Qarakhanid Roads to China

A History of Sino-Turkic Relations


Qarakhanid Roads to China reconsiders the diplomacy, trade and geography of transcontinental networks between Central Asia and China from the 10th to the 12th centuries and challenges the concept of “the Silk Road crisis” in the period between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the rise of the Mongols. Utilizing a broad range of Islamic and Chinese primary sources together with archaeological data, Dilnoza Duturaeva demonstrates the complexity of interaction along the Silk Roads and beyond that, revolutionizes our understanding of the Qarakhanid world and Song-era China’s relations with neighboring regions.
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Dilnoza Duturaeva, Ph.D. (2011), Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, is Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Research Fellow at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
"Her encyclopedic knowledge and patient teasing out of her conclusions from philological sources in Chinese, Turkish, Arabic and Persian, are admirable. [...] Qarakhanid Roads to China offers a comprehensive portrait of the peoples and the activities of this little-known era of the Silk Road, and will be a valuable reference for students and scholars alike."
– David Chaffetz, in Asian Review of Books (2022).

"Overall, this book is an excellent example of the importance of integrating data from Chinese sources as well as archaeological, art-historical and numismatic studies to shed light into this little-studied historical period of Central Asian history, and, by extension, the aspects of global medieval trade that the Qarakhanids were part of. The revised political history of the Qarakhanids can be written only thanks to such works that bridge sources from multiple languages and disciplines. There is certainly much additional work to do in Qarakhanid studies."
– Dilrabo Tosheva, in Central Asian Survey (2022), DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2022.2110354.
List of Maps, Tables and Figures
Abbreviations Used in the Tables
Note on Transliterations and Measures


1 The Qarakhanid World
 1 Notes on the Qarakhanid Image and Origin
 2 The Qarakhanid Trade Partners in the West
 3 The Qarakhanids and the East

2 Between the Islamic World and Liao China
 1 Gifting between the Qarakhanid and the Islamic World: The Ghaznavid Case
 2 Gifting between the Qarakhanids and the Sinitic World: The Liao Case

3 Envoys and Traders to Northern Song China
 1 Names for the Qarakhanids
 2 The Image of the West in China
 3 Envoys and Traders to Kaifeng
 4 Women Envoys and Travelers
 5 Official Communication
 6 Diplomatic Gifts and Trade Commodities
 7 Roads, Itineraries and Maps
 8 Missions to Hangzhou?

4 Before China: Dunhuang, Turfan and Tibet
 1 Dunhuang
 2 Turfan
 3 Tibet

5 Qarakhanid Allies and China
 1 The Liao Envoy in Ghazna and the “Persians” from Northern India in Kaifeng
 2 Sultans and Rum: Saljuq Missions to Northern Song China
 3 The “Uyghurs” of Khwarzm: Records on the Khwarazmshahs

6 The Qarakhanid Silk Roads and Beyond
 1 Silk Road Symbols and Images
 2 The Amber Road and Migration of Culture
 3 The Frankincense Road
 4 The Qinghai Road: Tea and Horse Trade

Appendix 1: Records on the Qarakhanids in Song shi
Appendix 2: Documents on the Qarakhanid Diplomacy and Trade
Appendix 3: List of the Qarakhanid Missions to Song China
Appendix 4: Glossary of Chinese Characters
Researchers and students of the history of Central Asia and China, and specialists in Silk Road Studies.
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