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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423

ARCH 1490 The Archaeology of Central Asia: Alexander in Afghanistan, and Buddhas in Bactria

Central Asia (from ca. 500 BC to AD 200) has tended to be treated as the ultimate frontier zone — on the fringes of the Mediterranean, the Near East, and India. Scholarly perspectives today are radically changing, with Central Asia emerging as a cultural and political entity in its own right. This course will explore the archaeology, art and history of what is today modern Afghanistan and the formerly Soviet Central Asian Republics, considering the region’s development under the Persian empire, the rule of Alexander the Great, and finally of his Greek-named successor kings.

MWF 1:00-1:50. Instructor: Rachel Mairs.

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Document IconMairs Central Asia Concise Syllabus.pdf

Document IconMairs Central Asia Provisional Reading.pdf

First class Wednesday 7 September, 13:00-13:50

          Document IconMairs Central Asia handout 1.pdf

          Document IconMairs Central Asia Powerpoint 1a.pdf

Third class Monday 12 September, 13:00-13:50

          Document IconLecuyot 2007.pdf

          Document IconCentral Asia modern political map.pdf

Useful Resources:

UNESCO History of Civilizations of Central Asia:  (Volume II is most relevant for this course.)

The Archaeology of the Hellenistic Far East: A Survey (bibliography and literature review):

Exhibition catalogues and websites:

'Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures':

'Afghanistan : les trésors retrouvés' (French version of same exhibition):

'Alexander the Great and the Opening of the World':

For fun and prevarication:

Documentary 'The Forgotten Alexandria' on YouTube (with some great images and 3D reconstruction of Ai Khanoum):

Ancient Afghanistan for Kids:

How to make a replica of the glass fish flask from Begram:

Alexander the Great, the Bollywood years: Sikandar-e Azam (1965):