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Tokharians and Uighurs of
the City States of Central Asia in
Frescos etc from the Tarim Basin


Warriors from Tumshuk

Helmet, Tumshuk

Helmet, Tumshuk

Statue fragment from Toqquz Sarai, Tumshuk

Kumtura and Kizil {Qyzil} Caves (near Kucha)

Capture of Bimbisara, Kumtura.

Kizil Cave of the Sixteen Sword Bearers

Helmet, Kizil

Kizil cave donor figures

Kizil Cave of the Sixteen Sword Bearers

Stele of l'ui-zcika

Kizil cave 305, Eight Kings of the relics


Kizil cave of the Painter

Warrior, Blue
Cave, Kizil

Karashahr {Qarasahr} and Shorchuk {Šōrčuq} (between Kucha & Turfan)

Stucco relief
figures, 'Ming-oi'

Stucco reliefs of horses 'Ming-oi', Kara-shahr.

Armoured Cavalrymen from Šōrčuq
in a Siege of Kushinagara scene


Naga Cave,

Armoured Men from Karashahr

City on the Yâr {Yarkhoto} (near Turfan)

Cavalryman in the city on the Yar

Chotscho {Xoqo, Khocho, Qočo}, Bezeklik {Bäzäklik} Caves (east of Turfan)

Christian Temple, Chotscho

Bezeklik fresco, Temple No. 9

Bezeklik fresco, right wall of Cella (inner chamber), Temple No. 9

A Manichaean Illumination

Bezeklik fresco, Temple No. 1

Bezeklik fresco, Pranidhi scene No. 6, Temple No. 9

Bezeklik fresco, Pranidhi scene No. 14,
Temple No. 9

Leg Armour & Stirrup
from Chotscho

Manichaean Silk Painting,

Uighur Face Defence,

Uighurian Princes,
Temple 9, Bezeklik

Uighurian Princesses,
Temple 9, Bezeklik

Uighurian Prince,
Temple 19, Bezeklik


Horseman from
Astāna cemetery


Mucilinda cave, Tuyoq (70 km east of Turfan)

An armoured bodhisattva from Mucilinda cave, Tuyoq

Dandān-uiliq (near Khotan)

Horseman and

Four armed Bodhisattva
in Persian style costume

Horseman with
offering bowl

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A Map of Central Asia showing Tumsuk, Kizil, Kumtura, Kua, Soruk, Karasahr, Turfan, Astana, Khotan and Dandan-Uilik
Wind-sock standards
Preserved shoes and hats
Some of the material removed to Germany was destroyed during WWII.
Main Source: Rare books at the National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Background articles in English
Reference: EXCAVATIONS iv. In Chinese Turkestan Encyclopaedia Iranica

Referenced on pp. 173-4, vol. 1, The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
    The spread of lamellar armour from Central Asia across the Muslim world is altogether easier to chart. Its terminology is generally less contentious and the illustrated material is simpler to interpret. As discussed earlier: such a form of defence may have originated in the ancient Middle East but by the immediate pre-Islamic centuries lamellar armours of iron or a mixture of iron and bronze were far more characteristic of Central Asia and eastern Iran than the Fertile Crescent35 (Figs. 61, 67, 82, 428, 435, 437, 440, 443, 451, 453, 454, 455, 462, 463, 464, 471, 472, 474, 478, 480 and 481). There is, however, some evidence to suggest that they were known in 7th century Arabia, although they are likely to have been rare.36 Indeed, lamellar would seem to have been highly prized and expensive even in those Transoxanian regions where it was not common, and remained so well into the Muslim era.37
    The increased importance of lamellar in eastern Islam and in the partially subdued Christian regions of the Caucasus is clearly documented as is its spread westward into Muslim Anatolia towards the end of the period under review39 (Figs. 220B, 306, 309, 316, 348, 410, 442, 444, 447, 638, 641 and 642C). References could be multiplied ten- or twenty-fold if one included all those concerning armours known to be of lamellar, such as the jawshan and kamarband, rather than simply those that described lamellar, its appearance, construction or fastenings.

35. Robinson, Oriental-Armour p. 130; Laufer, op. cit., pp. 208 and 214; W. Hauser, "The Persian Expedition, 1933-1934," Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art XXIX (1934), p. 8.
36. Schwarzlose op. cit., pp. 327 and 346.
37. Narshakhī, op. cit., p. 46; al Ṭabarī: op. cit., vol. II, pp. 256 and 1889.
38. Firdawsī, op. cit., pp. 270, 273, 427, 688 and 953; Anon., The Book of Dede Korkut, p. 166; Rust'haveli, op. cit., verse 220.

See also Central Asian Warrior, from Qieszil, Tarim Basin (?), 5thearly 6th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 51.94.1
Cup with horseman, Khwarezm c.7th to beginning of the 8th Century, in a coat with large lapels.
Sogdian murals from Panjakent, 6th-8th Centuries
A Sogdian Mortuary Couch, Bas Relief, Northern Qi dynasty, A.D. 550-577
Armoured cavalrymen attacking a fortress, Semireye, Central Asia, 9th-10th century, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Tomb Figure of a Horse with Central Asian Rider, China, Tang Dynasty (618-907). Newark Museum 92.488.

Ancient Illustrations and Articles
8th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers