Sogdian art is primarily the art of the inhabitants of Sogdiana (Sogd, Sogdia) in pre-Islamic times. Its development and apogee was limited to four or five centuries before and during the Muslim conquest of Transoxania. Sogdian art of the heartlands flourished in the settled areas of the Zeravshan and Kashkadarya valleys, as well as in Ustrushana (Osrušana), north of the Turkestan mountain range. Sogdian settlements along the ancient Silk Routes (see SOGDIAN TRADE) resulted in several schools of Sogdian art outside Sogdiana, notably in China.

Monumental Sogdian art was principally associated with the decoration of ritual and domestic architectural spaces: mural paintings, clay and stucco sculptures, wood -carvings. Important minor forms are clay ossuaries, terracottas, silver vessels, and textiles.

Mural painting. This was the most extensively used form of monumental art in Sogdiana (Azarpay et al, 1981), with major find-spots at Panjikant and Afrāsiāb site in Samarqand, Jartepe-II east of Samarqand (Samarkand), Varakhsha west of Bukhara, Yerkurgan (Erkurgan) near Karshi, and several sites near present-day Šahrestān (Ustrushana). Strong influences of Sogdian painting appear in neighboring areas, e.g. at Tavka in southern Uzbekistan (Rakhmanov, 2001), Kalai Shodmon in southern Tajikistan (Litvinskiĭ and Solov’ev, 1986), Dilbarjin, and Doḵtar-e Nošervān in northern Afghanistan.

The themes comprise religious images, narrative compositions, scenes of banquets, and ornamental friezes. In certain cases, mural paintings are combined with inscriptions. Non-narrative images of deities, mostly Zoroastrian, were focal points in the decoration of chapels in temples and of the main halls in private residences. In the latter case, they displayed tutelary gods of the house-owners, and served as objects of adoration. In these images gods and goddesses are enthroned, standing, or even dancing, with priests or laymen presenting offerings at their feet. The entire compositions are often set into painted niches with heights up to 4 meters. These images obviously reflect actual rituals performed in private homes. Furthermore, they must have been two-dimensional reproductions of three-dimensional religious images, that is: statues, set into chapels. Since we have no indications of a statue cult inside Sogdian residential buildings, the adoration of statues were most probably part of rituals performed in the temples.

Narrative murals frequently consist of several registers with an overall height up to 4 meters (Marshak, 2002). Upper registers of a wall depict scenes from epics and myths with gods and demons, heroes and amazons as acting figures (FIGURE 1; FIGURE 2). The narrative stripes are fluently composed without framing dividers of individual episodes. A single story may even extend from one wall to the next without interruption at the corners. Sometimes, within one and the same frieze, different levels of action are simply superposed. In contrast, the lowermost registers consist of ornamental patterns or sets of narrative panels framed by pearl rows. Each panel depicts a single fairytale or fable partly derived from Indian (Pancatantra, Buddhist Jatakas) and Western sources. These pictures are relatively small, and outlines are more dominant than planes of color. Special types of painting: Historical incidents and royal propaganda are rare themes, and restricted to palatial art, such as the Hall of Ambassadors (see AFRĀSIĀB WALL PAINTINGS) in Samarqand and the palace in the Panjikant citadel. The paintings in the Red Hall of Varakhsha, with their repeated images of Ahura Mazdā (Sogdian Adhbag) fighting against the beasts of evil, and paradise scenes, were recently reconstructed as representing in their entirety a religious program (Marshak, 2000, p. 159 and fig. 13).

Principles. Figurative murals are non-perspectivic compositions. Space is indicated by horizontal and vertical groups of figures, and their forward- and upward-staggering is similarly used in ancient Egyptian art. Human beings, animals, and architectural structures are usually constructed without three-dimensional indications. In Sogdian painting, human faces are frequently rendered in three-quarter or half profile (FIGURE 2), and oblique views are otherwise avoided. Especially in religious images, compositions use extreme differences in size to denote the hierarchical order of persons (i.e., perspective of importance). In narrative images, landscape has very limited importance. Abbreviations of landscape elements are scattered on the blue or red background: a single tree represents a forest, and a heap- or mound-like element a mountain range. The fundamental principle of narrative composition is the so-called continuous or cyclic method. Mythological and epic themes are displayed in broad stripes of multi-scenic continuous narratives, while images of folktales operate with a kind of condensed cyclic images which summarize two or three points of a story.

