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The Sogdian Trade Diaspora in East Turkestan During the Seventh and Eighth Centuries

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Evidence from Chinese documents supports the hypothesis that Sogdians dominated Silk Road trade in East Turkestan during the seventh and eighth centuries. The merchants lived and/or traveled among a diaspora of Sogdians who settled in the oasis cities of the region and also practiced farming and handicraft making. Some traders traveled the entire distance between China and West Asia, but others operated along circumscribed routes that connected to the broader commercial network. Residents of the diaspora facilitated trade by acting as cultural intermediaries for unassimilated merchants. Le témoignage des documents chinois soutient l'hypothèse selon laquelle les Sogdiens dominèrent le commerce sur la route de la soie pendant les VIIe et VIIIe siècles. Les marchands habitèrent et/ou voyagèrent parmi une diaspora de Sogdiens qui s'établit autour des villesoasis de la région et exercèrent l'agriculture ainsi que l'artisanat. Certaines marchands voyagèrent sur toute la distance entre la Chine et l'Asie occidentale, tandis que d'autres travaillèrent sur des chemins courts les reliant à un réseau commercial plus large. Les habitants de la diaspora facilitèrent ce commerce en leur qualité d'intermédiaire culturels au service des marchands étrangers.


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