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Use and Production of Silks in Sogdiana


By: Etsuko Kageyama*



The present article presents a discussion on the silk fabrics which were used and produced in Sogdiana. The Sogdians were not only traders but also users of Chinese and Persian brocades. On Sogdian mural paintings we can see Sogdians with clothes made of polychrome silks. At the same time the Sogdians were producers of brocade, and it is suggested here that one group of that kind of textiles unearthed in Turfan was manufactured in Sogdiana.

It is well known that Chinese silk textiles were brought to the West along the Silk Road and that Western silk textiles were transported to China. And we can easily assume that the silks which are expensive, light and portable, were the merchandise most favored by Sogdian traders. However we know very little concerning which kind of silk fabrics have been used and produced in Sogdiana.

Sogdian silks may reminds readers of the so-called "Zandanîjî" silks. In the 1959 article by D. G. Shepherd and W. B. Henning, a piece of brocade with a motif of paired stags in roundel preserved in Huy, Belgium was identified with the silks made in Zandana village, Bukhara1

Since then the series of brocades which have motifs similar to the Huy silks have been regarded as the production of Sogdiana2. Meanwhile several points arguing against this identification were presented: Zandana village was famous for the production of cotton textiles, the length mentioned in the Sogdian inscription on the Huy silks does not match the length of the so-called "Zandanîjî" silks grouped by Shepherd, and no brocade with a paired animal motif is depicted in the Sogdian paintings3. I put aside the problem of so-called "Zandanîjî" silks, and profile the iconographic materials, such as painting and silver vessels, and attempt to find Sogdian textiles in the actual excavated textiles.

This paper, it is a pleasure to contribute to a volume in honor of B. I. Marshak, examines motifs of textiles depicted on Sogdian mural paintings, where we can see Sogdians with clothes made of polychrome silks (jin in Chinese), and it is suggested that one group of that kind of textiles unearthed in Turfan was manufactured in Sogdiana.

1. Use of the silks in Sogdiana

In Chinese chronicles, in Sui shu for example, it is stated that the Samarkand kings wear clothes of several kinds of silk textiles. In Sogdian there is a word paring (pr'ynk, pryng), which means "damask silks" (ling in Chinese) (Henning 1945, pp. 259-266; Belenitskij, Bentovich, Livshits 1963). According to Y. Yoshida, the Sogdian word for brocade has not yet confirmed, but some words can be proposed for that4.

Quite a few fragments of silk textiles were found at Mount Mug, famous for the discovery of Sogdian documents. Out of 44 fragments of silks, 24 fragments are Chinese damask silks. It has been proven that one pouch discovered there was made by Chinese damask silks woven with a paired dragons pattern. A fragment of Chinese brocade with a small flower in pearl roundel was also discovered. Examinations of Sogdian documents make it possible to date these fragments before 7225.

The most informative and abandant materials are murals excavated in Pendzhikent, Afrasiab, Varakhsha, Dzhar-tepa II, Kalai-Kakhkakha I6. Especially murals of Pendzhikent have been dated on coins, traces of fires (related to the campaign of Arabs in 722) and so on (Belenitskii and Marshak in Azarpay 1981, pp. 35-46), and we can examine a series of patterned textiles which became popular there from the sixth to the first half of the eighth centuries (Fig. 1). Scholars have examined patterned textiles depicted on Sogdian paintings7.

I owe the description below to a paper presented by V. I. Raspopova at the symposium at Abegg-Stiftung, in which she attempted to find the trend in textiles of each period by examining Pendzhikent paintings8 .

Clothes of the deity on the painting, the most ancient painting in Pendzhikent (the fifth century) are plain-colored. Later in the 6th and 7th centuries textiles depicted on paintings are patterned with small ornaments, although we have to admit that the paintings dated to this period are not enough to determine the trend (Fig. 1a, b)9. From the seventh century large ornaments came into fashion (Fig. 1c, d), and the costumes are filled with Sasanian p atterns (animal motifs encircled in pearl roundels) (Fig. 1e, f, h). Chinese damask silks and Tang rosette silks (bao xiang hua wen jin in Chinese) appear in the paintings of the early 8th century (Fig. 1e, f, g). In the murals from the middle of the 8th century animal motifs in medallions are no longer seen and are replaced by flowers (Fig. 1i).