Mobile forms of painting. Traces of illustrated manuscripts have not yet been found in Sogdiana, although narrative potential and certain artistic methods of Sogdian mural painting seem to imply flourishing arts of the book in pre-Islamic times. A fragmentary mural painting, excavated in 1999 at Panjikant, has been interpreted as the unique depiction of an illustrated codex (de la Vaissière and Riboud, 2003; seriously questioned by Marshak and Raspopova, 2003, pp. 50-51). Discovered at Mount Mugh, a painted wood shield represents the image of an equestrian hero closely related to Panjikant murals (Oxus, no. 80). A unique painted vase from Marv with a lamentation scene is perhaps a Sogdian work (cf. Manassero, with different attribution).

Sculpture in stucco and clay. In contrast to the Sasanians, the Sogdians rarely applied stucco decoration. Remarkable pieces from 8th-century Varakhsha show delicate ornamental patterns and figural compositions, such as hunting-scenes, deities, or landscapes (Shishkin, 1963; Alpatkina, 2005). Unfired clay, mostly painted, was widely used in architectural decoration and sculpture. In addition to some early pieces, especially religious images from Yerkurgan (3rd-4th centuries), principal remains come from Panjikant: a frieze with tritons (Temple I, 5th century); the so-called water-frieze with fragments of associated free-standing sculptures in the inner gate of Temple II (6th century); Umamaheshvara-sculpture (i.e., Shiva) and fragments of at least two sculptures of the goddess Nana sitting on her lion in the outer gate area of Temple II(X). Monumental clay sculptures from the temple area at Kuva in Farḡāna represent members of the Sogdian pantheon, including the supreme Ahura Mazdā rather than Buddhist deities (Mode, 1992). Several painted sculptures from Kuev-Kurgan near Termez in Uzbekistan (Annaev, 1984; Abdullaev, II, nos. 393-99) probably reflect Sogdian influence.

Stone sculptures. These are rarely attested in Sogdiana, and the statue of a goddess and further fragments from the Panjikant temples appear to be exceptions (Marshak and Raspopova, 1998). But Sogdian officials in China (6th to early 7th century) used carved stone-panels for funerary couches and house-sarcophagi (Marshak, 2001, 2004; de la Vaissière and Trombert, 2005). The panels depict funerary rituals and scenes from afterlife and mythology, as well as episodes of daily life and encounters between tomb owners and steppe people. Although most motifs are non-Chinese, the reliefs reflect Chinese influence both in taste and style. Some pieces were certainly created by Chinese artists, and because of different burial rites, this art is not found in Sogdiana proper.

Wood carving. In interior decorations, such as panels (FIGURE 3), columns, door-frames, lintels, and ceilings, wood carvings were used and are known from Panjikant, Gardoni-Khisor (Yakubov, 1978), and sites in Ustrushana (Negmatov, 1977; Voronina and Negmatov, 1976). The carvings depict geometric and floral ornaments, as well as figural scenes with deities and animals. Similar pieces were excavated outside the Sogdian heartlands at Kuyruk-Tobe in the Otrar area in Kazakhstan (Baĭpakov), and Jumalak-Tepe in southern Uzbekistan. A wood sculpture of 1 m height, found by chance in a cave in the Fan Mountains in Tajikistan, probably represents a Sogdian god (Mithra?). Leather boots and metal accessories prove that the sculpture was originally dressed (Yakubov, 1983; Oxus, nos. 85-87).

Metalwork. Iconographic data in murals point to the use of metal statues of deities in temple rituals (Mode, 1991). A silver statue of a female donor or a goddess (height 40 cm) was excavated at Jartepe-II (Berdimuradov and Samibaev, fig. 3). Several early medieval metal sculptures seem to have been supports or thrones for statues of deities: pairs of bronze protomes of goats and bulls from Dārā in Tajikistan (Atakhanov, 1988), pair of bronze heads of goats from the Isfara valley (Oxus, nos. 1-2; they should, however, not be dated to the Achaemenid period), a bronze leg (length 1 m) of a camel from the Samarqand region (Rempel’), and a silver head of a monster (State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, inv. no. S-283). Silver sculptures from a treasure trove at the memorial place of Bilgä Khaqan (d. 734) in Chöšöö cajdam, Mongolia, are undoubtedly of Sogdian manufacture (Bayar; Dschingis Khan, pp. 75-78, esp. no. 50).

