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07 March 2019Art and Architecture along the Silk Road
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Art and Architecture along the Silk Road Angela Smith Thursday 07 March 2019

The Silk Road was a series of trade routes that linked the Far East with the West. The routes began to develop in the 1st century BC and were actively used by merchants for more than a millennium. An explanation of the Silk Road is offered in a stand-alone lecture which is illustrated with examples of the art and architecture created along its routes. The day begins with an introductory session which is followed by in-depth sessions which consider the art and architecture of the following cultures during the first millennium: Persia, Islam, Ferghana Valley, India, China, South-East Asia and finally Japan. The topics all work as stand-alone study days.

The lecture titles are:

1) Routes, trades and commodities

2) Near east to India

3) Khotan to Chang’an

In the first lecture, the scene will be set, routes discussed, traders and commodities taking in examples of art and architecture to illustrate these points. We then follow a path eastwards and survey some of the buildings and art that travellers along the Silk Road in the first millennium (when it was at its busiest) would have seen. So we begin with sites in Syria including Palmyra and Dura Europos and then move eastwards through the Persian lands and central Asia, then on through India and into China.