The Afrasiab paintings supplemented the shortage of examples of the seventh century of Pendzhikent murals and has shown clearly that the Sasanian patterns with animal motifs were popular in Sogdiana as early as around 650 (Fig. 2, Left) (Kageyama 2002). In the paintings of Varakhsha Chinese damask and Tang rosette silks have been found (Fig. 2, Right). Pointing out that the two kinds of Chinese silks appeared only after the eighth century on Pendzhikent murals, A. M. Belenitskii and B. I. Marshak have revised the dating of Varakhsha painting from the first half of the seventh century to the eighth century (Belenitskii and Marshak in Azarpay 1981, pp. 48-49).

2. The examination of the silks depicted on the paintings

At first we have to determine if it is possible to know the actual motifs of silks on the basis of the depicted silks. Two examples must suffice to show the realistic depiction of silks in color and motif. Fig. 1f is a drawing of woman painted in the early eighth century in Pendzhikent (block XVII, room 8). She wears a caftan overlapping at the front and a cape over it. The cape itself is made by brocade of a peacock motif, and its hems are embellished by other brocade with a flower motif in a pearl roundel. Her caftan is made by pink damask silks, and its hems are embellished by brocades with a Pegasus motif of which only a part of the head, and of the right wing and of the right foreleg with a ribbon, can be recognized. Here we can find that painter depicted only half of the flower motif and a small part of the Pegasus motif as it was, not simplified. The second example shows skillful work to represent the tone of actual damask silks. One of the participants of the feast depicted in room 10 , the block XVI of the same site, wears a brown caftan (Fig. 1e, on the right). On color plates we can find its similarity of tone with brown Chinese damask silk with patterns of paired dragons in Shôsôin, Nara10. Not drawing the black outline of the motif, the painter depicts the motif with darker color than that of background and succeeded in representing the monochrome patterned weave of damask silks.

It goes without saying that we can not determine the weaving technology of the painted silks, but in certain cases it is possible to determine the place of origin of the textiles depicted on murals. As monochrome damask silks and Tang rosette silks are specific products of China, those depicted on the murals are surely Chinese.

Next, the textiles with animal motifs represented in the Afrasiab painting have been identified as Sasanian textiles (Mode 1993, pp. 59-62). Textiles with animal motifs in pearl medallions had flourished in Sogdiana in the second half of the seventh century and the first half of the eighth century. This motif created in Sasanian Iran spread widely throughout Central Asia, so it seems impossible to specify their place of origin11. However, Mode has certified that senmurv (mythical creature), which is one of the animals represented on brocades in the Afrasiab mural, is a motif proper to Sasanian art. While comparable animals are depicted in Sogdian art (wall paintings and silver vessels), they are not the senmurv, but winged camels or winged lions12. The brocades with various animal motifs on the Afrasiab painting have uniform size, colors and secondary motif in interstices, so that all of them are undoubtedly Sasanian.

3. The possibility of producing silks in Sogdiana

Now we will turn to the examination of silk producing in Sogdiana. Considerably more is known about silk weaving in some oases of Chinese Turkestan: Chinese documents unearthed in Turfan mention "brocades of Kucha" and "brocades of Kashgar. According to Wei shu, brocades were produced in Karashar, and Xi yu ji shows that they were produced in Khotan (Yokohari 1992, pp. 171-173). From these sources we may presume the production of brocades as in some oases of Sogdiana. This presumption is confirmed by Sui shu (vol. 83) which mentions brocades as a specialty of Samarkand.

Besides Chinese documents, there are some archeological materials connected with silk production. The main (west) wall of Afrasiab painting shows that Chinese ambassadors hold cocoons and raw silk (Yokohari 2001, p. 156). It is possible that Sogdians could weave silk textiles using these raw materials. In Pendzhikent a lot of weaving utensils have been discovered. The excavators suggest that two rooms of block XIII in the same site might be a workshop where they took raw silk from cocoons and weaved silks (one room has a long and narrow floor plan, and is 3.8 m in width and 15 m in length), but their suggestion is not well-grounded (Belenitskij, Bentovich, Bol'shakov 1973, pp. 97-100).