Decorated silver vessels. These were a specially developed domain of Sogdian art (FIGURE 4). B. I. Marshak (1971, 1986) identified three artistic schools between the 6th and 9th centuries. School A is closely connected to the art of Sasanian Iran, and school C shows strong influences from China, while school B seems to be more autonomous. Detailed images of silver vessels appear in Sogdian murals, and among those are big supports for fire-altars. Fragments of such supports were excavated at Jartepe-II. Sogdian silversmithing was influential in Tang China (Hejiacun Treasure), and Sogdian religious iconography is clearly attested on Khwarazmian silver vessels.

Minor arts in fired clay. Ossuaries (FIGURE 5) are the main traces of funerary art in the heartlands of Sogdiana and adjacent areas (Grenet, 1986; Marshak, 1995/1996; Pavchinskaya, 1994). Their shape often imitates houses, shrines, or funerary buildings. The decorations, appliqué or stamped, consist of rows of Zoroastrian deities under arcades, mourning scenes, and priests with fire-altars. Small fired-clay sculptures and carved or stamped terracotta-plaques often depict deities in niche-like frames, comparable with religious murals from shrines and residences.

Seals and sealings. Seals with images of humans and animals are mostly identified by their inscriptions. It is difficult to establish a distinct Sogdian style of glyptics. Major deposits of Sogdian bullae were excavated at Panjikant, Kafir-Kala, and Kanka (Bogomolov and Buryakov, 1995; Cazzoli and Cereti, 2005; Livshits, 2000).

Textiles. Contrary to a widely held opinion, Zandaniji silks were seemingly not of pre-Islamic Sogdian origin (Marshak, 2006; Raspopova, 2006). A great many images of decorated silks appear in Sogdian painting, and they reflect both imported and local Sogdian products (Kageyama, 2006; Otavsky, 1998).

Chronological outline of Sogdian art. At the moment Panjikant is the only site that meets the requirements of a sufficiently long sequence of decorated architecture. Mural paintings and sculptures embedded in stratigraphically secured architectural environments are the only available evidence for this tentative scheme of five periods.

Pre-Panjikant Period, ca. 200-400 CE. Our knowledge of the beginnings of Sogdian art is only fragmentary. In the sanctuary at Yerkurgan (Suleĭmanov, 2000; Abdullaev, I, pp. 182-86) there are fragmentary polychrome murals in an apparently late Hellenistic fashion; a brick column with unique monochromatic painting of silhouette figures in white and of a row of enigmatic symbols; and painted clay sculptures. In the Samarqand area, the temple at Jartepe-II has early mural paintings with hunting and enthroned persons (Berdimuradov and Samibaev, 1999, fig. 4). At the cemetery of Orlat, west of Samarqand, delicately carved bone plaques with multi-figural battle and hunting scenes seem to belong to a very early stage of Sogdian art (Mode, 2006). In the upper Indus River valley, a great number of Sogdian rock inscriptions, roughly dating from the 4th to 6th centuries, are associated with crude petroglyphs of tamḡā-like symbols, such as human heads and tridents (Sims-Williams; Fussman and König, 1997).

Early Panjikant Period, ca. 400-500. Sogdian Panjikant was founded in this century, and the building periods 1-3 of the two major temples (i.e., structures I, II, and X) yield the major evidence. Fragments of monochrome paintings, such as priest with padam and a fire-altar, and a clay frieze with tritons belong to the building period 2 of temple I. Chapel II/5-6 in temple II is dated to building period 3 (ca. 500), and contains life-size images of at least two female deities, executed in a very delicate and perfectly established style, recalling traditions of Sasanian Iran (Mode, 1989). A further set of paintings with donors, flowers, and ornaments has been preserved at the shrine at Jartepe-II (Berdimuradov and Samibaev, 1999, figs. 5, 7).

