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In Russian, Rossiiskaia arkheologiia [Russian archaeology, formerly Sovetskaia Arkheologiia] and Vestnik drevnei istorii [Journal of ancient history], both published in Moscow, still occasionally publish articles on Central Asia, but far less than before.

Commercial records in Turco-Sogdian and Chinese, found in Turfan and Dunhuang, shed new light on the integration of Sogdian colonies into the social fabric of early mediaeval China. de la Vaissière, in the subsequent volumes of Abstracta Iranica (11-23-), section “Est de l’Iran”]. Sogdiana and the Sogdians have exerted the greatest attraction, thanks to their historical role as intermediaries along the Silk Road and also to their particularly refined artistic culture (already in 1981 Sogdian Painting, published under the direction of Guitty Azarpay, was a revelation for many). Grenet, Frantz; Sims-Williams, Nicholas; la Vaissière, Étienne de. Provisional report of researches on historical sites and inscriptions in Mongolia from 1996 to 1998. In reality, Sogdian studies have never ceased being cultivated in the West since the beginning of the 20th century, but for the main part had been confined to philologists working on the text material brought back by the British, German, French, and Russian expeditions in the Tarim region. Drevneishie gosudarstva Kavkaza i Srednei Azii [The most ancient states of the Caucasus and Central Asia]. “The Sogdian Ancient Letter V.” Bulletin of the Asia Institute, 12 (1998 [2001]), 91-104. “The last days of Panjikent.” Silk Road Art and Archaeology, 8 (2002), 155-196. Osaka: The Society of Central Eurasian Studies, 1999. Sogdian and other Iranian inscriptions of the Upper Indus. This did not result from the discovery of a mass of new written documents (contrary to what happened with Bactrian studies), nor to a large extension of field archaeology (on the contrary, the great excavations inherited from the Soviet period have since shrunk due to financial difficulties, with a few exceptions such as Samarkand and Paykend). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie des Wissenschaften, 2001. The main reason for the blossoming of Sogdian studies has been, on the one hand, better communication among the specialists involved, and, on the other hand, chance discoveries in China, which have added a new angle to the perception of the historical role of the Sogdians. Sims-Williams provides an update for Gershevitch’s Grammar which remains indispensable (not only for the Manichean variant of the Sogdian language). I hope that in the near future Zvonareva will show us some cute pics of her child and reveal the identity of her husband.

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