MAIASP. 2022. No. S1

Mikhail Treister (Bonn, Germany)

Whether the “Fur Road” existed in HAN period?


DOI: 10.53737/2713-2021.2022.30.80.003

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Pages: 50109

The lack of specificity and systematic approach to the treatment of archaeological material forces me, within the framework of one publication, to consider in dynamics and to identify the correlation of the distribution of Chinese imports in the West, i.e. in the burials of the nomads of Asian Sarmatia and in the Northern Black Sea region, on the one hand, and of Western and Central Asian imports in China and in the Xiongnu necropoleis of the Han period. Despite the multi-vector connections that demonstrate some of the elite burials of the nomads of Asian Sarmatia in the 1st century BCE — 3rd century CE, it is difficult to talk about the existence of a stable movement of goods from China to the Northern Black Sea region and in the opposite direction along the land route.

Even if we take into account the fact that goods that are difficult to be fixed archaeologically, for example, furs, were transported to the east, as was the case in the Early Middle Ages, a significantly larger number of finds of Chinese and Central Asian objects in the territory of Asian Sarmatia and the Northern Black Sea region, rather than objects that could be identified as North Pontic (or transiting through the Northern Black Sea region), in the burials of the Xiongnu in Mongolia and in the necropoleis of the Han period in China, attracts attention.

The picture reflects the movement of certain categories of goods from east to west as a result of intertribal exchange and (or) migrations in the Middle Sarmatian period. In the Late Sarmatian period, objects of Chinese origin were not distributed to the west of the Southern Urals, and Roman imports did not penetrate to the east of the Southern Urals and Trans-Urals. Both of them were sent specifically to this region, and merchants both from the North Pontic area and from Kangju (?) were attracted by the same goods available here, probably furs.

Key words: Eurasia, China, Asian Sarmatia, North Pontic area, Chinese and Roman imports, Silk Road, Fur Road.

Received November 25, 2022

Accepted for publication December 12, 2022

About the author:

Treister Mikhail (Bonn, Germany). Dr. phil. habil. (RUS), Independent researcher