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Terra Cognita: Technological approaches along the High Mountain Silk Road

Author(s): Michael Frachetti ; Edward Henry ; Taylor Hermes ; Elissa Bullion ; Farhod Maksudov

Year: 2017

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Summary

Using remote sensing techniques along with standard archaeological survey in 2011 our collaborative team discovered the Silk Road city of Tashbulak, located at roughly 2000m elevation, in the mountains of Uzbekistan. The modern environmental and political particulars of this high-altitude city made the use of aerial photography and Geophysics essential tools for documenting this unexpected mountain site and allowing for clear documentation and targeted research in a (geographically) restricted and remote territory of Central Asia. Our archaeological investigations make full use of a broad suite of digital technologies, including kite photography, 3-D photogrametry, magnetometry, and ground penetrating radar, GIS, and digital simulation to reconstruct a "live view" of a unique and alternative form of urbanism pioneered by medieval nomads in the high-mountains of Inner Asia (ca. 1000 CE). Ultimately, these approaches allow us to tell a new story about the complex interactions, economic relationships, and political and ideological lives of the Qarakhanid Empire, Asia's largest nomadic Empire before "the Mongols".


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Terra Cognita: Technological approaches along the High Mountain Silk Road. Michael Frachetti, Edward Henry, Taylor Hermes, Elissa Bullion, Farhod Maksudov. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431193)


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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14779

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America