4. Identification of Sogdian brocades (the silks from Turfan)

A great number of fragments of silk fabrics were discovered at Astana and Kara Khoja, Turfan, in graves of Chinese people dating from the middle of the fifth century to the middle of the eighth century. These materials are of great value for the study of ancient silks13, because most of them can be dated according to epitaphs, funerary inventories and some other documents which were unearthed with the silks14.

Among those silks, some fragments show a single animal motif, not paired, inside pearl roundel which appears frequently in Sogdian painting. These fragments can be classified into two groups, using the accuracy of weaving technology as a criterion; for convenience I will refer to them as group A and group B. Silks of group A, showing a remarkable perfection in technique, have motifs of Pegasus, boar and bird, all in a pearl medallion (Table 1). These textiles are identified as Sasanian production15. Silks of group B are woven so coarsely that the outline of the medallion is jagged and the animals in the medallion are poorly represented. They have motifs of stag, boar and bird, and funeral inscriptions and documents show that most of them were buried around 650 in tombs (Table 2).

Some scholars of ancient textiles have already proposed a Central Asian or Sogdian origin for the textiles of group B16. Their assumption has been based on the fact that group B reproduces the Sasanian textile design but its technology is not high enough to be considered Sasanian. No special reason, however, was given why Sogdiana should be selected among the regions neighboring Sasanian Iran. I will propose an explanation why group B is considered to have been produced in Sogdiana, as opposed to other regions.

Let us compare animal motifs of group A and B with those on the Afrasiab painting, which has been attributed to Persian brocades by M. Mode. The latter has motifs of semmurv, peacock, bird, Pegasus, boar, winged lion, ram and so on (Fig. 2, Left). It is highly possible that they show almost all the types of animal motifs made in Sasanian Iran. Although the materials are so limited that we can not exclude coincidence, all of the animal motifs of group A (Pegasus, boar and bird) mirror those of Afrasiab painting. Out of a significant number of examples of group B, there are no examples that include any motifs of senmurv, Pegasus or ram. It should be noticed that out of 17 examples of group B collected in the article as many as 8 fragments show the figure of a walking stag in the pearl roundel (Fig. 3a, b), and that the stag is not to be found on brocades depicted in the Afrasiab painting17. Now it is clear that group A and group B can be distinguished not only by their accuracy of weaving technology, but also by their variety of animal motifs, and that group B was not the production of Sasanian Iran18.

On the other hand, a very similar figure of a walking stag is represented on silverware. Qi Dongfang who studies gold and silver vessels in Tang period has reached the conclusion that a silver bowl from Shapo village, Xi'an, was Sogdian. The basis of his identification is according to the shape of the bowl, Sogdian inscription on it and a stag motif on its base19.

Stag motif is discerned on three other silver wares among those which are identified Sogdian by. B. Marshak, so that Qi Dongfang regards its stag ornament as a feature of Sogdian silverware (Fig. 3c, d; Table 3)20. The numerous examples of the stag motifs in group B and the similarity of the motifs with those represented on the Sogdian silver vessels lead us to assume that the brocades of group B were produced in Sogdiana.

At this juncture the following question naturally arises: why is the stag motif so favored in Sogdiana? It seems interesting that the deer was a favorite animal of T'ung yabghu, kaghan of the Western Turks. Xuan Zang who reached Qianquan, thousand springs' (Merke) in the early seventh century saw there a number of deer ornamented with bells and rings, and stated that they are carefully protected by the kaghan21.

It is hoped that the suggestion proposed here will be examined by textile specialists.

Drawings in Figs. 1-3 were made by the present author using the following plates, except Fig. 1c and Fig. 2 Left, which were previously published drawings.

