CONFERENCE: From Timur to Nadir Shah: Cultural Connections between Iran, India and Central Asia – 15-17 December 2014, Pembroke College, Cambridge

The British Institute of Persian Studies  conference “From Timur to Nadir Shah: cultural connections between Iran, India and Central Asia”, will be held at Pembroke College, Cambridge, 15-17 December 2014. The conference is organised by Professor Charles Melville under the auspices of the BIPS research programme “Empire and authority in the Persianate world” and brings together a range of international  speakers to explore aspects of the diplomatic, literary, artistic and religious interactions between Iran, India and Central Asia in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries.

The programme, comprising 22 presentations spread over two and a half days, can be found here: . Registration, speakers, and their abstracts can be found here:


Allchin Memoirs Review in Antiquity Journal, December 2014

Raymond and Bridget Allchin’s early memoirs, From Oxus to Mysore in 1951: the start of a great partnership in Indian scholarship, have been reviewed in the New Book Chronicle in the new issue of Antiquity (December 2014, vol. 88, issue 342).

The NBC is free to read online and can be found at .

The issue is now published online (see and in print.

Publication details:

the Oxus to Mysore in 1951: the start of a great
partnership in Indian scholarship. xx+316 pages,
31 b&w illustrations. 2012. Kilkerran: Hardinge
Simpole; 978-1-84382-221-9 paperback £14.95.

Michael Petraglia: “South Asia: Central or Peripheral to the Out of Africa Story”, 5th December, 5.30pm

Friday 5th December, 5.30pm

Professor Michael Petraglia
Co-Director of the Centre for Asian Archaeology, Art & Culture, University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow, Linacre College

will speak on

South Asia: Central or Peripheral to the Out of Africa Story

at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3ER

All welcome.

This is the keynote lecture of the annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology which continues the following day at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge.
For more information, please see:

Music of the Uzbeks of Northern Afghanistan, Friday 28 November, 5.30pm, AIIT, Cambridge

Fri 28th November, 5.30pm

Razia Sultanova will screen and discuss her film

Music of the Uzbeks of Northern Afghanistan

For the last thirty years the on-going war in Afghanistan has thrown the country into a deep economic, social and cultural crisis. Since the 1970s the country has lived through a number of invasions and conflicts which have brought chaos and turmoil to the daily life of its people. Afghan society is multi-ethnic in its nature: the aim of this 34 minutes film, based on Dr Sultanova’s original video recordings from Northern Afghanistan, is to demonstrate the authenticity as well as the historical development of the phenomenon of music within the Uzbek communities, featuring acclaimed musicians such as Usto Kamolliddin, Tadj Muhammad, Sabzygul and others.

Dr Razia Sultanova is the Director of the Centre for Central Asian Music at the Cambridge Central Asia Forum, University of Cambridge. A graduate of the Uzbek State Conservatory and the Moscow State Conservatory, she has taught musicology and ethnomusicology at the Uzbek State Conservatory, Moscow State Conservatory, University of London ( at Goldsmiths College and at SOAS), and currently at Cambridge University. She is an expert on Central Asian musical traditions in theory and practice and over the last twenty years she has been conducting intensive fieldwork in all of the Central Asian republics, Caucasus, Afghanistan, Turkey, publishing articles in English, German, French, Chinese, Russian and Uzbek. Her performing repertoire focuses on Uzbek female folk music traditions.

Ancient India and Iran Trust
23 Brooklands Avenue
Cambridge CB2 8BG
Tel: 01223 356841

Refreshments from 5pm. All welcome

Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology, Cambridge, 5-6 December

The second Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology, established to commemorate the contribution of Raymond and Bridget Allchin to the development of South Asian studies in the UK,  will take place in Cambridge on 5-6 December 2014. The Symposium provides an opportunity to bring together UK-based scholars working in South Asian archaeology and those researching South Asian history, history of art and architecture, including established lecturers as well as post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.

Following a keynote address  South Asia: Central or Peripheral to the Out of Africa Story by Professor Michael Petraglia (University of Oxford), on Friday 5th December at 17.30 at the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research, Downing Street, Cambridge, the symposium will take place on Saturday 6th December at the Ancient India and Iran Trust, 23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge.

The cost of registration will be £15 and includes a light lunch.  To register, please e-mail Brendan Griggs, Administrator, Ancient India and Iran Trust at  or telephone 01223 356841 (Mon-Fri 9.00-13.00).  It will also be possible to register on arrival on Saturday 6th December.

Further details on venues, accommodation and travel can be found on the Symposium website:

All other enquiries should be addressed to the organisers at







Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund: Call for Proposals – Deadline 3rd December 2014

Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund: Call for Proposals
Application forms for this special fund scheme are now available on e-GAP.

Intending applicants need to register themselves in the system, if not already registered, and should access full details by following the links to ‘funding schemes’ from the personal welcome page.

Stein-Arnold Exploration Fund
The Fund was established according to the terms of the Will of Sir Aurel Stein, FBA, to commemorate his friendship with Sir Thomas Arnold, FBA, for ‘the encouragement of research on the antiquities or historical geography or early history or arts of those parts of Asia which come within the sphere of the ancient civilisations of India, China, and Iran, including Central Asia, or of one or more of these and so that special consideration shall be paid, if possible, to research of this character bearing upon the territories comprised in the present Kingdom of Afghanistan including the region of ancient Bactria and in the north-western frontier region of India’.

Research should be ‘so far as possible by means of exploratory work’, and applicants must be British or Hungarian subjects.

Level of grant: Awards do not normally exceed £2,500.
Deadline for submission of applications: 3 December 2014.
Results expected: end March 2015.
Earliest Start Date for Research: 1 April 2015.

Sam van Schaik: “The Married Monks of Kroraina”, Friday 14th November, 5.30pm

Fri 14th November, 5.30pm

Sam van Schaik of the International Dunhuang Project, British Library, will speak on

The Married Monks of Kroraina

The kingdom of Kroraina flourished in the middle of the Taklamakan desert in the first centuries of this millennium. Among the most important of the discoveries excavated from the kingdom were documents providing a detailed (if incomplete) picture of the daily life of Buddhist monks in the region in the 3rd to 4th centuries, revealing how Buddhism was adapted outside of India during the Gupta period. In this talk, Sam van Schaik will look at the evidence for the existence of married Buddhist monks (śramana) and will explore the reasons why this situation might have developed.

Sam van Schaik obtained a PhD in Tibetan Buddhist literature at the University of Manchester in 2000, with a dissertation on the translations of Dzogchen texts by Jigme Lingpa. Since then he has published several books on Tibet and Esoteric Buddhism and is currently part of the International Dunhuang Project, based at the British Library.

Ancient India and Iran Trust
23 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 8BG

tel. 01223 356841

Refreshments from 5pm. All welcome

AIIT Christmas and New Year closure

The Trust will be closed from Wednesday 24th December to Tuesday 6th January inclusive.  We will re-open as usual on Wednesday 7th January.


Public lecture: ‘The Last of the Lascars’, Wednesday 12 November, Cambridge Muslim College

Seddon public lecture


Centre of South Asian Studies: Visual Constructions of South Asia Seminar series 2014-15

Visual constructions of south asia series 2014