Early Florescent Period, ca. 500-600. Two regional groups of art can be distinguished in and outside Sogdiana during this period. The first group, Panjikant Early Florescent, can be dated to the building-period 4 of the main temples. Temple I was decorated with extensive multi-figural paintings of epic and/or mythological themes. In temple II, new paintings comprise a goddess, resembling Indian images, accompanied by dancing male deities, in chapel II/5-6, and the goddess Nana with other deities in chapel II=X/14. The famous Mourning Scene and associated paintings are in the main structure of temple II, and this temple’s inner gate was decorated with monumental clay sculptures, showing an aquatic composition. Paintings with a (royal?) hunting scene and floral patterns in an early palace (object Kainar) are reminiscent of the early Jartepe-II murals. During this period, first traces of paintings appear in dwelling houses (object VI) of Panjikant’s šahrestān (residential quarter as opposed to citadel, see ARG). In Sogdian Samarqand, at the Afrāsiāb site, early murals with images of deities are stylistically associated with Panjikant (Al’baum, 1975, pl. II). The second group, Exile Sogdian Florescent (ca. 550-600/620), comprises works of art that originated outside Sogdiana, in China (see above, stone sculpture).

Late Florescent Period, ca. 600-722, is characterized by the apogee of Sogdian art. Regional styles flourish in the cities of Zeravshan valley and the adjacent areas. At the Afrāsiāb site (object 23/1, ca. 650), the walls of the famous square Hall of Ambassadors, each of which are 11 m long, are completely covered with much discussed murals in a regional Samarqand court style. The paintings show subjects, such as foreign envoys, a Tang emperor of China, a Sogdian funerary procession, and are accompanied with inscriptions (Compareti and de la Vaissière, 2006). At Panjikant, during building-periods 5 (ends 680) and 6 (ends 722), the main temples were extensively redecorated with paintings of deities and narrative scenes, as well as with clay sculptures. In private houses, most paintings with a wide range of narrative subjects (Rustam Cycle in object VI, room 41) and religious imagery can be dated to this period (ca. 650-722).

The Florescent Period ends at least at Panjikant with the Muslim siege and conquest in 722. Less secure is the date of religious paintings on blue background in the Blue Hall in the palace at Varakhsha. Most probably they were created toward the end of the period, while the murals in the palace’s Red Hall are of a later date.

Terminal Period, ca. 750-850. At Panjikant, building and decoration activities were revived a few decades after Muslim conquest, but came again to an end in the 780s. At Varakhsha, the celebrated paintings in the Red Hall may be dated around 750. In the region of Ustrushana, a special style of delicate mural paintings and wood carvings flourished until the 9th century, mainly at the sites of Kalai Kakhkakha I and II, Chilkhujra, and Urtakurgan, but their chronological order is not yet firmly established, and probably overlaps with the preceding period. Although clearly of Sogdian affiliation, the paintings of Ustrushana partially show stylistic influences from the east, notably from Buddhist sites in Xinjiang and Gansu during the Tang era.

Art-historical merits. The Sogdians of the 1st millennium CE created the most important and influential non-Buddhist complex of visual art in pre-Islamic Central Asia. The merit of Sogdian art is the development of an extremely rich ensemble of iconic solutions for deities, spirits, and demons, most of whom are Zoroastrian. Their primary roots are the Hellenistic heritage, but the religious imagery of the Kushan world with its strong Indian elements was also influential. Narrative capacity of Sogdian painting is a true highlight in Oriental art history. Although not directly associated, narrative seems to find a revival in Muslim miniature painting (Raby, 1987/1988, 1991; Sims). Sogdian skills in wood-carving survived in medieval Central Asia, despite the changed conditions. To some extent, recently discovered Qara-khanid (see ILAK-KHANIDS) wall paintings of Samarqand may owe their love in figural details and rich ornamentation to pre-Islamic Sogdian art (Karev, 2003, 2005).


For literature on Panjikant, Samarqand, Mount Mugh, see the respective entries.

General publications with reproductions of major works of art mentioned in the text.

K. A. Abdullaev, È. V. Rtveladze, and G. V. Shishkina, eds., Kul’tura i iskusstvo drevnego Uzbekistana (Culture and art of ancient Uzbekistan), 2 vols., Moscow, 1991.