Fig. 1a, Tanabe and Maeda (eds.) 1999, fig. 174; b, Tokyo National Museum et al. (eds.) 1985, fig, 87; c, Marshak et Raspopova 1991, fig. 11; d, Belenitskii and Marshak in Azarpay 1981, fig. 16; e, Belenizki 1980, figs. 38, 40; f, Seipel (ed.) 1996, fig. 161; g, Marshak and Raspopova 1990, fig. 32a; h, Chuvin et al. (eds.) 1999, fig. 183; i, Belenizki 1980, fig. 44.

Fig. 2 Left: Anazawa and Manome 1976, fig. 10; Right. j, k, Shishkin 1963, pl. 14; l, ibid., pl. 16; m, Tokyo National Museum et al. (eds.) 1985, fig 92. Fig. 3a, Mu Shunying (ed.) 1994, fig. 285; b, Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000, pl. 47; c, Brilliance of the Silk Road: Magnificent treasures from China (in Japanese), 1999, The Hokkaido Shimbun Press, fig. 105; d, Marshak 1986, fig. 41.


Publications in Japanese

Anazawa, W. and J. Manome (1976) "Korean envoys on the mural painting from ancient Samarkand", Chosen Gakuho, Journal of the Academic Association of Koreanology in Japan, 80, pp. 1-36.

Lubo-Lesnitchenko, E.I. and K. Sakamoto (1987), "Silk bearing the design of two dragons diametrically opposed within the medallions", BAOM 9, pp. 93-117, pls. 13-17 (with English summary).

Tanabe, K. and K. Maeda (eds.) (1999) Art in the world, oriental art 15, Central Asia, Tokyo.

Tokyo National Museum et al. (eds.) (1985) Cultural contacts between East and West in antiquity and Middle Ages from USSR, Tokyo.

Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) (2000) Tulufan basin and paleo silk textile, Silk Roadology 8, Nara.

Yamanobe, T. (1979) Fabrics from the Silk Road, the Stein Collection, National Museum, Delhi, Kyoto (with English summary).

Yokohari, K. (1992) "On the Kucha silk and Kashgar silk encountered in the Turfan documents, BAOM 13, pp. 167-183 (with English summary).

Yokohari, K. (1997) "On the realization of the Chinese Samit", BAOM 18, pp. 99-155 (with English summary).

Yokohari, K. (2001) "Realization of Samit and its development", in K. Nagasawa and K. Yokohari, Dyeing and weaving history of Silk Road, Tokyo, pp. 69-236.

Publications in Chinese

Bo Xiaoying (1992) Textiles with pearl medallion motif discovered in Turfan region, in Zhao Hua (ed.), Works of art from ancient Turfan tombs, pp. 147-176, figs. 1-9.

Lin Meicun (1979), "Some Persian and Central Asian silver wares with inscriptions from China" (with English summary), Wenwu 1997/9, pp. 55-65 (with English summary).

Qi Dongfang (1999) Study on the silver bowl with stag design from Shapocun, Research on Tang gold and silver, Beijing, pp. 333-339 (with English summary, first published in Wenwu 1996/2).

Publications in Western languages

Azarpay, G. (1981) Sogdian painting, the pictorial epic in Oriental art, with contributions by A.M. Belenitskii, B.I. Marshak and M.J. Dresden, Berkeley, Los Angels, London.

Belenizki, A.M. (1980) Kunst der Sogden, Leipzig.

Belenitski, A.M., I.B. Bentovich, O.G. Bol'shakov (1973) Srednevekovyj gorod Srednej Azii, Leningrad.

Belenitskij, A.M., I.B. Bentovich, V.A. Livshits (1963) "Kamchatnye tkani s Gory Mug, Sovetskaja Etnografija 1963/4, pp. 108-119.

Chuvin, P. et al. (eds.) (1999) Les arts de l'Asie centrale, Paris.

Henning, W.B. (1945) "Two Central Asian words", reprinted in Selected papers 2 (Acta Iranica 15), Tehran-Liège, 1977, pp. 259-271.

Kageyama, E. (2002) "A Chinese way of depicting foreign delegates discerned in the painting of Afrasiab, in P. Huyse (ed.), Iran: Question et connaissances, actes du IVe congré européen des études iraniennes, organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea, Paris, 6-10 septembre 1999, Paris, pp. 309-323.

