from one end of Asia to the other, composed of a few deluxe products in universal demand—precious metals, silk, spices, perfumes. Yet it must be noted that what appears to be barter from a western perspective is actually a monetary exchange from the perspective of the Chinese: Sogdian products were paid for in rolls of silk in China, where silk was in fact a money." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 174)


Precious Metal:
present

"On the whole, Sogdian great commerce did extremely well without any coinage of its own. A large-scale barter economy operated from one end of Asia to the other, composed of a few deluxe products in universal demand—precious metals, silk, spices, perfumes. Yet it must be noted that what appears to be barter from a western perspective is actually a monetary exchange from the perspective of the Chinese: Sogdian products were paid for in rolls of silk in China, where silk was in fact a money." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 174)


Paper Currency:
absent

Not mentioned by De la Vaissière in his discussion of Sogdian money. [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 171-174)


Indigenous Coin:
present

“In the sixth century the minting of coins with the image of an archer, which had continued for many centuries, ceased; this marked the end of the stage of ‘Barbarian imitations’ and the beginning of a new stage in the development of trading and monetary relations." [1] "The new stage in the development of trading and monetary relations was associated with the wide circulation in Sogdiana of a cast bronze coin with a square hole in the middle (Fig. 3).15 The coins of Samarkand, Panjikent, Paikent and certain other centres are well known." [2] "The Sogdian coins were simple tokens of account issued by city-states with feeble political power and were intended solely for economic exchange in Sogdiana, in contrast to the Sassanid coins, which were instruments of dynastic prestige whose value remained more or less accurate over the long term." [3]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 238)

[2]: (Marshak 1996, 243)

[3]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 173)


Foreign Coin:
present

" The coinage of Samarkand also underwent an Iranian influence, due to the prevalence of coins paid by Pèròz after his defeat by the Hephtalites as well as imitations of drachms, and was further influenced in the 7th century by the Bukhar Khuda coins49 as well as those of Chinese type with a central hole." [1] "Sasanian silver coins were in use." [2]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 172)

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


Article:
present

“The alliance with the Türk states was unstable, with the Turkic nobles frequently looting or seizing Sogdian territories; as early as the end of the seventh century the principality of Panjikent had a Türk ruler, Chikin Chur Bilge." [1] Considering the Turks had an article-based economy we can infer that this system of exchange was also recognised in regions under their control.

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 243)


Information / Postal System

Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

"In Samarkand of the third to fifth centuries, a wall separated the northern third of the city that was densely filled with houses from the other part of the huge area, which was only sparsely settled. Starting with the sixth century, houses of aristocrats were built between this wall and the ancient outer palisade." [1]

[1]: Boris I Marshak. The Archaeology of Sogdiana. December 2003. The Silk Road. Volume 1. Number 2.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

“The Sogdian princelings bad the title of gwPw ( = xvatâv ) or gwtl(w). These rulers, whom Chinese sources claim belonged to one clan (the bouse of Chao-wu [t’siiiu-miu] = jmûk [jamûg] of the Muslim authors), were more ofte:n than not merely the first among equals in the class of dihqâns, aristocratic landholders who lived in fortified castles.2" [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 189)


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

“The Sogdian princelings bad the title of gwPw ( = xvatâv ) or gwtl(w). These rulers, whom Chinese sources claim belonged to one clan (the bouse of Chao-wu [t’siiiu-miu] = jmûk [jamûg] of the Muslim authors), were more ofte:n than not merely the first among equals in the class of dihqâns, aristocratic landholders who lived in fortified castles.2" [1]

[1]: (Golden 1992, 189)








Complex Fortification:
present

“Around the fourth century what is called the second wall, enclosing an area of 66 ha, was built inside the ancient wall of the capital city, Samarkand - there were clearly not enough people to defend the old wall, which was almost 6 km long. » [1]

[1]: (Marshak 1996, 239)


Military use of Metals
Steel:
present

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] "High-carbon steel was being produced in the eastern Iranian region from the tenth century CE." [5]

[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.

