Valerie Hansen's new history of the Silk Road is the first truly historical narrative of the subject in the regional context of oasis Central Asia. The book integrates the history of explorations of Central Asia into histories of the regional oasis states. Numerous documents in various ancient languages along with archaeological finds in the oasis of Central Asia have fascinated scholars. Though linguists have deciphered the texts found in various sites, the whole picture of the lives of the peoples coming and living in the region has remained elusive. This new history of the Silk Road displays the linguistic complexity of the region with the background of religious propagations, trade, immigrations, and invasions. Analyses of specific texts bring life to the splendid objects excavated from graves of the long-deceased people. Meanwhile, the author explains controversial issues arising from the explorations and researches in the field with such clarity that the...

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