G. A. Brykina, ed., Srednyaya Aziya i Dal’niĭ Vostok v èpokhu srednevekov’ya: Srednyaya Aziya v rannem srednevekov’e – Arkheologiya (Central Asia and the Far East in the Middle Ages: Central Asia in the early Middle Ages – Archeology), Moscow, 1999.

P. Chuvin et al., Les arts de l’Asie centrale, Paris, 1999.

Oxus: 2000 Jahre Kunst am Oxus-Fluß in Mittelasien, Zurich, 1989.

E. V. Zeĭmal’, ed., Drevnosti Tadzhikistana (Antiquities of Tajikistan), Dushanbe, 1985.

Introductory literature on Sogdian art.

G. Azarpay et al., Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art, Berkeley, Calif., 1981.

B. I. Marshak, Legends, Tales, and Fables in the Art of Sogdiana, with an Appendix by V. A. Livshits, New York, 2002.

M. Mode, “Die Religion der Sogder im Spiegel ihrer Kunst,” in Die vorislamischen Religionen Mittelasiens, ed. by K. Jettmar and E. Kattner, Die Religionen der Menschheit 4/3, Stuttgart, 2003, pp. 141-218.


L. I. Al’baum, Zhivopis’ Afrasiaba, Tashkent, 1975.

T. G. Alpatkina, “Tsvetochnyĭ ornament v ganchevom dekore dvortsa Varakhshi” (Blossom ornamentation in the stucco decor of the palace of Varakhsha), Material’naya kul’tura Vostoka (Material culture of the East) 4, 2005, pp. 87-100.

T. Dzh. Annaev, “Raskopki rannesrednevekovoĭ usad’by Kuevkurgan” (Excavations at the early medieval farmstead Kuevkurgan), Sovetskaya Arkheologiya 1984, no. 2, pp. 188-200.

T. M. Atakhanov (Atachanov), “Note sur la découverte fortuite d'éléments d'un trône préislamique au Tadjikistan,” Arts Asiatiques 43, 1988, pp. 156-57.

K. M. Baĭpakov (Bajpakov), “Nouvelles données sur la culture sogdienne dans les villes médiévales du Kazakhstan,” Stud. Ir. 21, 1992, pp. 33-45.

K. M. Baĭpakov, Z. Zh. Shardenova, and S. Ya. Peregudova, Rannesrednevekovaya arkhitektura Semirech’ya i Yuzhnogo Kazakhstana na Velikom Shelkovom puti (Early medieval architecture of Semirech’e and southern Kazakhstan on the great Silk Road), Almaty, 2001.

D. Bayar, “Recent Archaeological Research at the Bilge-Kagan’s Site,” Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 4, no. 20, 2004, pp. 73-84.

A. M. Belenitskiĭ, B. I. Marshak, and V. I. Raspopova, “Raboty na gorodishche drevnego Pendzhikenta v 1982 g.,” (Works at the settlement of ancient Panjikant in the year 1982), Arkheologicheskie Raboty v Tadzhikistane (Archeological Works in Tajikistan) 22, 1990, pp. 105-43.

A. È. Berdimuradov and M. K. Samibaev, Khram Dzhartepa-II: K problemam kul’turnoĭ zhizni Sogda v IV-VIII vv. (The temple of Jartepa-II: On the problems of cultural life of Sogd in the 4th-8th centuries), Tashkent, 1999.

Eidem, “Une nouvelle peinture murale sogdienne dans le temple de Džartepa II: Avec des notes additionnelles par F. Grenet et B. Marshak,” Stud. Ir. 30, 2001, pp. 45-66.

G. I. Bogomolov and Yu. F. Buryakov, “Sealings from Kanka,” in In the Land of the Gryphons: Papers on Central Asian Archaeology in Antiquity, ed. by A. Invernizzi, Florence, 1995, pp. 217-37.

V. A. Bulatova, Drevnyaya Kuva (Ancient Kuva), Tashkent, 1972.

M. L. Carter, “Notes on Two Chinese Stone Funerary Bed Bases with Zoroastrian Symbolism,” in Iran: Questions et connaissances, ed. by Philip Huyse and Maria Szuppe, 3 vols., Paris, 2002-03, I, pp. 263-87.

S. Cazzoli and C. G. Cereti, “Sealings from Kafir Kala: Preliminary Report,” Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 11, no. 1-2, 2005, pp. 133-64.

