In this Vlog, MA student Alex Mohns will tell you about his research on Sri Lanka's major ancient trade ports and sites: Mantai, Anuradhapura and Ruhuna. You will be introduced to various methods and techniques we use, such as satellite and distribution charts, and the wider framework of documenting and understanding international trade networks from Antiquity. You'll also get a closer look at some Indo-Pacific glass beads, which were traded from Sri Lanka all across the Indian Ocean region in ancient times.
BLOGS & VLOGS
In this new Vlog, MA student Alex Mohns talks to Sam Botan, who is about to start his PhD research on the archaeology of the ancient African kingdom of Aksum and its integral role in global trade between 100 BCE-800 CE. Sam's work will be an important part of our team's transregional research, and will focus on Aksumite ceramic finds from the Horn of Africa, Oman, as well as India. Such a fact-based approach will also allow for new insights into much wider questions relating to ancient trade routes and connections across the Indian Ocean. But especially in accessing all the data and sites, the 19th-20th century history of colonial archaeology in this region has left a significant mark. In this Vlog, Sam and Alex reflect on this long-lasting impact of the colonial times in Africa, and discuss new research approaches and perspectives. (Also, keep an eye out for occasional lab teleportation).
In the video below, our MA student Alex Mohns guides you through the different steps and labs of documenting unpublished archaeological datasets from Palmyra (Syria) and Petra (Jordan). These are two important ancient Silk Roads sites, dating to roughly the early to mid 1st millennium CE. In this vlog, you will see some fabric description, sampling, technical drawing, object photography, and microscope study.
While the idea of archaeologists travelling the world, exploring ruins and remote places, appeals to the imagination (and is, in many cases, also true) – we also spend a lot of time writing scientific publications and giving speeches about our findings at all kinds of academic conferences. In this blog we will share some of our experiences from such conferences: the Gandhara Connections symposium in Oxford in the spring of 2019, and the international conference ‘Alexandria the Cosmopolis’ in Alexandria, Egypt, in the winter of 2019.
Last June, Alex Mohns, our team’s fieldwork technician, received a message from the project leader Dr. Marike van Aerde: ‘Would you be willing to go to Pakistan - at really short notice?’ There was only a moment’s hesitation before Alex’s archaeological curiosity got the better of him. He wrote his BA thesis on the Karakorum rock carvings from North Pakistan, so this offer was a great chance for him to widen his expertise. He applied for a visa immediately and only a few weeks later, he was off. After a few stressful flight connections, he spent a relaxing night in Islamabad before heading back out onto the road. The ancient Silk Road, to be precise!
Rishika Dhumal has just finished her Master’s at Leiden University, and is now preparing to continue her research as a PhD . This summer, she went back home to India, but not just to see her family! Preparing for a PhD is not something you easily forget about, not even when leaving the Netherlands for a well-earned break in India. So, Rishika also visited her old university in Baroda, the Maharaja Sayajirao University, where she was granted access to the depot of the archaeological department.