Victor H. Mair: The Tarim Basin as the Crossroads of Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages


21 January 2019, 10:00


Krizkovskeho 14, room KC-1.07


Since the glory days of the Silk Road, mainly from about the 2nd c. BC to the 15th c. AD, the importance of the trade routes that passed through Eastern Central Asia was widely recognized.  What was not known were the facts about the vital role of this region for trans-Eurasian exchange before that time.  It was only with the discovery of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age mummies around the edges of the Taklamakan Desert in recent decades that investigators have come to realize the significance of the Tarim Basin as a key nexus for cultural interflow already before the time of the Silk Road.  In this lecture, we will confront the archaeological and other types of evidence that demonstrate these findings conclusively.


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