It's our holiday bonus episode! This time, we're going to Tajikistan, to visit the intriguing murals of the Sogdians, a civilization wedged between Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Chinese, yet rich and remarkable on their own. In Panjakent, we have wall paintings of regular people, preserved for centuries. What they tell us helps explain the links between these great 7th and 8th century civilizations.
Nadeem Ahmad, of living history group Eran ud Turan, drops by to discuss Sogdian society, food, and the challenges of bringing ancient Central Asian and Iranian culture to life.
Plus, medieval Persian poetry and palav, the national dish of Tajikistan, made of rice, fried veggies, spices and sometimes lamb, although every family had their own recipe.
Azarpay, Guitty. Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art
British Library, "Eighth and ninth century versions of the Rustam cycle"
BBC, "Is Oshi Palav the King of Meals?"
Grenet, Frantz and Etienne de la Vaissière. "The last days of Panjikent" in Silk Road Art and Archaeology
Lonely Planet Guide to Central Asia
Marshak, Boris. Legends, Tales, and Fables in the Art of Sogdiana
Middleton, Robert and Huw Thomas. Tajikistan and the High Pamirs
Yabukovich, Ilya, "Mugh 1.I. Revisited"