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From the editor's desktop 3
Images from Ancient Iran: Selected Treasures from the National Museum in Tehran. A photographic essay., 4
Ancient Uighur Mausolea Discovered in Mongolia,
by Ayudai Ochir, Tserendorj Odbaatar, Batsuuri Ankhbayar, and Lhagwasüren Erdenebold 16
The archaeology of Uighur period sites in Mongolia (8th-9th centuries) is advancing rapidly. The article describes the results of excavations at several Uighur cemeteries, which feature structures known as durvuljin and where burials are often in chamber tombs, at least one of which to date contains some mural paintings.
The Hydraulic Systems in Turfan (Xinjiang),
by Arnaud Bertrand 27
The irrigation systems in oases along the Silk Road are a subject of great interest. For the important Turfan oasis, there have been misunderstandings about the introduction of the system of underground karez (qanat) channels to tap the ground water coming from the neighboring mountains. The “hydraulic specialists” employed various techniques and drew upon the local excavation and construction experience in developing the karez, which was hardly an original invention of the region.
New Evidence about Composite Bows and their Arrows in Inner Asia,
by Michaela R. Reisinger 42
Well-preserved remains of bows and their arrows from recent excavations of Xiongnu burials in western Mongolia expand our knowledge of the construction and use of these weapons. The article is illustrated with many photographs and drawings of the finds and charts comparing them with finds from other locations in Inner Asia.
An Experiment in Studying the Felt Carpet from Noyon uul by the Method of Polypolarization,
by V. E. Kulikov, E. Iu. Mednikova, Iu. I. Elikhina, and S. S. Miniaev 63
A new method of illumination which great enhances image quality in micro-photography has enabled the authors to determine with some certainty that the famous felt carpet from Noyon uul barrow no. 6 was created using camel hair.
The Old Curiosity Shop in Khotan,
by Daniel C. Waugh and Ursula Sims-Williams 69
Photographs taken by the British Consul at Kashgar, Clarmont P. Skrine, when visiting Khotan in 1922 help document the activities of one of the key local purveyors of antiquities, Badruddin Khan. The article provides an overview of the Khotan antiquities trade in the period, identifies the current locations of the material Skrine photographed, and focuses on the Skrine Collection now housed in the British Museum and British Libraries. The descriptive review of the manuscripts in the collection provides examples of how such material came to be divided amongst several repositories and cautions users not to make undocumented assumptions about provenance.
Nomads and Settlement: New Perspectives in the Archaeology of Mongolia,
by Daniel C. Waugh 97
Older misunderstandings about the role of settlements in the life of Inner Asian pastoralists are now being challenged by a great deal of new archaeological data. The article reviews a broad range of work on settlement sites in “greater Mongolia” (that is, the territory of the current republic and adjoining areas in Russia and China).
Book notices 125

For the full pdf text of The Silk Road, Vol. 8 (2010), click here.