Marshak, B.I. (1971) Sogdijskoe serebro, ocherki po vostochnoj torevtike, Moskva.

Marshak, B.I. (1986) Silberschätze des Orients, Leipzig.

Marshak, B.I. (1990) "Les fouilles de Pendjikent", Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, pp. 286-313.

Marshak, B.I. (2001) "The Sogdians in their homeland", in A.L. Juliano and J.A. Lerner (eds.), Monks and Merchants, Silk Road treasures from Northwest China, New York, pp. 231-237.

Marshak, B.I. and V.I. Raspopova (1990) "Wall paintings from a house with a granary. Panjikent, 1st quarter of the eighth century A.D.", Silk Road Art and Archaeology 1, pp. 123-176.

Marshak, B.I. et V.I. Raspopova (1991) "Cultes communautaires et cultes privés en Sogdiane", in P. Bernard et F. Grenet (eds.), Histoire et cultes de l'Asie centrale préislamique, Paris, pp. 187-195, pls. 73-78.

Mode, M. (1993) Sogdien und die Herrscher der Welt, Türken, Sasaniden und Chinesen in Historiengemälden des 7. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. aus Alt-Samarqand, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, New York, Paris, Wien.

Mu Shunying (ed.) (1994) The ancient art in Xinjiang, China, Urumqi.

Seipel, W. (ed.) (1996) Weihrauch und Seide, Alte Kulturen an der Seidenstraße, Wien.

Shishkin, V.A. (1963) Varakhsha, Moskva.

Yokohari, K. (1991) An essay on the debut of the Chinese samit based on the study of Astana textiles, BAOM 12, pp. 41-101.

Zhao Feng (1999) Treasures in silk, Hong Kong.


Bulletin of the Ancient Orient Museum




Fig. 1 Patterns of textiles (in Pendzhikent mural)


Fig. 2.Patterns of textiles (Left, in Afrasiab mural, Right, in Varakhsha mural)


Fig. 3. Stag ornament (a, b. Textiles from Turfan, c. Silver bowl from Shapo, Xi'an, d. Silver dish from Perm region)

Table 1. Silks with an animal motif in pearl roundel from Turfan, group A




burial context

diam. of roundel



Kara-khoja TKM?:?




Turfan Museum, 1992, Urumqi, fig.141


Astana Ast. i. 5. 03


500-600 [Byzantine coin]


A. Stein, Innermost Asia 2, 1928, Oxford, pp. 676, 682-683, pl.


Astana Ast. i. 6. 01


632 [epitaph]


Innermost Asia 2, pp. 676, 683; Textile art (in Japanese) 30, 1984, fig. 26.






Study of Central Asian arts (in Japanese) 5, 1962, Kyoto, pl. 3, fig. 359.






M. Martiniani-Reber, Textiles et mode sassanides , 1997, Paris, no. 6.






R. Ghirshman, Iran, Parthes et Sassanides, 1962, Paris, fig. 279.

Table 2. Silks with an animal motif in pearl roundel from Turfan, group B




burial context

diam. of roundel



Kara-khoja TKM71:18




Wenwu 1978/6, p. 14, fig. 29; Mu Shunying (ed.) 1994, fig. 285. [Fig. 3a]


Astana TAM332:5


661-665 [documents]

20 cm

Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000, pls. 49, 50


Astana TAM337:13


657 [epitaph]568-663 [documents]

15 cm

Wenwu 1962/7-8, pp. 64-75, fig. 17, table 1, no. 24.


Astana TAM322:30


663 [epitaph]

20 cm l.
14 cm w.

Wenwu 1962/7-8, pp. 64-75, fig. 3, table 1, no. 27.


Astana TAM55:18




Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000, pls. 47, 48. [Fig. 3b]


Astana TAM84:5


574 [documents]


The Silk Road fabrics from the Han to the T'ang dynasty (in Chinese), 1973, Beijing, pl. 32


Astana Ast.v.1.01


667 [epitaph]


Innermost Aisa 2, pp. 658-659, 696-697; Yamanobe 1979, pl. 48.


