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Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Silk Roads by Christop Baumer. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dustjacket. Publisher: I. B. Tauris (2014). Pages: 288. Size: 12 x 9½ x 1½ inches; 5½ pounds. The Age of the Silk Roads (c 200 BC- c 900 AD) shaped the course of the future. The foundation by the Han dynasty of an extensive network of interlinking trade routes, collectively known as the Silk Road, led to an explosion of cultural and commercial transactions across Central Asia that had a profound impact on civilization. In this second volume of his authoritative history of the region, Christoph Baumer explores the unique flow of goods, peoples and ideas along the dusty tracks and wandering caravan routes that brought European and Mediterranean orbits into contact with Asia. The Silk Roads, the author shows, enabled the spread across the known world of Christianity, Manichaeism, Buddhism and Islam, just as earlier they had caused Roman citizens to crave the exotic silk goods of the mysterious Far East. Tracing the rise and fall of empires, this richly illustrated book charts the ebb and flow of epic history: the bitter rivalry of Rome and Parthia; the lucrative mercantile empire of the Sogdians; the founding of Samarkand; and Chinese defeat at the Battle of Talas (751 AD) by the forces of Islam. This is the story above all of imperial ambition: not just of the Romans, Byzantines, Parthians, Sasanians, or Arabs, but also of migratory peoples whose influence shaped the history of Central Asia and beyond. These includes the infamous Huns of Attila, who in the fourth century A.D. poured south and westward, heralding the rise of semi-nomadic Turkic states that in the second half of the first millennium dominated the region. Towards the end of that period these Turkic peoples, along with those of Tibet, China, and Arabia, fought for the right to rule. As Baumer makes clear, their territorial contests resulted in the collapse of four empires, the shift of transcontinental trade from ;land to sea, and the final division of Central Asia into Muslim and non-Muslim halves. Augmented by the author’s spectacular photographs, many sites and artifacts that are barely known in the West, this luxurious volume will be an essential reference tool for the specialist – whether of history, antiquity, archaeology, or religion – and a book to brose enjoyably, many times over, by the armchair traveler and general reader. CONDITION: NEW. MASSIVE new hardcover with dustjacket. I.B.Tauris (2014) 288 pages. Unblemished and pristine in every respect. Pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8208a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: In this second volume of his authoritative history of the region, Christoph Baumer explores the unique flow of goods, peoples and ideas along the dusty tracks and wandering caravan routes that brought European and Mediterranean orbits into contact with Asia. REVIEW: Christoph Baumer (born June 23, 1952 in Zurich) is a Swiss scholar and explorer. From 1984 onwards, he has conducted explorations in Central Asia, China and Tibet, the results of which have been published in numerous books, scholarly publications and radio programs. REVIEW: Christoph Baumer - a leading explorer and historian of Central Asia, Tibet and China - has written several well-received books in the fields of history, religion, archaeology and travel. These include “The Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity” (2006), “Traces in the Desert: Journeys of Discovery across Central Asia” (2008) and “China's Holy Mountain: An Illustrated Journey into the Heart of Buddhism” (2011), all published by I.B.Tauris. Dr. Baumer is President of the Society for the Exploration of EurAsia and a member of the Explorer’s Club, New York, and the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographical Society, London. The first of his four-volume “The History of Central Asia”, subtitled “The Age of the Steppe Warriors”, was published – also by I.B. Tauris – to great acclaim in 2012. REVIEW: Table of Contents. Introduction. PART I: EARLY EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS IN EAST CENTRAL ASIA. 1. The Xiongnu, the First Steppe Nomad Empire. 1.1. The Chinese Sources. 1.2. The Early Xiongnu and Their Ancestors. 1.3. The Xiongnu Rise to Power. 