In this major study - regarded as his most important work - the pioneering anthropologist, Berthold Laufer documents the cultural transfers that took place between China and Iran in ancient times. He does so by tracing the history of cultivated plants, drugs, products, minerals, metals, precious stones and textiles, in their migration from Persia to China and from China to Persia. Walnut, peach, apricot and olive, as well as more exotic products like jasmine, henna, indigo, lapis lazuli, amber, coral, gold, ebony, zinc and myrrh are all included. Few other publications provide so much informative detail about the way human activity has modified the natural world through the movement of plants and other natural resource products from one historical civilisation to another. The work also offers important detail on Iran for periods when Iranian sources are slim. Introduced by Brian Spooner, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, this classic work is once more available for all scholars of Iran, China and cultural exchange.
Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was a pioneering anthropologist and sinologist. He attended the universities of Berlin and Leipzig, where he studied a wide range of languages, including Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan, under the leading scholars of the day. He moved to the USA at the suggestion of Franz Boas, taking up a position at the Museum of Natural History in new York and joining the Jesup North Pacific Expedition to Siberia and Alaska, ultimately leading the expedition. Laufer then joined the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where he became Head of the Department of Anthropology there. He led three further expeditions to China - the Jacob H. Scruff Expedition of 1901-4, the Blackstone Expedition of 1908-10 and the Marshall Expedition of 1923. He was responsible for one of the first collections of Chinese material culture in the USA. His two books, Jade: A Study in Chinese Archaeology and Religion and Chinese Pottery of the Han Dynasty remain seminal works. Sino-Iranica, here published as Ancient Iran through Chinese Records is regarded as his most significant work.
CONTENTS New Introduction by Brian Spooner Introduction Sino-Iranica Alfalfa The Grape-Vine The Pistachio The Walnut The Pomegranate Sesame and Flax The Coriander The Cucumber Chive, Onion, and Shallot Garden Pea and Broad Bean Saffron and Turmeric Safflower Jasmine Henna The Balsam-Poplar Manna Asafoetida Galbanum Oak-Galls Indigo Rice Pepper Sugar Myrobalan The `Gold Peach' Fu-tse Brassica Cummin The Date-Palm The Spinach Sugar Beet and Lettuce Ricinus The Almond The Fig The Olive Cassia Pods and Carob Narcissus The Balm of Gilead Note on the Language of Fu-lin The Water-Melon Fenugreek Nux-Vomica The Carrot Aromatics Spikenard-Storax-Myrrh-Putchuck-Styrax benjoin The Malayan Po-se and Its Products Alum-Lac-Camphor-Aloes-Amomum- P, o-lo-te-Psoralea-Ebony Persian Textiles Brocades-Rugs-Yue no-Woolen Stuffs-Asbestos Iranian Minerals, Metals, and Precious Stones Borax-Sal Ammoniac-Litharge-Gold-Oxides of Copper-Colored SaltZinc--Steel- Se-se-Emerald-Turquois-Lapis Lazuli-Diamond-Amber-Coral-Bezoar Titles of the Sasanian Government 529 Irano-Sinica The Square Bambo-Silk-Peach and Apricot-Cinnamon-Zedoary-Ginger-Mamiran-Rhubarb- Salsola-Emblic Myrobalan-Althaea-Rose of China-Mango-Sandal-Birch-Tea-Onyx-Tootnague-Saltpetre-Kaolin-Smilax pseudochina-Rag-paper-Paper Money-Chinese Loan-Words in Persian-The Chinese in the Alexander Romance Appendix I Iranian Elements in Mongol Appendix II Chinese Elements in Turki Appendix III The Indian Elements in the Persian Pharmacology of Abu Mansur Muwaffaq Appendix IV The Basil Appendix V Additional Notes on Loan-Words in Tibetan General Index Botanical Index Index of Words