Sunday, May 6, 2012
Tarim Mummies et al. - lectures from Penn Museum
yesterday I came across a series of video lectures by some of the most pre-eminent scholars researching the history of the Great Eurasian Steppe and Central Asia ancient civilisations.
Last year the Penn Museum held this very important symposium devoted to the history of the Silk Road (here an article on the history of the Silk Road) in light of new discoveries and analysis of the discovered material, especially as related to the Tocharians (the image above shows Tocharian warriors from the Qizil Cave in Tarim Basin, dated to late V - early VI century AD).
I am going to list my favourite lectures out of the whole symposium, by names of the scholars who presented them.
Prof. David Anthony - "Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes"- my favourite lecture.
Prof. Elizabeth Wayland Barber - "The Xinjiang Textiles: More Corridors in the Goldmine"
She wrote a very interesting book on the textiles of the Tarim Mummies, titled "The mummies of Urumchi."
Prof. James P. Mallory - Indo-European Dispersals and the Eurasian Steppe - who, amongst other works, wrote a very important book "In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth" (1989), and together with Victor Mair ''The Tarim Mummies''- ground-breaking work on the subject of the ancient Indo-Europeans in Central Asia.
Prof. Victor H. Mair - The Northern Cemetery: Epigone or Progenitor of Small River Cemetery No. 5? , in addition, there is also his very interesting lecture on the Tarim Mummies, given at Penn Museum as well.
Prof. Colin Renfrew - Before Silk: Unsolved Mysteries of the Silk Road - author of too numerous books and articles to list. In this lecture prof. Renfrew, amongst others, shows an photo of a leather pad saddle with a bridle and a bit with cheekpieces unearthed in the Tarim Basin, and a rather crude drawing showing a reconstruction of this very ancient horse tack. also images of Sintashta chariots
Dr Michael Frachetti - Seeds for the Soul: East/West Diffusion of Domesticated Grains along the Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. - I happen to have his book "Pastoralist Landscapes and Social Interaction in Bronze Age Eurasia." (2008)
!thanks! my Persian friend Nadeem I am going to share with you a link to this great magazine - The Silk Road Journal - devoted to the archaeology, history and culture along the Silk Road - and it is free to download - :)
A sketch-in-progress of a North Iranian nomadic warrior performing a rite; they worshipped both wind (''breath'') and the sword, because they believed that the wind gave life, the sword because it took it [Lucian, Toxaris - after Prof. Mariusz Mielczarek, ''The Sarmatians'')