1.4. The Xiongnu Exact Tribute from China. 1.5. The Xiongnu and China Fight Over East Turkestan. Excursus: Ambassador Zhang Qian Scouts Out the Silk Road to Sogdiana and Bactria. 1.6. China Acquires 'Horses That Sweat Blood' and East Central Asia Becomes a Chinese Protectorate. 1.7. The Collapse of the Xiongnu Steppe Empire. 1.8. Xiongnu Customs in Life and Death. 1.9. The Second Chinese Protectorate Over the 'Western Regions'. 2. The Wusun. 3. The Parthians: An Empire between East and West. 4. Kingdoms of Central Asian Peoples in Afghanistan and the North of the Indian Subcontinent. 4.1. The Indo-Greek Kingdoms. 4.2. The Indo-Saka Rulers. 4.3. The Indo-Parthian Kingdom. 4.4. The Yuezhi and the Kushan Empire. 4.4.1. The 'Long March' of the Yuezhi. 4.4.2. The Kushan Empire. 4.4.3. Silk and the Kushan Trade Network. 4.4.4. The Kushan Pantheon and its Dynastic Art. PART II: EARLY BUDDHISM IN CENTRAL ASIA AND THE GANDHARA SCHOOL. 1. Indian Buddhism before the Kushans. 2. Diffusion into Central Asia. Excursus: A Murder Uncovers East Turkestan's Pre-Islamic Past. 3. The Art of Gandhara. PART III: THE MIGRATION OF HUNNIC PEOPLES TO NORTHERN CHINA, CENTRAL ASIA AND EASTERN EUROPE. 1. Mongolia and North-West China: the 'Barbarian' Kingdoms of the Xiongnu, the Xianbei and the Rouran, Supporters of Buddhism. 1.1. The Four Xiongnu States and the Emergence of Early Buddhist Art in north-west China. 1.2. The Northern Wei and the Yungang Grottoes. 1.3. The Rouran and Gaoche. 2. Hunnic Peoples of Central Asia. 2.1. The Chionites. 2. 2. The Kidarites 2.3. The Central Asian Hephthalites. 2.4. The Alkhan. 2.5. The Nezak. 3. Pre-Islamic Chorasmia. 4. The Huns of Eastern Europe. PART IV: THE KINGDOMS OF THE TARIM BASIN AND THEIR SCHOOLS OF BUDDHIST ART. 1. The Archaeological Exploration of the Tarim Basin - An Overview. 1.1. Early Explorers of the Southern Silk Road. 1.2. The Riddle of the Lop-Nor Lake - Nikolai Przhevalsky and Sven Hedin. 1.3. Sir Aurel Stein, Pioneer Archaeologist of the Tarim Basin. 1.4. The Exploration of the Northern Silk Road. 1.5 Latest Research. 2. The Southern Silk Road. 2.1. Kashgar and Yarkand. 2.2. The Kingdom of Khotan. 2.2.1. Origins and History. 2.2.2. Artworks in the Sands. Excursus: Jade, Silk and Paper. 2.3. The Kingdom of Shan-shan. 3. The Northern Silk Road. 3.1. The Kingdom of Kucha. 3.2. The Kingdoms of Jiaohe and Gaochang in the Turfan Oasis. Excursus: The Karez Irrigation System. PART V: THE FIRST TURKIC KHAGANATE. 1. A Two-in-One Khaganate. 1.1. A Military and Commercial Alliance with Byzantium. 1.2. Buddhism, Funerary Rituals, and the Splitting of the Khaganate. 2. The Eastern Turkic Khaganate. Excursus: Chinese Pilgrim Monks. 3. The Western Turkic Khaganate. PART VI: TURKIC KINGDOMS OF EASTERN EUROPE. 1. The Empire of the Avars (568-796). 2. The Pre-Christian Bulgar Empires. 2.1. Great Bulgaria on the Sea of Azov. 2.2. The Empire of the Volga Bulgars. 2.3. The First Empire of the Danube Bulgars. Excursus: Ahmad ibn Fadlan's Journey to the Volga Bulgars. 3. The Khazars and the Adoption of Judaism. PART VII: THE SOGDIANS. 1. A Trade Empire from the Crimea to China. 1.1. Sogdian Trade before Old Turkic Rule. 1.2. The Sogdian-Turkic Alliance. 2. Sogdian Religion and Art. Excursus: The Church of the East. 3. De Facto Independence under Nominal Chinese Rule. 4. The Arab Conquest of Sogdiana. PART VIII: THE SECOND TURKIC KHAGANATE AND THE TURGESH. 1. The Unification of the Turkic Tribes. 2. A Short-Lived Great Power. 3. The Western Turkic Türgesh. PART IX: CHINA, TIBET AND THE ARABS: THE STRUGGLE FOR SUPREMACY IN CENTRAL ASIA. 1. The Emergence of Tibet as a Major Central Asian Power. 2. Sassanid Princes Seek Chinese Military Assistance. 3. The Tibetan-Chinese War in the Pamirs. 3.1. The Turkic-Sogdian Insurrection of An Lushan. 4. East Turkestan and the Pamirs under Tibetan Suzerainty. 4.1. The Tibetan Reconquest. 4.2. Central Asian Influence on Tibetan Culture. 4.3. Tibetan Withdrawal from Central Asia. PART X: THE UYGHURS. 1. The Early History. 2. The Uyghur Empire. Excursus: Manichaeism. 3.1. The Flight of the Uyghur Tribes. 3.1. Uyghur Refugees at the Northern Border of China. 3.2. The Western Uyghur Kingdoms. 3.2.1. The Uyghur Kingdom in Gansu. 3.2.2. The Uyghur Kingdom of Kocho. PART XI: OUTLOOK. Appendix. The Most Important Dynasties and Rulers of Central Asia. Notes. Bibliography. List of Maps. Photo Credits. Acknowledgements. Index. Concepts. People. Places. