The Silk Road

Date Posted: 06/10/2015

So, I’ve been off on my travels again…

This time I’m making a 3-part series for the BBC on The Silk Road. We will be travelling in a huge variety of ways and in a huge variety of styles, from Venice to Beijing – that’s 5000 miles across 13 countries.

Last week was Tajikistan. We flew to Dushanbe and then drove up an appalling track for seven hours to reach the Yagnabi people who live in almost total isolation in a mountainous valley. And why them? Well they are the only surviving descendants of the mighty Sogdians, whose language and culture dominated the Silk Road for a thousand years from two centuries before the birth of Christ. When they came under threat they retreated and hid…

They now continue to live as an isolated community but their culture is dying. Their language – Yagnabi – is Sogdian. To speak with them is to cross an audio bridge with the ancient past….

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