Han Jianye (Beijing, China)

“The Painted Pottery Road” and Early Sino-Western Cultural Exchanges

Key words: Painted Pottery Road, Sino-Western Cultural Exchanges, North
Road, South Road


“The Painted Pottery Road” as a concept was first proposed by Li Ji(李济)in
1960 and was used to sum up Johan Gunnar Andersson’s theory that “the
Yangshao culture came from the West;” in other words, painted pottery is
essentially western in origin. The “Painted Pottery Road” signifies the
expansion and transmission of early Chinese culture, manifested in the form of
painted pottery, westward from Shaanxi and Gansu, as well as the eastward
movement of western culture. “The Painted Pottery Road” lasted from the
fourth to the first millennium BC, during which four periods - c. 3500, c. 3000, c.
2200, and c. 1300 BC - characterize the westward expansion of painted pottery.
Although numerous routes were used for its transmission, generally speaking
they are grouped around the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as the North Road and
the South Road, respectively. “The Painted Pottery Road” was thus the primary
route of early Sino-Western cultural exchanges, serving as the precursor of “the
Silk Road,” which subsequently exerted a great deal of influence on the
formation and development of Chinese and Western civilization.

M.A. Dandamaev (Sankt-Petersburg, Russia)

Central Asian Soldiers in Achaemenid Babylonia

Key words: Chorasmians, Sakai, Arumāya, Achaemenid Babylonia.


This paper contains information on the military service of Central Asian
soldiers in Babylonia during 539-331 B.C., when this country was a satrapy of
the Achaemenid Persian empire. Among these soldiers were Chorasmians,
Sakai and warriors from Arumāja. These soldiers were settled mainly in the
region of Nippur allotting for their service parcels of land which were called
“fiefs of the bow” for which they had to perform military service.

Alexander A. Sinitsyn (Sankt Petersburg, Russia)


Keywords: Hellenes, Scythians, perception of barbarians, Athenaeus, Sophocles, Herodotus, Greek myth, drama, nomadic neighbours, trophies,
kheiromaktron, scalping


The barbarian custom of beheading and scalping vanquished enemies
must have looked awesome to the civilized colonists in the North Black Sea
Region. Greek merchants and travellers brought horrible stories about steppe
nomads to poleis of Asia Minor and the Balkans to satiate the interest of their
countrymen in tales of foreign oddities. It was here that legends of savage and
unbridled barbarians were born; here the ‘xenomyth’ of the bloodthirsty
ferocity emerged. The Greeks related the scalping – removal of skin together
with hair from heads of slain enemies – to a particular ethnos, namely, the
Scythians. The extravagant ‘trophies’ taken by Scythian warriors were called
. In Athens in the 5th century BC, they were so well
aware of Scythians that the words of the - root became part of the Attic
language and permeated the poetry. The earliest literary record of the Scythian
custom of scalping slain enemies and turning the ripped off scalps into peculiar
‘hand-towels’ must be attributed not to the shocking story told by Herodotus
(4.64.2) but to a fragment from Sophocles’ tragedy Oenomaus, referred to by
Athenaeus (Soph. fr. 473 TGF, Radt = Athen. 9.410с) (see Sinitsyn 2008а): ‘the
Scythian way for a hand-towel shorn’. The reference in Oenomaus to
  proves that the playwright replaced
Oenomaus’ ‘trophies’, which hitherto were either sculls, or heads of slain rivals,
by outlandish and awesome ‘hand-towels’ – kheiromaktrons-scalps. Referring
to this barbarian phenomenon Sophocles wanted to arrest attention of his
audience. The Scythian eccentricity exhibited in Oenomaus emphasized the
ferocity of the main hero of the tragedy, who had gone to far in his
‘merrymaking’. By  Sophocles shows that Oenomaus’ conduct
was unworthy of Hellenes; the acts he performs testify to his “barbarity”, to his
being a true “Scythian”. In no way does Sophocles’ reference to the
extravagant Scythian custom look absurd and far-fetched.

Sabine Müller (Kiel, Germany)

Ptolemaios und die Erinnerung an Hephaistion


Alexander the Great, Hephaestion, Ptolemy, Indian Campaign, Clitarchus


Although Hephaestion launched a remarkable career under the reign of
Alexander, as a historical person, he is rather obscure. The evidence on him is
either biased or romanticized. Therefore, it is especially important to analyze his
portrait in the fragments of the History of Alexander written by his fellow
officer and presumable close friend Ptolemy. He treats Hephaestion in a
different way than his other fellow officers. While he tends to be silent about the
achievements of Antigonus, Lysimachus, and Seleucus, and does not treat
Perdiccas favourably he memorizes Hephaestion and his role in Alexander’s
empire trying to protect him against any reproaches. This paper examines
Ptolemy’s image of Hephaestion and its probable background.

