Marchand sogdien

Entre 618 et 907
Terre cuite, Moulage
Statuette, Mingqi
Achat en vente publique

M.C. 7745

The figure, captured in mid action, held the reign of a horse or camel in his left hand.
Although “Barbarian” foreigners were depicted in a stereotypical manner, specialists all agree that figures wearing conical felt hats can be identified as Sogdians. This type of hat was characteristic of the inhabitants of ancient Sogdiana, a land extending over part of modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Afghanistan. The Sogdians themselves are thought to have been settled Iranianised Scythians.
Sogdian merchants played a crucial role in international trade. Their language of ancient Iranian origins served for centuries as a lingua franca throughout central Asia. After the Arab conquest they were gradually supplanted by the Khotanese and the Uighurs, who came from principalities located farther east along the Silk Road.

Reference(s) : Gilles Béguin, Le petit peuple des tombes, Paris Musées, 2010, p.57.