One of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world wasn’t contained in a nation or a city.
It was a series of trade routes that crisscrossed Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Swahili Coast of Africa, and dubbed the “Silk Road” by modern explorers.
For centuries, these routes passed through wealthy cities whose vibrant cultures were hybrids of Eastern and Western culture, joined by the spirit of trade and knowledge exchange.
The Silk Road civilization thrived because it had no borders.
In this episode of Ancient People Did Stuff, we talk about some of the more unusual discoveries that archaeologists have made at excavation sites along the ancient Silk Roads. One of the great medieval cities of the Silk Road was Samarkand, located today in Uzbekistan.
Its people were called Sogdians, and their language was the lingua franca of the Silk Road during roughly the 4th through the 8th centuries.
And yet one of the only remaining examples we have of written Sogdian is in an angry letter that an abandoned wife sent to her husband, which was lost in a mailbag and found over a millennium later.
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