The role of the Sogdian Colonies in the diffusion of the pearl roundels pattern
by Matteo Compareti. Excerpt, "The archaeological objects discovered in the desert territory situated in the Xinjiang Uighurs' Autonomous Province (China) -or Eastern Turkestan- include a large quantity of textiles and other organic materials preserved thanks to the particular climatic conditions of the zone...The fumian discovered in the graves but not the robe worn by the dead is composed of a set of more interesting textiles because of their decoration. These show mostly a pattern called "pearl roundel design" composed of circular frames embellished with white discs which resemble pearls. The frames can enclose many themes (human, animal, vegetal, etc.) and are tangent to each other. At the point where two roundels touch instead of the smaller discs there are squares or crescents. In the interstice created by the encounter of four roundels are vegetal motifs, often arranged with zoomorphic ones..."