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Le rayonnement oriental des Parthes

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Chorasmia-Parthia connections : figurative evidence from Kazakly-yatkan
Fiona Kidd (Sydney)

15 avril 2010

The remarkable recent discovery of monumental wall paintings and other finds at Kazakly-yatkan by the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition to Chorasmia compels scholars to delve into the nature of relations between Chorasmia and Parthia during the final centuries BCE and the early centuries CE. Until now, only scant references documenting a link between Chorasmia and Parthia have been made in the archaeological and historical literature, and there has not been enough evidence to warrant a serious study on the ties between these two challenging regions. However, several categories of figurative evidence found in the clearly elite KY10 monumental building complex at Kazakly-yatkan – including a magnificent carved ivory furniture leg, unique painted portraits showing spiral torques with zoomorphic terminals and a small bone pin – show elements of Parthian influence, and provide a stimulating basis on which to better understand the extent of Parthian influence in the frontier zones of the eastern Iranian world. This paper will present figurative evidence from Kazakly-yatkan in an archaeo-historical framework to explore questions regarding both the nature and extent of the relationship between Chorasmia and Parthia, and the role of the steppe in this zone.

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Fiona Kidd Fiona Kidd (Sydney)

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