Reconstruction of a horse archer

Welcome to a Rough Guide to Kushan History

This site is dedicated to Kushan Studies, which encompasses a broad span of time and space, from the second century BC to the fourth century AD, and from the eastern border of modern Iran through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India, and into the Tarim Basin (Peoples Republic of China), and north into the Commonwealth of Independent states.

The period draws its name from a tribe of the Yu-Chi confederation, the Kusana, who founded an Empire contemporary with that of the Later Han in China, and the Roman Empire of Augustus. The most famous ruler of this Empire, Kanishka, became a focus of Buddhist legends for hundreds of years. Though the site also examines aspects of numismatics, social history, and archaeology.

What's New

Gandharan Studies, a new Journal dedicated to the region of Gandhara. And the journal has recently launched a website

Review of 2007, A short note on some of the publications on Kushan studies in the last year.

JIAA, The first volume of the Journal of Inner-Asian Art and Archaeology has now been published.

Nagarjuna, Publish or Perish, A talk by Joseph Walser on this Kushan era philosopher.

IndoSkript, A review of the Computer based tool for Brahmi Inscriptions

Kashmiri Smast, one the hot topics of the moment. News that Dr M N Khan's survey publication will be available shortly.

Resouces for Kushan History

The site has a variety of resouces for Kushan studies, covering coins, chronology, and social history. For a complete list of articles on the site visit the contents page. There are also reviews of books that are directly related to Kushan studies as well as books on diverse areas of Indian and Central Asian history, art and numismatics. There is a general history of the Kushan period from the early migrations of the Yu-Chi to the later Kushans and Kushan-Shahs.

Contact me if you have questions, ideas etc. Direct emails to


Check out this map quiz at the Silk Road Seattle website. A great bit of fun, and a good test of your geographic grasp on the region.

Contents Page General History Ideals of Beauty The Date of Kanishka The Devaluation of Huvishka's Coinage

Robert Bracey.