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Tibetans in Wakhan: New Data From Rock Art and Inscriptions

CISA Speaker Series

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Bunche Hall 10383 - Hybrid

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Recently discovered archaeological evidence of 8th-9th century Tibetan presence in the Wakhan Corridor of the Afghan Pamir and the adjacent Gilgit region of northern Pakistan substantiates the great Tibetan-Chinese rivalry in the Pamir and Gilgit regions. This first-millennium “Great Game” for control of the Silk Roads is known largely from the annals of the Tibetan and Tang empires. The sites which I discovered display numerous Tibetan inscriptions and associated chorten (stupa) figures which provide archaeological confirmation of these events. Interestingly, several inscriptions bearing a West Tibetan clan name point to a possible later occupation by the West Tibetan kingdom in the 11th century. If so, then the current scholarly assumption that by the end of the 9th century, Tibetan influence no longer extended to Wakhan and Gilgit needs to be re-evaluated.



John Mock holds a Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Aga Khan Foundation (Afghanistan), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), IUCN-The World Conservation Union, The Worldwide Fund for Nature-WWF, The Snow Leopard Conservancy, The National Geographic Society, Untamed Borders Ltd., and Lonely Planet Publications. His research in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan has been supported by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, The Christensen Fund, W.L. Gore Inc., the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. He is currently a Trustee of and serves as Secretary of the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. His CV is available at http://www.mockandoneil.com/jm-cv.htm






In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, UCLA will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities.
Requests can be fulfilled more effectively if notice is provided at least 10 days before the event.
Direct accommodation requests to mohammadi@ucla.edu.


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Download file: JOHN-MOCK-rq-xsu.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia, This event is sponsored by Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History, Department of History, UCLA

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