Astana TAM?:?



14 cm l.
18 cm w.

Culture of the Tang dynasty(in Japanese), 1998, Shikoku Simbun, no. 112/5.


Astana TAM334




Wenwu 1962/7-8, pp. 64-75, table 1, no. 27, note, *no illustration.


Astana TAM325:1


659-663 [documents]

18 cm

Wenwu 1962/7-8, pp. 64-75, fig. 6, table 1, no. 26.


Astana TAM138:?


623-636 [documents]

14 cm l.
13 cm w.

Chinese arts (in Chinese), textile, vol. 1. Beijing, 1985, no. 147.


Astana TAM?:?



20 cm

Turfan Museum, fig. 191, with the caption "bear head design"


Astana TAM332:17


661-665 [documents]

20 cm l.
15 cm w.

Chinese arts, no. 143


Astana TAM?:?



24 cm

Turfan Museum, fig. 193.


Astana TAM138:17


623-636 [documents]

17 cm

The Silk Road fabrics from the Han to the T'ang dynasty, pl. 36.


Astana TAM42:?


665 [epitaph] 650-653 [documents]

17 cm l.
23 cm w.

Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000, pls. 51-52.


Astana Ast.vii.1.01



20 cm

Innermost Asia 2, pp. 662, 703; ibid 4, pl. 77; Yamanobe 1979, pl. 43

Table 3. Silverware with stag ornament







Silver bowl from Shapo village, Xi'an, National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing

1st half of the 7th c.

14.7 cm d.
4 cm h.

Wenwu 1964/6, p. 31, fig. 1; Lin Meicun 1997. [Fig. 3c]


Silver dish from Perm region, Russia

2nd half of the 7th c.

22 cm d.

Marschak 1986, fig. 41. [Fig. 3d]


Silver vessel from Kirov region, Russia, State Hermitage Museum

2nd half of the 8th c.

10 cm h.

Marschak 1986, figs. 61-64.


Silver vessel from Kurgan region, Russia, State Hermitage Museum

c. 800

21 cm d.

Marschak 1986, fig. 65.


Silver bowl from Iran (?), Tenri Sankokan Museum, Nara

7th-8th c.

13.2 cm d.

Silkroad gold and silver in Japan (in Japanese), 1981, Tokyo, pl. 32.


Silver bottle from Iran (?), Middle Eastern Culture Center, Tokyo

6th-7th c.

22.3 cm h.

Treasures of the Orient (in Japanese), 1979, Tokyo, pl. 137.


Silver ewer, private collection, New York


40 cm h.

R. Ghirshman, Iran, Parthes et Sassanides, 1962, Paris, fig. 241.



* Research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

1. D.G. Shepherd and W.B. Henning, Zandanîjî identified?", in R. Ettinghausen (ed.), Aus der Welt der islamischen Kunst: Festschrift für E. Kühnel, 1959, Berlin, pp. 15-40. Since then, this silk had been regarded as "brocade with paired rams motif", but Zhao Feng has rightly pointed out that its motif is not rams but stags (Zhao Feng 1999, p. 112, fig. 03.07b).

2 A.A.Ierusalimskaja, "K slozheniju shkoly khdozhestvennogo shelkotkachestva", Srednjaja Azija i Iran, Leningrad, 1972, pp. 5-58. These kinds of textiles which still reserve their bright colors have recently been discovered: K. Otavsky (ed.), Entlang der Seidenstraße, Riggisberger Berichte 6, 1998, Riggisberg, figs. 1-6, 10; J. C. Y. Watt and A. E. Wardwell, When silk was gold, Central Asian and Chinese textiles, New York, 1999, pl. 5; Gandhara and Silk Road arts, the Hirayama Ikuo Collection (in Japanese), 2000, Asahi Shimbun, nos. 198-199.

3 Papers of Marshak and Raspopova presented at the symposium (Textile art between Persia and China in the early Middle Ages) held at Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg, Switzerland, on October 7-8, 1999, (B.I. Marshak, "So-called Zandanîjî silks in comparison with the art of Sogdia; V.I. Raspopova, "Textiles represented in the Sogdian murals, Riggisberger Berichte, forthcoming); Marshak 2001, p. 237, n. 19.