M. Compareti and E. de la Vaissière, eds., Royal Naurūz in Samarkand: Proceedings of the conference held in Venice on the pre-Islamic paintings at Afrasiab, Pisa, 2006.

Dschingis Khan und seine Erben: Das Weltreich der Mongolen, Munich 2005.

G. Fussman and D. König, Die Felsbildstation Shatial, Materialien zur Archäologie der Nordgebiete Pakistans 2, Mainz, 1997.

F. Grenet, “L’art zoroastrien en Sogdiane: Etudes d’iconographie funéraire,” Mesopotamia 21, 1986, pp. 97-131.

Idem, “Note additionelle sur les panneaux mythologiques du palais de Kujruk-tobe (Keder),” Stud. Ir. 21, 1992, pp. 46-48.

Idem, “Trois nouveaux documents d’iconographie religieuse sogdienne,” Stud. Ir. 22, 1993, pp. 49-68; co-authored with four Uzbek scholars who are only named in the bibliography.

Idem, “Vaiśravaṇa in Sogdiana: About the Origins of Bishamon-ten,” Silk Road Art and Archaeology 4, 1995/1996, pp. 277-97.

F. Grenet, P. Rinoud, and Yang J., “Zoroastrian Scenes on a Newly Discovered Sogdian Tomb in Xi’an, Northern China,” Stud. Ir. 33, 2004, pp. 273-84.

J. Ya. Ilyasov and V. D. Rusanov, “A Study on the Bone Plates from Orlat,” Silk Road Art and Archaeology 5, 1997/1998, pp. 107-59.

A. L. Juliano, “Chinese Pictorial Space at the Cultural Crossroads,” in Ērān ud Anērān: Studies Presented to Boris Il’ič Maršak on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday, ed. by M. Compareti et al., Venice, 2006, pp. 293-316.

A. L. Juliano and J. A. Lerner, Monks and Merchants: Silk Road Treasures from Northwest China – Gansu and Ningxia, 4th-7th century, New York, 2001.

E. Kageyama, “Use and Production of Silk in Sogdiana,” in Ērān ud Anērān: Studies Presented to Boris Il’ič Maršak on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday, ed. by M. Compareti, et al., Venice, 2006, pp. 317-32.

Yu. Karev, “Un cycle de peintures murales d'époque qarākhānide (XIIe-XIIIe siècles) à la citadelle de Samarkand: Le souverain et le peintre,” Comptes rendus des séances de l’année 2003, Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris, 2003, pp. 1685-731.

Idem, “Qarakhanid Wall Paintings in the Citadel of Samarqand: First Report and Preliminary Observations,” Muqarnas 22, 2005, pp. 45-84.

F. M. Karomatov, V. A. Meshkeris, and T. S. Vyzgo, Mittelasien, Musikgeschichte in Bildern II/9, Leipzig, 1987.

G. A. Koshelenko, ed., Drevneĭshie gosudarstva Kavkaza i Sredneĭ Azii: Arkheologiya SSSR (The earliest states of the Caucasus and Central Asia: Archeology of the USSR), Moscow, 1985.

A. I. Kosolapov and B. I. Marshak, Stennaya zhivopis’ Sredneĭ i Central’noĭ Azii: Istoriko-khudozhestvennoe i laboratornoe issledovanie (Mural paintings of Central and Inner Asia on the Silk Road: Art-historical and laboratory study), St. Petersburg, 1999.

L. R. Kyzlasov, “Arkheologicheskie issledovaniya na gorodishche Ak-Beshim v

1953-1954 gg.” (Archeological investigations on the settlement site of Ak-Beshim), in Trudy Kirgizskoĭ arkheologo-ètnograficheskoĭ èkspeditsii (Transactions of the Kyrgyz archeological and ethnological expedition), vol. II, Moscow, 1959, pp. 155-242.

J. A. Lerner, “Central Asians in Sixth-Century China: A Zoroastrian Funerary Rite,” Iranica Antiqua 30, 1995, pp. 179-90.

Lit de pierre, sommeil barbare: Présentation, après restauration et remontage, d’une banquette funéraire ayant appartenu à un aristocrate d’Asie centrale venu s’établir en Chine au VIe siècle, Paris, 2004.

