Silk Roads seminar series

UCL institute of archaeology Silk Roads centre is hosting a lecture series on Mondays and select Fridays

After 10 weeks of wonderful treats from twelve elite scholars in the field of archaeology and heritage along Silk Roads and Maritime Silk Routes, we have come to the end of the Silk Roads Seminar Series at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. If you missed any of the lectures you can read summaries (with links for further reading and reference). That post is being updated as the summaries become available so keep checking back. Enjoy and thank you for tuning in!

The Silk Roads Seminar Series is a joint series organised by the International Centre for Silk Roads Archaeology & Heritage, the Central Asian Archaeological Landscape project (CAAL), and the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA), at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.   The series will explore three inter-related themes: archaeology in Central Asia (broadly related to the Silk Roads), the Maritime Silk Routes, and the geopolitics of the Silk Roads today.  Leading scholars in these fields are invited to present their research.  Scroll down for the programme or view it here.

These seminars will take place at Zoom platform, throughout the Term II, on Mondays and selected Fridays:

Professor Ma Jian on The Evolution of Prehistoric Settlements in the Eastern Tianshan Mountains and the Exchanges between Eastern and Western CiviliSations

The Eastern Tianshan Mountains is an important area that connects various routes of the Tianshan Corridor with the Hexi Corridor in western China. During the Bronze Age, it experienced frequent cultural transfers, human migration, and diffusion of techniques, attracting multiple cultural flows. Through more than 20 years of archaeological investigations and excavations, combined with more than 200 AMS-calibrated radiocarbon dates, Dr Jian MA divides the settlement evolution in the Eastern Tianshan Mountains into two periods (four stages) and analyses the characteristics of settlements at each stage in his research. The settlement patterns, burial customs, rich relics and ancient DNA data reveal that the ancient residents of the Eastern Tianshan Mountains have close exchange and integration with the people from the Western Tianshan Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Xichengyi-culture in the Hexi Corridor.

Dr Jian MA, a Professor at the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwest University, is currently the Dean of the School. His research interests lies in the archaeology of cultural interflow of ancient China and outside world, archaeology of ancient nomadic settlement and application of GIS in archaeology. He presides over a number of projects and has authored papers on leading journals such as PNAS, Cultural Relics, The Holocene and Radiocarbon.


We look forward to seeing you on Monday and please do feel free to forward the series to colleagues who might be of interest.

Best wishes and stay well,

Tim Williams, Dorian Fuller & Rui Pang

The International Centre for Silk Roads Archaeology & Heritage
The Central Asian Archaeological Landscape project (CAAL)
The International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (ICCHA)
UCL Institute of Archaeology

the programme

11/01/2021 Prof Tim Winter (University of Western Australia, Perth) Geocultural Power: The Revival of the Silk Roads in the 21st Century

18/01/2021 Dr Dmitry Voyakin (Director of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies, Samarkand) Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Kazakhstan, including an investigation of Aral Sea Region

25/01/2021 Prof Simon Kaner (Executive Director, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, and Director, Centre for Japanese Studies and University of East Anglia) Nara to Norwich: Art and Belief at the Ends of the Silk Roads

01/02/2021 Dr Helen Persson Swain (freelance) Curating the V&A Stein Collection

08/02/2021 Dr Marco Nebbia (UCL), with Dr Gai Jorayev (UCL) The Central Asian Archaeological Landscape Project: Remote Sensing and Landscape Change

22/02/2021 Dr Veronica Walker-Vadillo (University of Helsinki) Ports and Harbours of Southeast Asia: Human-environment Entanglements in Early Modern Maritime Trade Networks

01/03/2021 Dr Bérénice Bellina-Pryce (Maison Archéologie Ethnologie, CNRS & University of Paris-Nanterre) Recent Work on Riverine Ports in Myanmar

08/03/2021 Dr Robert Spengler (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) Seed-Dispersal Mechanisms in Plant Domestication

15/03/2021 Dr June Wang (Associate Professor of Urban Geography in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong) The Silk Roads and Geopolitics in Heritage

22/03/2021 Dr Anke Hein (Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford) Human Response to High Altitude Environmental Change on the Eastern Rim of the Tibetan Plateau

Three Friday seminars commencing at 10:00 GMT


26/02/2021 Prof Himanshu Prabha Ray (Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University & Senior Research Fellow at Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies) Maritime Networks in the Indian Ocean

05/03/2021 Prof Sarah Ward (Visiting Professor of Maritime Archaeology at Dalian Maritime University’s Centre for Maritime History and Culture Research) Asian underwater cultural heritage

12/03/2021 Prof MA Jian (Northwest University China) Archaeology in the Eastern Tianshan Mountains

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