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Christoph Baumer devotes the second book of his four-volume history of Central Asia to the Silk Roads, those extraordinarily significant routes that linked the Eurasian civilizations. He provides an excellent description, focusing on their importance in cultural diffusion. In this well-written survey, Baumer offers the reader a clear portrait of the array of societies that flourished along the Silk Roads. Just as valuable, he emphasizes the means by which religions, methods of governance, and technological innovations spread across Eurasia. He enlivens the text with colorful depictions of rulers, commanders, and voyagers who played notable roles in Silk Roads history. Well-versed in the secondary literature, Baumer provides fine coverage of the Silk Roads' numerous influences on civilizations. [Morris Rossabi, Distinguished Professor of History, The City University of New York and Adjunct Professor of Inner Asian History, Columbia University]. REVIEW: In an age of specialists, Christoph Baumer is a rare creature: a generalist. Explorer, archaeologist, adventurer, enthusiast, historian, photographer - no one could be better qualified to tackle a subject so vast in time and space. He must be a book lover, for this, the first of four volumes on the subject, is a gorgeous creation, with creamy paper, crisp design and perfect color pictures...A cultural guidebook on a grand scale...[it] is stamped with his personality...The start of a truly monumental undertaking. [Literary Review]. REVIEW: "The Age of the Silk Roads" is as magnificent as it is magisterial. From landscapes and ancient stelae to artifacts of gold, bronze, wood and even textile, the book is filled with images that are in turn fascinating, mysterious and dazzling. For the most part, the photos are of places that are inaccessible to most of us or of artifacts from museums in Russia and Central Asia that few readers will have ever visited..."The Age of the Silk Roads" is a beautiful, evocative and thought-provoking book. [Asian Review of Books]. REVIEW: Christoph Baumer’s four-book-series on Central Asia reveals the author to be a person whose skills encompass a wide range of exacting disciplines. He begins with the imperial histories of the early central Asian kingdoms, interlaced with a complex migration of peoples. This leads on to the establishment of the powerful Sogdian kingdom, the foundation of Samarqand and the more recent migrations of Turkic nomads. Later, a powerful, independent Tibet spreads Buddhism through conquest. This in turn, gives way to Islam whose effects are with us today. Baumer shows how these fluctuating empires and their religions formed strategic outposts along the Silk Roads and how this commercial network expanded as rapid economic growth was generated by one imperial dynasty after another. The Silk Roads later evolved into tribute routes where silk was handed over to gain access into nomadic fiefdoms. It was also used to purchase vital commodities such as horses. As such, silk was essential in weaving together the powerful steppe empires of Central Asia – little wonder the name, Silk Road, is still used by us today. It is in the Taklamakan Desert that Baumer made his own spectacular finds, notably the discovery of the only stone inscription in the Central Asian Gandhari language. He also discovered the only known Han dynasty watchtower in the interior of the Desert of Lop. Not unnaturally, a large section of the book concentrates on these. It was here, and especially in the ancient city of Lou Lan, that the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin and the British archaeologist Aurel Stein made some of their greatest finds. It is difficult to fault this remarkable book with its stunning photography – much of it taken by the author who combines the qualities of an academic and a man-of-action. It will, I believe, become a standard reference for all who study the complex history of Central Asia and the Silk Road. [John Hare, Geographical]. REVIEW: It is difficult to fault this remarkable volume. The publishers have created a book of quality with stunning illustrations and lucid maps. It will, I believe, become a standard reference for all who study the complex history of Central Asia and the Silk Road. This is the second volume in Christoph Baumer’s projected four-book series on Central Asia and shows its author