B. A. Litvinskiĭ (Litvinsky), Zhang Guang-da and R. Shabani, eds., History of Civilizations of Central Asia: III – The Crossroads of Civilizations A.D. 250 to 750, Paris, 1996.

B. A. Litvinskiĭ and V. S. Solov’ev, “Raskopki na Kalaishodmon” (Excavations at Kalai Shodmon), Arkheologicheskie raboty v Tadzhikistane (Archeological works in Tajikistan) 19, 1986, pp. 216-34.

V. A. Livshits, “Sogdian Sānak: A Manichaean Bishop of the 5th-early 6th centuries,” Bulletin of the Asia Institute NS 14, 2000, pp. 47-54.

N. Manassero, “Il vaso dipinto di Merv,” Parthica 5, 2003, pp. 131-52.

B. I. Marshak (Marschak), Sogdiĭskoe serebro (Sogdian silver), Moscow, 1971.

Idem, Silberschätze des Orients, Leipzig, 1986.

Idem, “On the Iconography of Ossuaries from Biya-Naiman,” Silk Road Art and Archaeology 4, 1995/1996, pp. 299-321.

Idem, “New Discoveries in Pendjikent and a Problem of Comparative Study of Sasanian and Sogdian Art,” in Convegno internazionale sul tema: La Persia e l’Asia Centrale da Alessandro al X secolo, Rome, 1996, pp. 425-38.

Idem, “A Sogdian Silver Bowl in the Freer Gallery of Art,” Ars Orientalis 29, 1999, pp. 102-10.

Idem, “The Ceilings of the Varakhsha Palace,” Parthica 2, 2000, pp. 153-67.

Idem, “La thématique sogdienne dans l’art de la Chine de la seconde moitié du VIe siécle,” Comptes rendus des séances de l’année 2001, Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, Paris, 2001, pp. 227-64.

Idem, “Central Asian Metalwork in China,” in China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD, ed. by J. C. Y. Watt et al., New Haven, Conn., 2004, pp. 47-55.

Idem, “The Murals of Sogdiana in Comparison with the Turfan Texts,” in Turfan Revisited: The First Century of Research into the Arts and Cultures of the Silk Road, ed. by D. Durkin-Meisterernst et al., Monographien zur indischen Archäologie, Kunst und Philologie 17, Berlin, 2004, pp. 191-96.

Idem, “The Sarcophagus of Sabao Yu Hong: A Head of the Foreign Merchants (592-98),” Orientations 35, 2004, pp. 57-65.

Idem, "The So-Called Zandanîjî Silks: Comparisons with the Art of Sogdia,” in Central Asian Textiles and their Contexts in the Early Middle Ages, ed. by R. Schorta, Riggisberger Berichte 9, Riggisberg, 2006, pp. 49-60.

B. I. Marshak and V. I. Raspopova, “Une image sogdienne du dieu-patriarche de l’agriculture,” Stud. Ir, 16, 1987, pp. 193-99.

Eidem, “Worshipers from the Northern Shrine of Temple II, Panjikent,” Bulletin of the Asia Institute NS 8, 1994, pp. 187-207.

Eidem, “Les trouvailles dans la chapelle nord-ouest du Temple II des Pendjikent: A propos de l’héritage classique dans l’art sogdien,” Bulletin of the Asia Institute NS 12, 1998, pp. 161-69.

Eidem, Otchet o raskopkakh gorodishcha drevnego Pendzhikenta v 2002 godu: Materialy Pendzhikentskoĭ arkheologicheskoĭ èkspeditsii V (Report of the excavations at the site of ancient Panjikant in 2002: Materials of the archeological expedition to Panjikant V), St. Petersburg, 2003.

V. A. Meshkeris, Terrakoty Samarkandskogo muzeya (Terracottas of the Samarqand Museum), Leningrad, 1962.

Idem, Koroplastika Sogda (Clay sculpture of Sogd), Dushanbe, 1977.

Idem, Sogdiĭskaya terrakota (Sogdian terracottas), Dushanbe, 1989.

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July 20, 2009

(Markus Mode)

Originally Published: July 20, 2009

Last Updated: July 20, 2009

Cite this entry:

Markus Mode, “SOGDIANA iv. SOGDIAN ART,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2016, available at (accessed on 20 September 2016).