Nomads and Iranian Frontiers

The Nomadic Empires project organised a workshop on 3rd May 2017 to bring together historical analyses and archaeological fieldwork to address the roles of nomads in trade routes, fortifications, and polity formations along frontiers of the pre-modern Iranian realm. Prof. Richard Payne (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) presented the multi-faceted grammar of politics employed by the hybrid polity of Turan in late antiquity, demonstrating nomads as sophisticated architects of empire.

Dr. Paul Wordsworth (Oriental Studies, University of Oxford) placed the communities of these frontiers under the microscope through a presentation of his own fieldwork on major trade centers, namely Merv, the geographic itineraries of cross-desert pathways to reach them, and the constructed landscapes of those routes as more than mere caravanserais.