Category Archives: trade

Selenium and Horses in China: A Missing Link

‘In climbing up and down mountains and crossing ravines and mountain torrents, the horses of China cannot compare with those of the Xiongnu.’1 This observation by Chao Cuo 晁錯 (ca. 200–154 BC), a minister in the Han empire ruling China … Continue reading

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A Trio of Mismatched Camels

A stone relief carving by a leading sculptor in 19th century Britain shows three camels—and the bones of a fourth—laden with goods being led by a man dressed in Bedouin robes. The frieze has been noted in several books and recent blog posts but few have mentioned a striking feature: the central camel is clearly a Bactrian, a two-humped camel from central Asia. How do we explain this anatopistic beast? Continue reading

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