NEWS & UPDATES
Abdul Ghani Khan (MPhil), our colleague in Pakistan, has been awarded the Prince Claus Heritage Grant for the rescue and preservation of ancient rock art in the Karakorum mountains. As academic coordinator, Dr. Marike van Aerde will collaborate with the documentation and analyses of these endangered petroglyphs as well, and our entire team will continue to support Ghani's hard work for this important heritage project!
Visit our new webpage dedicated to this project here, or use the link in the main menu.
We are very glad to announce the official Open Access publication of the new book chapter Buddha on the Rocks by Marike van Aerde, Alexander Mohns and Abdul Ghani Khan, as part of The Global Connections of Gandharan Art series at Oxford University.
In this chapter, we offer new archaeological, interpretative and statistical analyses of early Buddhist and zoomorphic petroglyphs, which were carved along the ancient routes that connected the north of the Indian Subcontinent (current-day Pakistan) with the Tarim Basin (current-day China), from ca. 300 BCE onwards.
The full book can be accessed and downloaded at Oxford University, by clicking the image.
Our specific chapter, 'Buddha on the Rocks' can also be directly accessed via the DOI: 10.32028/9781789696950 or at Archaeopress Oxford.
A Diplomatic Invitation
This month we were cordially invited by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Netherlands, his Excellency Mr. Sumith Nakandala. The Ambassador is very interested in our research concerning ancient Indian Ocean trade, and has suggested plans for collaborations and connections for possible archaeological studies in Sri Lanka. Together with our team coordinator, Dr. Marike van Aerde, PhD student Sam Botan and MA student Alex Mohns, who is also from Sri Lanka, partook in the visit and are eager to maintain this valuable connection. On behalf of our entire team, we would like to thank Ambassador Nakandala very much for his hospitality and interest in our work.
Our Silk Roads Vlog has been featured in the official Leiden University Archaeology Blog. (Check out the blog entry by clicking on the logo).
Archaeology in the time of corona
Leiden University published a news item about our team, on how we are managing our work during this global pandemic. Our team members are scattered across different continents right now, but we are keeping in close contact. Instead of our planned fieldwork and conferences this year, we will be focusing on digital publications and research.
In the article you can read more about our plans, and find out what the situation is like for an international research group like ours. Click on the banner to visit the page.
UPDATE: Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak
Because of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic, our team’s research in Vadodara, India (planned for March 2020) was cancelled at the last moment. We fully understand and support the precautions India is taking, so all we can do for now is adapt and make the best of the current situation.
This outbreak has a big impact on international projects like ours, re logistics/bureaucracy, visa, permits, funding... But even as things lock down for a while now, we are already looking and planning ahead to later in the year to catch up and continue our work. Hopefully a little flexibility goes a long way. Moreover, we all have a responsibility to protect our (international) communities, so for now we will instead focus on finishing some new publications, catching up on our reading, and staying in touch with our students.
Stay safe everyone!