Ancient Persian Sculptures by Kāvaśajī Dīnaśāhajī Kiash

By Kāvaśajī Dīnaśāhajī Kiash

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T o a considerable extent, movement in the Siberian and European portions of Inner Asia has been able to compensate for these directional debilities by use of land routes between river systems. Relatively short portages connected the long, latitudinally oriented tributaries of the major north-flowing Siberian rivers to form east-west avenues of movement. Although the limited navigational season on these rivers, ranging from six months in southern Siberia to only three months in the northern parts, also was a serious handicap to transportation, pathways formed by the frozen surfaces of rivers frequently were used for overland type movement.

E. their upper layers are less deprived of mineral nutrients) than the podzolic soils of the taiga. Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 34 The geographical setting grasslands from the continuous belts of deciduous trees or mixed forests and combines vegetative features of both zones. O n the drier southern margins of the steppe, the short grasses of the desert steppe act as a biotic divide between the prairies and deserts of Inner Asia. Generally, the richness of the grass cover of the steppes increases directly with their distance from the deserts of Inner Asia.

Although a complex mixture of desert types is common, generally, the surface of these deserts is covered by sand in the west, stone and gravel in the central Gobi regions, and by sands and gravels in the eastern deserts of the Ala Shan and Ordos. The T a k l a m a k a n Desert occupies the center of the enclosed Tarim Basin and contains migrating sand dunes (barkhans) with heights occasionally reaching 300 feet to 400 feet. This enormous zone of sands is virtually devoid of vegetation except for the dense " t u g a y " vegetation along the Tarim River and its tributaries which empty into the Lobnor lake.

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