The Shi Jun sarcophagus (580 CE), a house-shaped stone coffin of a Sogdian immigrant couple, is one of the most important Silk Road discoveries ever made (figure 1). Excavated in Xi'an (Shaanxi Province, China) in 2003, it belongs to a group of sarcophagi created for Sogdian community leaders in sixth-century China that have been uncovered over the course of the past century, primarily in the last two decades. The Shi Jun sarcophagus sets itself apart from the others with an epitaph inscribed in both Chinese and Sogdian. The epitaph recounts the migration of a Sogdian couple from Central Asia to the Chinese heartland. Even more unusual than this inscription is the exterior of the sarcophagus, which is carved with a continuous sequence of narrative reliefs. These represent the deceased's multifaceted journey on the Silk Road.

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