I’ve been away. A long time as a wandering, mendicant scholar – or something like that. But now I’m back, and trying to get back to the blog and to the next volume of The Silk Road Gourmet. But good plans always get foiled by real life, so bear with me. While I’ve been away, I’ve found scholarly papers that have new Ancient Mesopotamian recipes for us to cook; been to Troy, and to one of the great trading cities of the ancient world in Kulteppe, Turkey; and found several more pieces of evidence attesting to the love of Asian food in early America. All posts to follow, so stay tuned.
The gilt bronze striding dragon adorning this post was part of a Silk Road tomb processional from China’s Northern Wei and dates to about 400 ACE. The Northern Wei were non-Chinese nomads (the Tuoba Xianbei) who adopted Chinese customs when they came to power. They ruled the Silk Road routes that ran in their territory and became wealthy from the sale of foreign goods. Along with the dragon, the processional included soldiers, horsemen and warriors; heavily laden camels; male and female musicians; ghoulish tomb guardians; and animals to serve as provisions for the deceased.