Nicholas Victor Sekunda (Gdańsk, Poland)

The Ptolemaic Guard Cavalry Regiment

Keywords: Ptolemaic Egypt, Cavalry.


The guard cavalry regiment of the Ptolemaic army, at least in its earlier
existence was composed of ethnic Macedonians. It is not known for sure what
the title of this regiment was. It might have been 'The Cavalry about the Court'
(οἱ περὶ τὴν ἄυλὴν ἱππεῖς), but this is uncertain. At the battle of Raphia in 217
BC the regiment numbered about 700 men. It was organized into squadrons
(ilai) of which the elite squadron was entitled 'the royal squadron' (ἥ βασιλικὴ
ἴλη). The regiment was formed of cleruchs. The soldiers of this regiment were
distinguished by their saffron-yellow cloaks with sea-purple borders, as were
their predecessors in the Companion cavalry regiment under Alexander. It was a
heavy cavalry regiment, wearing cuirasses and helmets, and, in its later stages
shields. At the end of the fourth century the helmets were of the Boeotian type,
but later on these at first replaced by a type of comb-crested close helmet.

Frank L. Holt (Houston, USA)

When Did the Greeks Abandon Aï Khanoum?

Keywords: Aï Khanoum, Bactria, Numismatics, Eucratides


Over the past thirty years or so, most scholars have accepted the
numismatic and epigraphic evidence for dating the end of Greek rule at Aï
Khanoum during or immediately after the reign of Eucratides I (ca. 170-145
BCE). This consensus, however, is not absolute and it remains desirable that all
archaeological data be reassessed from time to time in the interests of scientific
progress. Thus, Awadh K. Narain has tentatively offered a dissenting view that
could possibly date the abandonment of Aï Khanoum as many as fourteen years
later (ca. 131 BCE). Recently, Jeffrey Lerner has argued for a more radical
chronological shift that would place the end of Greek control over Aï Khanoum
almost a century later (ca. 50 BCE). As I have noted elsewhere, Lerner’s theory
poses a fascinating challenge to the status quo and warrants a close testing of the
author’s thesis and methodology. The following analysis, which focuses on the
numismatic arguments presented by Lerner and to some extent by Narain as
well, is offered here as a tribute to our mutual friend Dr. Vadim M. Masson,
accomplished numismatist and distinguished Academician of the Russian
Academy of Sciences. Professor Masson always paid close attention to coin
finds and their chronological implications, so this paper contributes to one of his
key areas of interest. Whatever the merits of other kinds of evidence,
numismatic data sets the chronological limits for the Greek abandonment of Aï
Khanoum around the middle of the second century BC. Thus, the status quo ante
prevails: If Eucratides I was not the last Greek king to govern the city, one of his
near contemporaries surely was.

V. N. Pilipko (Moscow, Russia)

Remarks on the material culture of the Akhal area in the Hellenistic period

Keywords: Archaeology, Central Asia, Parthia, Turkmenistan, Hellenism,
ceramic complexes.


This article deals with the archaeological sites of a central part of the
Kopetdag piedmont (in the medieval period this territory was called “province
of Nisa”, in the 19 th century – “Akhal”), presumably dated to the 3 rd century BC.
The author gives an explanation of a possible slight influence of Greek culture
on the material culture of this region.

Marek Jan Olbrycht (Rzeszów, Poland)

The Political-Military Strategy of Artabanos/Ardawān II in AD 34-37

Keywords: Artabanos/Ardawān, Parthia, Arsacids, Iran, strategy.


Artabanos (in Parthian Ardawān) II, king of Parthia, has had quite a
number of studies devoted to him, but in spite of this his achievements and
assessment still arouse controversy. Germanicus’ intervention in Armenia in AD
18 led to the conclusion of a compromise settlement between Rome and the
Parthians that secured over a decade of peace between the two empires. From his
accession the legitimacy of Artabanos II’s reign was challenged by the Phraatid
faction, which was supported by Rome. Artabanos did not manage to eradicate
all the deep divisions lacerating Parthia, but he did achieve a substantial degree
of success, eliminating the opposition of the powerful Sūrēn clan. The patent
improvement in Parthia’s relations with Rome during Caligula’s reign may have
to some extent been due to Artabanos’ respect for the new emperor, the son of

Michał Marciak (Rzeszów, Poland)


