by Harry Falk, Professor at the Free University of Berlin
When the Kushan had finally established their rule over Bactria and parts of Northern India they also controlled the trade routes across the Pamir.
Reading the travel accounts of modern explorers (M.A. Stein, S. Hedin, W. Filchner a.o.) showed that not too many pathways are open and that some are more inhospitable than it appears when looking at modern road maps.
When and where did the Kushans link their own stations to the trading posts in Western Xinjiang? Modern reports as well as the historical travel accounts of Maes Titiano up to Marco Polo and British geographers can be linked to what the Hanshu says about the Chinese possessions at the Western border in the 1st cent. BC. And the combined survey suggests that the Yuezhi exercised control over the Pamir much earlier than what is commonly assumed.