The Silk Road and the treasures of ancient Afghanistan

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Date(s) - 06/06/2013
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

MAI seminar room,H5.95 Building H, 5th floor


Speaker Dr Angelo Andrea Di Castro (PhD Naples, Italy) Co-ordinated by Sharmini Sherrad

The conquest of Alexander the Great in the lands of Eastern Iran, Afghanistan and the North-Western Indian regions had a considerable impact on local cultures. Looking at some of the most remarkable cultural heritage material recently presented in a Melbourne exhibition this lecture will explore some distinctive facets of ancient Afghanistan heritage and the reverberations along the Silk Road.  Aspects of ethnicity and religious syncretism as well as cross-cultural interactions will be considered in relation to the various invaders and the waves of nomads that entered Bactria and adopted the lifestyles of the conquered sedentary population (Iranians, Bactrians, Greeks and Indians).  The new geopolitical situation that came about following the pacified Mediterranean under the early Roman emperors, the formation of the Kushan empire from the Pamir Mountains to the Ganges Valley and the emergence of the Chinese Han dynasty in the East, enabled the development of a network of long-distance trade across the Eurasian continent.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER:  Dr Angelo Andrea Di Castro (PhD Naples, Italy), is a Monash lecturer in archaeology and ancient history and has conducted numerous excavations and archaeological investigations in Italy, Nepal and western China. He is a specialist in the archaeology of South and Central Asia, in particular India, Gandhara, and the Himalayan regions. His interests include Asian religions from an archaeological perspective, the history of the Hellenistic Far East and cultural exchange between the Indian world and the Mediterranean regions.