[5]: (Goody 2012, 171) Goody, Jack. 2012. Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of the Modern World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


’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


Copper:
present

’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


Bronze:
present

’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
Tension Siege Engine:
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] "Adapting Roman methods, Sassanid siege technology advanced greatly between the first and sixth centuries. The Sassanians employed offensive siege weapons such as scorpions, ballistae, battering rams, and moving towers." [2] "A fragment of a wall painting depicting the use of a traction trebuchet at the siege of Penjikent (700-725) in modern Tajikistan. This unique painting is contemporary with Tang China, displaying how the traction trebuchet was used along the Silk Road." [3]

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

[2]: (Ward 2014, 31) Ward, S R. 2014. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces. Georgetown University Press.

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


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.



Self Bow:
absent

Inferred absent due to use of more powerful composite bow.


Javelin:
present

Under the Seljuks, later period, ghulams or mamluks had javelins. [1] It can be inferred the weapon still had military use at this earlier time.

[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.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Crossbow:
present

"the Persian nawak, also known by its Arabic name of majra or mijrat. An early reference is the use of it by the Sassanid Persians against the Arabs in +637 when it was termed qaus al-nawakiyah (the tube bow). In the Islamic world extraordinary distances were shot with this device." [1]

[1]: (Needham and Wang 1954, 166) Needham J and Wang L. 1954. Science and Civilization in China. Cambridge University Press.


Composite Bow:
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] "During the reign of the first King Khosrow ... a cavalryman’s equipment consisted of ... a quiver with thirty arrows, two reflex bows, and two replacement strings." [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Weapon of the Americas, extremely unlikely to be in use here.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
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] The Sassanids had war clubs [2] including a "mace" (clibanarius). [3]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.

[3]: (Wilcox 1986, Plate E) Wilcox, P. 1986. Rome’s Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians. Osprey Publishing.


Sword:
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] The Sassanids had swords. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Spear:
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] Lances were used by Sassanian cavalrymen. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Polearm:
unknown

Not mentioned in the sources so far consulted.


Dagger:
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]

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


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] The Sassanids had battleaxe. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Animals used in warfare

Cavalry. After the Sassanids "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]

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


Elephant:
unknown

The Varakhsha wall paintings represent "hunting scenes and monsters attacking mounted elephants" [1] which indicates that elephants were considered appropriate mounts. They might have been used for warfare.

[1]: (Frumkin 1970, 122)


Donkey:
present

"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.



Some of the Afrasiab paintings represent the bridal ceremony of a princess coming from the Chaganiyan region in order to marry a Samarkand ruler. The paintings include "maids of honour on horseback, two envoys on camels, holding sceptres denoting their mission" [1] Camels were thus deemed appropriate mounts, and could possibly have been used for warfare?

[1]: (Frumkin 1970, 124)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

"... a fragment of a leather-covered circular wooden shield has survived, bearing a painting of a mounted warrior. This was found in the ruins of the castle of Mug, east of Samarkand, and with it were many documents dating the destruction of the place to the eighth century - when the Persian prince who held it rebelled against the local Arab ruler." [1]

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


Shield:
present

"... a fragment of a leather-covered circular wooden shield has survived, bearing a painting of a mounted warrior. This was found in the ruins of the castle of Mug, east of Samarkand, and with it were many documents dating the destruction of the place to the eighth century - when the Persian prince who held it rebelled against the local Arab ruler." [1]

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


Scaled Armor:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanids had scale armour. [2]

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

[2]: (Farrokh 2005, 16) Farrokh, Kaveh. 2012. Sassanian Elite Cavalry AD 224-642. Osprey Publishing.


Plate Armor:
unknown

"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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] Breastplates present but no suit of plate armour.

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


Limb Protection:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanids had limb protection. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Leather Cloth:
present

"... a fragment of a leather-covered circular wooden shield has survived, bearing a painting of a mounted warrior. This was found in the ruins of the castle of Mug, east of Samarkand, and with it were many documents dating the destruction of the place to the eighth century - when the Persian prince who held it rebelled against the local Arab ruler." [1]

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


Laminar Armor:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanids had lamellar armour. [1]

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


Helmet:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanids wore helmets. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Chainmail:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanids wore mail. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Breastplate:
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. The invader came under the influence of the remarkable Persian culture and no doubt, in due course, took advantage of the superior craftsmen now at his disposal for the making of his own equipment." [1] The Sassanid cavarlyman a wore breastplate. [2]

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

[2]: (Mitterauer 2010, 106) Mitterauer, M. 2010. Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path. University of Chicago Press.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Landlocked to sea.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

extremely unlikely that river boats were not in use


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

Landlocked to sea.



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.
- Nothing coded yet.