Buddhist sculpture from Gandhara is in a sense well known, but there is still much to be learned from it. Ulf Jäger (independent scholar, Germany) analyzes the sculpted imagery on a necklace, which leads into the subject of how centaurs are to be found across Eurasia and how the perception of them changed.
A carved granite slab in the Gyeongju National Museum in Korea has images in roundels whose iconography suggests widely ranging connections to the West in the Unified Silla period. Hongnam Kim (Asia Museum Institute, Korea) analyzes the Western influences of this iconography, concluding that it is likely that the craftsman who executed the work was familiar with Christian imagery.
When the Oirad Mongols defeated the Ming and captured their emperor at Tumu in 1449, they could have invaded Central China and perhaps brought down the still young Ming state, but did not. By examining the significance of the Chinggisid legacy both for the Mongols and the Ming, Johan Elverskog (Southern Methodist University) explains why.
Slave soldiers from Central Asia often rose to power in the Islamic world. Jere Bacharach (University of Washington, Seattle) analyzes one of the rulers of Egypt in the 10th century CE who sought to emphasize his Central Asian family heritage in his titulature and coinage.
The latest issue of The Silk Road is now available. Volume 15 features articles on defensive communication networks through Wakhan and Chitral, caravanserais in the Golden Horde, an analysis of the circulation of silver coins in Gaochang, an investigation into the Central Asian ties of a tenth-century Muslim ruler in Egypt, and a new look at the infamous Tumu incident and the Chinggisid legacy in Inner Asia, among many others. For the full table of contents and links to individual articles, please click here. This issue also marks the beginning of the online-only format of the journal, with the print version ceasing publication. Last but not least, the 2017 volume is the last one to be edited by Daniel Waugh, who will now have more time to pursue his many other scholarly pursuits. I wish him all the best, and take comfort in the knowledge that he will continue to lend his assistance and advice for many years to come. Looking ahead, I am eager to begin the process of assembling the 2018 volume, and look forward to receiving interesting and timely contributions from around the world.
– Justin M. Jacobs, Editor, The Silk Road