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November 9, 2012

UCLA & UC Irvine: Two-day program in Southern California showcases international research on Afghanistan's archaeology and history

Oxford Classics lecturer Llewelyn Morgan, and author of The Buddhas of Bamiyan, spoke yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles at the first of a two-day program at UCLA and UC Irvine, "Beyond the Bamiyan Buddhas: Archaeology and History in the Modern and Ancient Persianate World".

Here's a link to the Thursday program at Bunch Hall in Westwood and here's another link to the program in Orange County today.  You will notice that the program uses the image of the Buddhas on a postage stamp printed in London for "Postes Afghanistan" (an Afghan banknote in 1939 showed a panoramic image of the Buddhas of Bamiyan).

Dr. Morgan, interviewed here on the blog last summer, was the keynote lecturer with "Oxus: Bamiyan, Afghanistan and the World", highlighting visitors to Bamiyan in the 19th century who saw the importance of Afghanistan's history as that of a path once taken by Alexander the Great.  For example, Lieutenant Vincent Eyre who along with his wife and son were hostages in Afghanistan for nine months after a British retreat during the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1842.  Eyre noted in his journal that on a direct road to Cabul he had "Alexander the Great's column in view nearly the whole way" which he described as "one of the ancient relics of antiquity in the East" (The Military Operations at Cabul).  The 15-foot marble pillar was destroyed in 1998.

Tomorrow's meeting in Irvine will again include Dr. Morgan ("Hindu Kush: Boundary and Point of Encounter") along with Frederick Hiebert of the National Geographic Society; Phillipe Marquise, Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA),  Kabul (""2002-2012 Ten Years of Archaeological Activities in Afghanistan: A Travel through Cultures")Touraj Daryaee, UC Irvine, "King Huvishka, Yima and the Bird: Observations on a Paradisaic State"; Jennifer Rose, Claremont Graduate University, "Above the Bamiyan Buddhas: Mithra Rides in Judgment"; and Alka Patel, UC Irvine, "Afghanistan's Palimpsest Landscape: Buddhism and Islam in Material Culture".