At this Study Day, we will hear stories of the arts and artefacts discovered on explorations of the Silk Road.
Join Susan Whitfield for three lectures on this Study Day. She will recount stories of the arts, history and explorations of the Silk Road, based on her 25 years experience of researching the Silk Road at the British Library, curation of major international exhibitions and extensive travelling and writing.
Lecture 1. The Silk Road: Introduction to its History and Cultures
A general context-setting lecture, illustrated with maps and artefacts, giving an outline of what we mean by the Silk Road and introducing some of the major events and cultures along it in the first millennium AD.
Lecture 2. The Silk Road: Exploration and Discovery
This tells the story of the early 20th century imperial archaeologists of the Silk Road, concentrating on the British/Hungarian, Sir Aurel Stein, and how he uncovered forgotten civilisations of the Silk Road from the desert sands of the Taklamakan. His finds are now mainly in the British Museum and British Library.
Lecture 3. Silk Road Art
This lecture introduces several wonderful pieces of art exemplifying the transmissions and interactions of peoples, faiths, technologies, materials and designs along the Silk Road. The objects include a gilt silver flask, a glass bowl, a patterned silk and a Buddhist votive plaque.
Dr Susan Whitfield is a writer, scholar, lecturer and traveler of the Silk Roads. During 25 years curating the collections of over 50,000 medieval manuscripts from central Asia at the British Library, she also helped found and then developed an international collaboration working on the art and artefacts of the eastern Silk Roads.
She has lectured and written widely on the history and arts of the Silk Roads. Her latest book, Silk Roads: Peoples, Culture and Landscapes, was published by Thames & Hudson in October 2019 and translated into six languages. She has also curated several major exhibitions, with a forthcoming show at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, and has organized field trips to archaeological sites in the Taklamakan desert.