Lectures/Nov 16, 2022

Trans-Eurasian Exchange: Fresh from Sogdiana

Trans-Eurasian Exchange: Fresh from Sogdiana lead image

Trans-Eurasian Exchange: Fresh from Sogdiana, lecture by Alisher Begmatov (ISAW), ISAW via Zoom, November 30, 2022, 1:00 pm EST

Sogdiana, in what is now mainly central and eastern Uzbekistan and north-western Tajikistan, found itself in between China, India, Iran, and Byzantium during late antiquity and early medieval period. A large of number of artistic and textual materials from Eurasia have shown that the inhabitants of Sogdiana took great advantage of this strategic position and acted as international traders. Not only did they engage in mercantile activities, but they also played a crucial role in cultural exchanges between East and West.

Among the growing number of textual and iconographical materials from Sogdiana, the sealings, wooden carvings, and the coins from Kafir-kala (presumed to be Rewdat, a Sogdian Royal Residence) in Samarkand are of great value for the question of late antique and early medieval trans-Eurasian interconnectivity. These novel discoveries will be the main focus of this lecture. In addition, it will briefly introduce the recent fieldwork results acquired from Kafir-kala and other sites in Sogdiana.

Alisher Begmatov is a Visiting Research Scholar at ISAW. He conducts research on the extinct languages and cultures of pre-Islamic Central Asia, by taking an integrative approach combining fields such as philology, archaeology and art history.

Advance registration required.