Who were the Sogdian People? Early Central Asia
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Who were the Sogdians?

Oxus Treasure chariot
A horse-drawn chariot from the Oxus Treasure
(British Museum, thanks to Mary Harrsch)

The Sogdians came to Sogdiana (parts of modern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) probably about 1500 BC as part of the wave of Indo-European migration to the south-east where many people left Georgia and Armenia about that time and moved to Persia and northern India. So the Sogdians, like their Persian and Indian neighbors, were Indo-Europeans, whose language was closely related to Persian. Like other Indo-Europeans, they brought with them their horses and chariots. The Sogdians' main city was Marakanda (now Samarkand).

When Cyrus the Great conquered the lands around Persia to form the Persian Empire in 526 BC, one of the kingdoms he conquered was Sogdiana. The Sogdians were part of the Persian Empire until 325 BC. The Sogdians had a big fort called the Sogdian Rock or the Rock of Arimazes. Near this fort, at Takhti Sangin, there was a magnificent collection of gold and silver now known as the Oxus Treasure. Probably the reason the Sogdians had so much gold and silver was that they were traders, selling horses and cattle to China and Persia, and also selling Chinese silk to Persia and Persian silver and glass beads to China. Many of the Sogdian men were great soldiers who helped to protect the Persians against the nomadic Scythians to their north.

Sogdians and the Silk Road

Bibliography and further reading:

More about Central Asia

For Presidents' Day, check out our articles about Washington in the Revolutionary War and Lincoln in the Civil War. Find out about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the other Amendments, and how Washington promised to include freedom of religion.
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
Looking for more?
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Proud of your class page, homework page, or resource page? Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Cool stuff we've been enjoying: Looking for Valentine's gifts? Check out these new Chromebooks - all the computer you need for only $229.00!. Then study in peace with these Beats wireless headphones - for the exact same price! When you're done, show off your presentation or watch a movie with this excellent smartphone projector for only $39.99!

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 20 February, 2017