4 Y. Yoshida kindly provided the following note, "Sogdian word zyrnwfc has same origin as the New Persian word zarbâft which means "brocade". The meaning of spt'k in Manichaean Sogdian documents published by W. Sundermann is most likely to be interpreted as "brocade" from the context (W. Sundermann, Der Sermon von der Seele, Berliner Turfantexte 19, 1997, Turnhout, Belgium, p. 86). W. B. Henning thinks that the zwynk'h mentioned together with pryng are precious textiles like brocades (Henning 1945, pp. 260-261)". I am grateful to Y. Yoshida for a wide range of advice on Sogdian words and many other points.

5 M.P. Vinokurova, "Tkani iz zamka na Gore Mug", Izvestija otdelenija obshshestvennykh nauk AN Tadzhikskoj SSR 14, 1957, pp. 17-32 (I owe thanks to K. Sakamoto for being able to use this inaccessible article); I.B. Bentovich, "Nakhodki na Gore Mug, Materialy i issledovanija po arkheologii SSSR 66, 1958, pp. 358-383; Belenitskij, Bentovich, Livshits 1963. The number of silk fragments unearthed at Mount Mug varies by research paper and the number cited here is that given in the article of Belenitskij, Bentovich, Livshits. The fragment of Chinese brocade and the pouch sewn from Chinese damask silks, both from Mount Mug, are published in The State Hermitage, Masterpieces from the Museum's Collection 1, 1994, London, nos. 425 and 426. On the motif of the damask silks of the pouch see Lubo-Lesnitchenko and Sakamoto 1987, fig. 2. On the Mug documents see the article of F. Grenet and É. de la Vaissière in Silk Road Art and Archaeology 8, 2002, pp. 155-196.

6 On Sogdian paintings see especially Belenizki 1980; Azarpay 1981; Marshak 1990; L.I. Al'baum, Zhivopis' Afrasiaba, 1975, Tashkent; Shishkin 1963; A. Berdimuradov et M. Samibaev (avec des notes aditionnelles par F. Grenet et B. Marshak), Une nouvelle peinture murale sogdienne dans le temple de Dzartepa II, Studia Iranica 30, 2001, pp. 45-66; N. N. Negmatov, "Ustrushana, Ferghana, Chach and Ilak", in B.A. Litvinsky (ed.), The crossroads of civilizations: A. D. 250 to 750, History of civilizations of Central Asia 3, 1996, Paris, pp. 259-280; Tanabe and Maeda (eds.) 1999; Chuvin et al. (eds.) 1999.

7 V.A. Shishkin, "O xudozhestvennom remesle v Srednej Azii V-VIII vv. po pamjatnikam drevnej zhivopisi (tekstil'), Kratkie soobshshenija Instituta Istorii Material'noj Kul'tury 80, 1960, pp. 22-25; I. B. Bentovich, "Rekonstruktsija uzora Sogdijskoj tkani VII-VIII vv, Sovetskaja Arkheologija 1964/4, pp. 196-199; Belenitskij, Bentovich, Bol'shakov 1973, pp. 94-97.

8 It is summarized in Marshak 2001, pp. 236-237.

9 Roman numeral/Arabic numeral assigned to each drawings of Fig. 1 signifies the place where paintings have been discovered. For example, the painting of Fig. 1b (VII/24) was excavated at room 24 in block VII of the site.

10 See Belenizki 1980, pl. 38 (on the right) and the Chinese damask silks in Textile art 7 (in Japanese), 1980, Kyoto, pp. 16-17, fig. 15.

11 On the animal motifs in pearl medallions in the art of Iran, Central Asia and China see C. A. Bromberg, "Sasanian royal emblems in the Northern Caucasus", in Proceedings of the first European conference of Iranian studies 1, Old and Middle Iranian studies, 1990, 1990, pp. 1-17.