Keywords: Gordyene, Karduchoi, Gorduene, Corduena, Xenophon,


Ancient Gordyene originated as the country of the Karduchoi who lived in
the mountains north of modern Cizre and south of the Bohtan River. The origin
of the Karduchoi is not entirely certain: they were either remnants of Urartian
tribes or of Semitic origin. It is most likely due to the migration that after
Xenophon’s times (401 BCE) the Karduchoi expanded into the Upper Tigris
valley as marked by the Assyrian Khabur to the east. To the west, Gordyene
likely expanded beyond the Bohtan River into the territory later known as that of
Arzanene (before the time of the 3 rd Mithidatic War - 74 or 73-63 BCE).
Likewise, Gordyene expanded north of the Bohtan River - in the sources from
the late 3 rd and 4 th c. CE one can see traces of the political influence of Corduena
(and/or of the human migration of its people) over the Bohtan into Moxoena and
Rehimena. Gordyene was an urbanized and wealthy country throughout its
history due to natural resources such as naphtha, bitumen, amomum, wine and
corn. What is more, ancient Gordyene owed its political importance to its
strategic location on the course of the upper Tigris. Not surprisingly, the most
important cities in Gordyene were located on the Tigris, and apparently their
primary function was to guard important river crossings and access points to
mountain passes. From the 5 th c. CE onwards the record on Gordyene becomes
muddy due to the increasing number of references in Armenian sources to proto-
Kurdish tribes (not to be confused with the Gordyaeans) whose influence in the
Upper Tigris valley started to grow considerably. Literary evidence suggests that
the material culture of Gordyene included Iranian, Armenian, Semitic and Greek

Martin Schottky (Pretzfeld, Germany)


Keywords: Arsacids, Caucasian history, Georgia (Caucasus), Iberia (Caucasus), Pharnabazids


Prolegomena to a King List of Caucasian Iberia

1. Pharnabazid Beginnings

Medieval Georgian historiography connects the rise of an Iberian kingdom
with Alexander the Great. On the other hand, Iberian rulers are mentioned in
classical sources only since late-Hellenistic times. This is a strong argument for
the opinion of Meißner 2000, to date the emergence of Iberian kingship not
before the epoch of Mithradates VI of Pontus. The genesis was nevertheless not
due to Mithradates himself. It was his ally and son-in- law Tigranes II of
Armenia, who was able to subjugate the Iberians soon after his own accession
(95 BC). He installed a governor, who was (more or less tacitly) allowed to call
himself “king“, like other vassals of the king of kings Tigranes. This ruler was
perhaps called Pharnabazus, in Georgian Parnawas (transliterated also
P´arnawaz), what was the name of the legendary first Iberian king in the time
after Alexander. With the decline of Pontic-Armenian power, the first name of a
king appears in classical sources: 65 BC Pompey subdued Artoces. 36 BC we
hear of Pharnabazus (II), who was very probably Artoces´ son and a grandson of
his name-sake, the founder of the dynasty. So, at the turning point from
Hellenism to Empire, Pharnabazid rule was established in Iberia.

Natal’ia V. Polosmak (Novosibirsk, Russia)


Keywords: Mongolia, Xiongnu, Noin-Ula burial ground, 20th kurgan, clothing
fragments, embroideries, human depictions


The twentieth kurgan burial that was excavated by the Russian-
Mongolian expedition in 2006 in the Xiongnu burial ground called Noin-Ula
(Mongolia) contained fragments of embroidered clothing. The present article
deals with miniature representations of warriors and fantastic creatures
embroidered in silk by Chinese craftswomen. They must have worked at the
shaniuy’s headquarters and have been acquainted with western embroideries
on wool which must have been well-known judging by the finds from other
kurgans in Noin-Ula.

Valentina Mordvintseva (Simferopol’, Ukraine)

Key words: cultural identity, ethnicity, elite graves, North Pontic region


The dating of the Nogaīchik Barrow has for many years been the subject
of debates and discussion. Some scholars date it to the late 1st/early 2nd century
AD. However, the burial contained objects which are characteristic of the Late
Hellenistic period, mainly the 1st c. BC. The recently undertaken
dendrochronological analysis of a wooden stand from the burial and the 14 С
analysis of the bones of the dead also provide the same date.
To the same chronological period belong some other female ostentatious
burials from the Lower Volga, Lower Don and the Kuban. This group is not
homogeneous. There are features that unite them (a large amount of gold
jewellery, precious drinking vessels, mirrors) and on which they differ (form
and construction of the burial constructions; presence or absence of animal
bones in the grave, etc.). The local isolation of the Nogaīchik Barrow from any burial ground does
not allow it to be correlated reliably with any particular culture. At the same
time, some specific features of the burial rite (concentration of grave goods on
the right side along the body, hands put in bowls) and specific types of burial
goods (a ceramic jug, zoomorphic pendants, torque, brooch-pin, foot-rings)
indicate its proximity with the archaeological culture of the Kuban region of the
Hellenistic period. The appearance of particularly rich burials in the archaeological cultures
of the Lower Volga, the Lower