Rivers of the Silk Roads: how water shaped societies and empires in Central Asia

The importance of Central Asia’s Silk Roads to world history is well known. But what is not understood is the role that rivers in the region played in the development of nomadic and urban societies, and empires, particularly irrigation-based agriculture but also as water-rich corridors for pastoralists and travellers. Rivers of the Silk Roads is a novel and ambitious interdisciplinary project which uses state-of-the-art dating, hydraulic modelling, and satellite imaging techniques, combined with archaeological investigations of ancient canal systems, to provide the first multi-millennial length reconstructions of changing water resources and water hazards along Central Asia’s Silk Roads.