17-18 May: Connecting the Silk Road. Trade, People & Social Networks (c. 400-1300 AD)

Leiden University (Leiden Global Interactions – Project ‘Guiding Travelers’) and the Hermitage Amsterdam organize in close collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg the conference “Connecting the Silk Road. Trade, People & Social Networks (c. 400-1300 AD) » on May 17 and 18, 2014.

The occasion for this symposium is the exhibition “Expedition Silk Road. Treasures from the Hermitage”, in the Hermitage Amsterdam on view from March 1 until September 5, 2014.


Conference Description

Connecting the Silk Road. Trade, People & Social Networks (c. 400-1300 AD)

For thousands of years, land and sea routes served to exchange goods and ideas over thousands of kilometers from the Pacific East to the Atlantic West. Contacts between east and west are often assumed to have developed first in the Roman period, and then again in the post-Marco Polo era. Exchange however continued, evolving along clusters of networks and changing routes and roads, which were commonly known as ‘the Silk Road’. Networks were created with commercial, social, religious, diplomatic incentives and connected geographical regions over any distance.

In this conference, we aim to highlight the complexity and sophistication of interactions through and between such networks by exploring their diversity, connective infrastructure and organization across natural or human-imposed boundaries. In addition, we hope to discuss development over routes and roads under influence of political, religious, economic and social changes.


Saturday, May 17
Location: Leiden University, Lipsius Building, Hall 19, Cleveringaplaats 1, Leiden.
9.00-9.30: Registration.
9.30-10.00: Short welcome – Joanita Vroom (Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University).
Opening – Willem Vogelsang (International Institute for Asian Studies).
Session I
Chairperson: Hannah Stöger (Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University).
10.00-10.30: Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna):
Connecting narratives of the Silk Road. Mapping and analyzing medieval networks of mobility and exchange.
10.30-11.00: Pavel Lurje (Hermitage St. Petersburg):
Sogdians to the south of the Taklamakan.
11.00-11.30: Coffee/tea.
Session II
Chairperson: Peter Bisschop (Leiden University Institute for Area studies (LIAS)).
11.30-12.00: Ellen Raven (LIAS): Innovation through inspiration: The adoption of the Horse-rider motif for Gupta gold coins.
12.00-12.30: Andrey Omel’chenko (Hermitage St. Petersburg): Early Paikend: Formation of a Sogdian City.
12.30-13.00: Bertille Lyonnet (CNRS Paris): Samarkand and its networks during the 1st millennium AD.
13.00-14.00: Lunch.
Session III
Chairperson: Hugh Kennedy (SOAS London).
14.00-14.30: Remco Breuker (LIAS): The last stop on the Silk Road? The Korean-Manchurian Parhae Empire (698-926) and trans regional trade.
14.30-15.00: Vyacheslav Kuleshov (Hermitage St. Petersburg): The system of trading connections of the 9th and 10th centuries in Eastern Europe and adjacent areas as reflected in silver coin hoards and Arabic literature.
15.00-15.30: Coffee/tea.
Session IV
Chairperson: Vincent Boele (Hermitage Amsterdam).
15.30-16.00: René Cappers (Universities of Leiden & Groningen): Exotic imports of the Roman Empire.
16.00-16.30: Maria Menshikova (Hermitage St. Petersburg): Treasures in silk and precious metals: Interexchange of cultures on the Silk Road in thous and years (Early Han – High Tang period).
16.30-17.00: Ursula Brosseder (University of Bonn): Interaction and exchange along the Early Silk Road.
17.00-18.30: Poster presentation & drinks.

Sunday, May 18
Location: Hermitage Amsterdam, Auditorium, Entrance Nieuwe Keizersgracht 1, Amsterdam.
9.00-9.30: Registration.
9.30-10.00: Short welcome – Birgit Boelens (Hermitage Amsterdam).
Opening – Cathelijne Broers (Director Hermitage Amsterdam), followed by His Excellency
Ambassador Vladimir Norov the Ambassador of Uzbekistan.
Session V
Chairperson: Jonathan Silk (LIAS).
10.00-10.30: Susan Whitfield (British Library London): Stupas and temples on the Silk Road: Understanding networks through material culture.
10.30-11.00: Evgeny Kiy & Asan Torgoev (Hermitage St. Petersburg): Main results of the excavation of the Buddhist temple found in 2010 in Northern Kyrgyzstan.
11.00-11.30: Break.
Session VI
Chairperson: Julius Morche (LIAS).
11.30-12.00: Marie Favereau (Institute for History, Leiden University): Italian traders in the Golden Horde: Connecting Europe to Central Asia.
12.00-12.30: Anastasia Teplyakova (Hermitage St. Petersburg): Silk trade in the Northern Black Sea area in late 13th – early 14th centuries: Written sources and archaeological finds.
12.30-13.00: Peter Hoppenbrouwers (Department of Medieval History, Leiden University): Breaking adrift. Nomadic invasions from Inner Eurasia into Central Europe and the Middle-East, and their impact on populations and polities in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
13.00-14.00: Break.
Session VII
Chairperson: Hilde De Weerdt (LIAS).
14.00-15.00: Synthesis and final discussion.
15.00-15.15: Closing by Gabrielle van den Berg (LIAS) and Pavel Lur’je (Hermitage St Petersburg).
Poster presentation and exhibition visit.
Pour plus d’informations: http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lias/highlights/conference-2014.html

Camille Rhoné

Agrégée d'histoire, titulaire d'une thèse de doctorat en histoire de l'Islam médiéval ("Défendre le territoire en Iran nord-oriental - Khorassan et Transoxiane -, IXe-XIe siècle"), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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