Dr Paul Wordsworth is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford specialising in the archaeology of the medieval Caucasus and Central Asia, with a particular interest on the northeastern fringes of the early Islamic world. He is currently directing two archaeological projects: one explores the landscape of a provincial Abbasid capital city in Azerbaijan, the other is with the Metropolitan Museum, New York, examining the emergence of a medieval Silk Road town in the desert of Turkmenistan. Having gained his PhD at the University of Copenhagen on medieval Central Asian trade routes and travel, he has also carried out extensive archaeological fieldwork across the Near East and Central Asia. His forthcoming book, Moving in the Margins: Desert Travel and Power in Medieval Central Asia explores the complex relationship between movement, trade, politics and society that lies behind the development of medieval networks of travel in the region.