12 Marshak 1971, pp. 138-139; G. Azarpay, "Some Iranian iconographic formulae in Sogdian painting", Iranica Antiqua 9, 1976, pp. 168-177; K. Tanabe, "Winged camelus bactrianus in Sogdian art" (in Japanese with English summary), Bulletin of the Society for Near Eastern studies in Japan 25/1, 1982, pp. 50-72. A series of Sasanian and Sasanian-type coins has a countermark of animal motifs similar to the senmurv together with the Sogdian inscription prn /farn/ "glory, fortune". Nikitin and Roth have conjectured that the countermark could have been stamped in Sogdiana, (or in Tokharistan, Northern India) in the end of the seventh century. But such a small figure of the animal (less than 1 cm) can not be examined in detail, so we can not assume that Sogdian art has the motif of Sasanian type of senmurv on the grounds of the countermark in question (A. Nikitin and G. Roth, "A new seventh-century countermark with a Sogdian inscription, The numismatic chronicle 1995, pp. 277-279. pl. 49; F. Thierry, "Sur les monnaies des türgesh, in M. Alarm and D. E. Klimburg-Salter (eds.), Coins, art, and chronology, essays on the pre-Islamic history of the Indo-Iranian borderlands, 1999, Wien, pp. 321-349, figs. 13, 14.

13 Wenwu 1962/7-8, pp. 64-75; ibid. 1978/6, pp. 1-14; The Silk Road fabrics from the Han to the T'ang dynasty (in Chinese), 1973, Beijing; Yamanobe 1979; Chinese arts (in Chinese), textile, vol. 1, 1985, Beijing; Wu Min, Textiles and embroideries (in Chinese), 1992, Taipei; Zhao Feng 1999; Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000; Yokohari 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001 etc.

14 M. Arakawa (ed.), "Table of ancient tombs excavated in Astana" , "Table of ancient tombs excavated in Kara-khoja, Bulletin of the society for excavated articles in Turfan, vols. 8-11, 14, 1989.

15 P. Ackerman, "Textiles through the Sasanian period", A Survey of Persian Art 2, 1964, Tokyo, (first published in 1938-39 in Oxford, London, New York), pp. 702-703; D. Shepherd, "Sasanian art", in E. Yarshater (ed.), The Cambridge history of Iran 3(2), Cambridge, London, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, Sydney, 1983, pp. 1109-1110.

16 The following are proposed as the producing districts of the group B by scholars of ancient textiles: Sogdiana, concerning both groups A and B of my classification, Zhao Feng 1999, pp. 97, 110; "Central Asia (including Chinese Turkestan) (Sogdiana), K. Sakamoto's article in Research Center for Silk Roadology (ed.) 2000, pp. 128-141 (table 1); "Iran (Khorasan), Central Asia (Sogdiana), Turfan", K. Yokohari's article in ibid., p. 196; China, Wu Min's article in ibid., pp. 148-150; by Sogdians in Turfan, A. Sheng, Asia Major 11/2, 1998, pp. 149-155.

17 Judging from the type of antler, stags represented on the silks and silverware concerned depict the Cervus elaplus inhabiting in Northern Eurasia region.

18 Bo Xiaoying 1992 has already drawn attention to the fact that stag ornaments are represented on many silk textiles from Turfan, and she assumed that they are not the production of Sasanian but of Central Asian. But she did not classify the textiles with animal motifs according to the accuracy of weaving technology.

19 In the article of Lin Meicun 1997, N. Sims-Williams has proposed a reading of the inscription Zrwmßntk (instead of z, ? or n is possible for the first letter of the word) as a name of a person,"slave of Zurwan.

20 Fig. 3c, d and Table 3 in this paper are made using fig. 3-30 in Qi Dongfang 1999. I added an ewer from a private collection of New York (Table 2, No. 7) to the list of Qi Dongfang. B. Marshak has independently arrived at the conclusion that the bowl from Shapo village was made in Sogdiana (Ars Orientalis 29, 1999, p. 105).

21 S. Beal, Si-yu-ki, Buddhist records of the Western world 1, 1976, Francisco (first published in 1884 in London). pp. 27-28.



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