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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!


International Women’s Day
8 March 2020

We are very lucky to have talented men and women from all around the world in our research group, who interact and work together as equals. U
nfortunately, in science and academia, we still need days like today to highlight gender inequality is far from over - there is still a lot of prejudice, skewered job and pay percentages, even right-out misogyny, and most of it remains deeply ingrained in the system.

One of the best ways to tackle this is to focus on what’s to come, to celebrate the young female scientists who are making a difference and will continue to do this. To illustrate, here are Rishika, PhD student, and Marike, team supervisor, in Alexandria, near the auditorium where Hypatia of Alexandria taught classes as one of the world's first female lecturers and famous mathematician.

Marike adds: 'Over the past years, I have had the privilege to teach and work with young women from, among others, India, South Korea, Mongolia, Japan, China, Mexico, Greece,  USA and Iran. While all my students are equal to me, regardless of gender, I can’t deny that there often still seems to be a different set of rules for women; I have encountered this often myself.' 
We all need to work together to acknowledge this, understand the roots of it, and change it. #IWD2020 #EachforEqual


The PhD research of our team leader Marike van Aerde is now available as a book. While mainly concerned with Egyptian material culture in the Roman world, it was this research that eventually led to our team's focus on Egyptian/East African connectivity and the Indian Ocean.

Read more about it at the publishers, Babesch Supplement Series, Peeters.


Marike van Aerde will be giving a talk about trade and cultural connectivity in ancient Gandhara this month, as part of the NKV (Nederlands Klassiek Verbond) lecture series. All are welcome, but note that the lecture will be in Dutch. 

To tie in with Classical studies in Leiden, the talk will focus on the presence of Greek (material) culture in Gandhara as an integral part of a much more diverse repertoire of cultures that met in this region during Antiquity. Early Buddhist architecture, coins, and even linguistics will be discussed.

Click here for more details on the NKV website (also in Dutch).   


Our team is now complete!
Check out the new entries in the
About Us section.


Our first two blog posts are online!
Check out Alex's adventures in the Karakorum, and Rishika's dive into the depot.