The Silk Road First Issue

foxy silk

Since the Soviet collapse, the nations of Central Asia have shaken off imposed obscurity to make headlines of their own. The emergence of these new states has helped to focus attention once again on their history, culture, and people. For most of us, these were places whose names we barely knew a decade ago. Collectively they form the heart of Eurasia. Today they may be known as Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrghizstan, but in the more remote past, along with Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and Gansu, they evoked images of the ancient Silk Road – oases, caravanserai, nomads, strange empires, fantastic beasts, and exotic people. The public fascination with these distant lands has rekindled a dormant curiosity in the obscure past and modern folkways of what we now call Central Asia – the lands which embraced the multitude branches of the ancient Silk Road.

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