to be an extraordinary person, whose skills encompass those of an explorer, a geographer, a historian, an archaeologist and a photographer. Moreover, in each of these exacting disciplines he is no amateur. He displays the rare qualities of both an academic and a man of action. His sparkling prose ensures that the armchair traveller will not nod off. He starts with the creation of the early Central Asian empires, their collapse and replacement by subsequent kingdoms. These imperial histories are interlaced with a complex migration of peoples and lead on to the establishment of the powerful Sogdian kingdom, the foundation of Samarkand and the more recent migrations of Turkic nomads. Tibet is shown as a major power, influencing, through battles and Buddhism, vast sections of the Silk Road. Then Islam appears and its effect upon the old Silk Road oases in Xinjiang is still with us today. These empires, peoples and their religions formed strategic outposts along the Silk Road, that vast trading highway, which for centuries connected diverse and far-flung sedentary empires. This commercial network expanded as rapid economic growth was generated by one imperial dynasty after another. Perhaps the most important of all the many commodities which were carried along these frequently dangerous highways was in fact silk. Highly valued as a material in Europe, partly because lice could not obtain a foothold, it also served as a currency for such varied activities as the payment of salaries, the purchase of horses and for tribute to gain entrance into nomadic empires. As such, the Silk Roads became tribute routes, and silk played an essential role in weaving together the powerful steppe empires of Central Asia. Little wonder China jealousy guarded the mysteries of its manufacture until, so the story goes, a Chinese princess inadvertently gave the secret away in the powerful state of Khotan, south of the Taklamakan desert, some time around the third century AD. It is in the Taklamakan that Baumer has made his own spectacular archaeological finds, notably an Iron Age cemetery and the only stone inscription in the Central Asian Gandhari language. He also found the only known Han dynasty watchtower in the interior of the desert of Lop. Because of the author’s personal engagement his book exudes authority. Not unnaturally, a large section of the book concentrates on the Taklamakan desert and the desert of Lop, which from this reviewer’s experience are the harshest in the world. It was in these deserts, and especially in the ancient city of Lou Lan, that the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin and the British archaeologist Aurel Stein made some of their greatest finds. These have contributed to much of our primary knowledge concerning the migration of peoples and the shift of imperial fortunes on this section of the Silk Road. I have only only one criticism. Baumer does not give due credit to the Bactrian camel, for thousands of years the ‘ship of the desert’ along huge stretches of the Silk Road. He states that in the area of the lake of Lop Nur ‘no animal can survive in this waterless wasteland’. Well, not quite. I found numerous footprints of the incredible, wild double-humped camel on the dried-up lakebed — and they appeared in Lou Lan too, one of the bleakest places on earth. [The Spectator]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: This is the second in a four volume series by the same author and weighty hardback at least twice the size of the volume I had expected to arrive through the post. But this is a terrific book, stunningly illustrated with full color pictures that show the landscape, the archaeological artifacts and the ruins of the Central Asian societies that traded along the ancient Silk Roads. It was no surprise to discover that the author had originally studied Art History and that he subsequently explored parts of Central Asia in person. There is hardly a page of this book without a useful image or photograph to augment the text. Some are of museum objects, or the ruined remains of significant buildings, while others are placed to give the reader a glimpse of the various wilderness landscapes through which these trading 'roads' passed. The quality of the glossy paper used throughout the book does justice to these pictures. In particular, the explanatory maps that accompany the text are the best I have seen, with the information