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Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World

Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World

A 2-day conference held at UCLA and UC Irvine on November 8 and 9, 2012.

The destruction of the giant Buddha statues at Bamiyan in March 2001 briefly brought the world’s attention to the rich pre-Islamic heritage of Afghanistan. Appalling as it was, the tragedy at Bamiyan has overshadowed the larger stories that surround the Buddhas, both in terms of the longer history of archaeological excavation in Afghanistan and the plurality of ancient cultures that flourished in the region. Bringing together archaeologists and historians, these two half-day conferences at UCLA and UC Irvine explore two related issues. First, what archaeological, art historical and philological research can tell us about the evolution and interaction of societies and religious groups in the ancient and late antique Persianate world. And secondly, what roles have domestic and international politics had to play in the sponsorship or reception of historical and archaeological research on pre-Islamic Afghanistan. By addressing these questions, the conferences aim to understand the larger issues that surrounded both the creation and the destruction of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Showcasing the cutting-edge of international research on Afghanistan’s archaeology and history, Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas is jointly organized by Nile Green, chair of the UCLA Program on Central Asia, and Touraj Daryaee, Director of the UCI Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, with support from the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, the UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies, the Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Musa Sabi Term Chair in Iranian Studies (2004-2009).


Conference Schedule - Day 1  Day 2
 



Conference Media

Opening Remarks

An introduction by Nile Green, UCLA

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Oxus: Bamiyan, Afghanistan & the World

Keynote lecture by Llewelyn Morgan, Brasenose College, Oxford

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Archaeology and political rivalries 1920-1940: From Afghanistan to Iran

Ali Mousavi, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

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Afghanistan’s Palimpsest Landscape: Buddhism and Islam in Material Culture

Alka Patel, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, UC Irvine

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Archaeology in Danger: How to Deal with Archaeology in the Post-Conflict Context of Today's Afghanistan?

Phillipe Marquis, Director, Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA),  Kabul

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Closing Remarks

Closing remarks by Monica Smith, UCLA

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Fredrik Hiebert: "The Bronze Age of Afghanistan” (National Geographic Society, Washington D.C.) from UCI Persian Studies on Vimeo.

 

 


UCLA: Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World - November 8 and 9, 2012


Cosponsored by Center for Buddhist StudiesCenter for Near Eastern StudiesAsia Institute, Center for the Study of ReligionUCI Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, American Institute for Afghanistan Studies, Musa Sabi Term Chair in Iranian Studies (2004-2009)

Program on Central Asia