superimposed in colour onto satellite images of the entire area. This is a real boost to the reader's understanding of the regions, the distances and the terrains that it covers. The text is well written and historically accurate while the list of secondly sources referenced is formidable. I was also pleased to see an acknowledgment that religious beliefs, as well as material culture, were conveyed by the merchants, soldiers and travelers who used these ancient trails through desert places. This is especially evident in a section in chapter two on the east/west influences in Buddhist Gadhara art, located in modern Pakistan. Chapter four on the Tarim region was also interesting, beginning with an acknowledgement of the previous explorers of this place. So, over all, I think this book is a 'must' for anyone interested in the ancient history of Central Asia and the Silk Roads. REVIEW: I have always been fascinated about the history of Central Asia and was bought this book for Christmas, The story unfolds across the whole panorama telling the story of Han China's expansion into the Tarim basin, the rise and fall of the Xionungu, Kushan empires and the other empires that followed during this period that the book covers. The detail of the text and wonderful pictures are keeping me turning page after page and the author deserves praise for his research that he has put into this and the earlier volume (which I have now decided that I will purchase too). I found it really interesting about the routes of the Silk Road and the trade that flourished between the states and how even the Romans knew about and sent trade delegations to the peoples of central Asia to try to bypass the Parthian and Sassanid middle men. The Rise of Islam, Tibet, and the other Steppe peoples as they clashed with the re-emergence of Tang China as a big player in the 7th century. The maps showing the trade routes and various states are really informative and helps brings to life the whole area from the wind swept mountains and parched deserts that the various travelers, explorers and statesmen crossed in their search for knowledge, power and exploration. I look forward to reading the next volume soon if it is anything like this one. REVIEW: This is one truly beautiful book. It is nicely written and more than interesting. Though oversized and lavishly illustrated, it does not read like a coffee table book but more like the best kind of text book. Some may consider that a criticism, but a really fine text book is valuable and this has definite hints of that kind of writing. I have learned a tremendous amount about a part of the world which is rarely touched on by our social studies curriculum. As I've suspected for some time, we really should try to include a unit on the contributions made by the people of this part of the world over the course of history. REVIEW: I enjoyed this more than the first volume. Like the first it is beautifully presented and full of fabulous photographs. It presents a broad and generally interesting history of Central Asia from different perspectives. It describes parts of world history which are interesting and probably unknown to most readers. Overall this is an enjoyable to read and sumptuously presented book. I look forward to volume 3. REVIEW: Total satisfaction: this is a top quality book packaged beautifully and delivered promptly at a competitive price. REVIEW: Excellent. It covers bits that other authors don't, but equally relies on and references those whose work he uses. REVIEW: Very well presented. Authoritative and detailed historical text with outstanding photographs. REVIEW: This is a good history book. I look forward to the rest of the series. REVIEW: Gorgeous and insightful book. A great treatment of an overlooked culture, REVIEW: Good solid material for an introduction to the field. Pictures help create context of the prose very well. REVIEW: Fabulous detail on early history of Asia. REVIEW: Superb book. Pictures are outstanding. REVIEW: Five stars! Superb book! REVIEW: Very interesting and thorough, lavishly illustrated. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). However this book is quite heavy, and it is too large to fit into a flat rate mailer. Therefore the shipping costs are somewhat higher than what is otherwise ordinary. There is a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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