Webcasts and Videos
The Gandhara Connections project aims to make its activities accessible to the widest possible audience of researchers, students, and others interested in Gandharan art. To this end we intend as far as possible to provide live webcasting and podcasts of our events. This page will give advance information on live webcasts and it hosts recordings of our past events, some of which can also be found on the University of Oxford Podcasts page.
Dr Rafiullah Khan (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and Visiting Scholar at CARC) speaks on:
"Archaeology of the Periphery: The Malakand Agency, the 'Politicals' and Antiquarian Scholarship."
This seminar unpacks the complex history of archaeological exploration in Swat in the 1920s-1930s, during the period of British rule on the North-West Frontier.
Dr Rafiullah's looks at the role of non-archaeologists, more specifically of political agents of the Indian Political Department, in Gandharan archaeology. While they were integral to archaeological activities in many ways, some political agents developed their engagement to the level of scholarly interest in Gandhara. The work of Major Cobb, political agent at Malakand Agency, is valuable in this regard. He laboured to preserve and exhibit Gandhara sculpture through the installation of his collection in the political agent’s bungalow. He also built scholarly networks through tactics of donations, gifts and exchange of ideas and opinions with archaeological institutions and colonial personnel both from India and England. All this resulted in his scholarly reputation. This talk argues that in crafting a distinct persona as a scholarly political agent through intertwined administrative, antiquarian, and scholarly activities Cobb drew on the unique political and legal characteristics over the peripheral Malakand Agency. Through his engagement with Gandharan art and crafting of a scholarly persona, Cobb not only wanted to gain personal recognition but, at the same time, to erase the anti-intellectual stigma associated with political officers having a military background. However, since Cobb, like his predecessors in the office, failed to add an institutional dimension to the archaeology of Malakand, his work was ultimately no more than a mere antiquarian interest which, he normalized through scholarly tactics.Dr Rafiullah Khan - Archaeology of the Periphery
One of the foremost experts on the art of ancient South Asia, Professor Dehejia considers in this lecture the narrative imagery of the early Buddhist monuments in India, comparing them with Gandharan scenes. Her focus is on the relationships between artists and patrons, images and texts. This was the 5th annual lecture of the Gandhara Connections project.Vidya Dehejia - ARTIST, SCRIBE, MONK/NUN, VIEWER - Gandhara Connections lecture 2022
The fifth and final Gandhara Connections workshop tackles the theme of Gandharan Art in its Buddhist Context – a fundamentally important topic for understanding this material.
Download the workshop abstract.
Download the latest programme
Download speakers' abstracts.Monday 21st March, 2022 – Devotional Art and the Buddhist CommunitySession 1Prof Juhyung Rhi (Seoul University)Does Iconography Really Matter? Iconographic Specification of Buddha Images in Pre-Esoteric Buddhist ArtDr Henry Albery (University of Ghent)Artistic Tensions: On Some Uneasy Relations between Monasticism and Art in the VinayaSession 2Dr Muhammad Hameed (University of the Punjab, Lahore)The Lost Buddhist Art of GandharaProf Gregory Schopen (UCLA)On Selling Space at the Monastery: Making Economic Sense of ‘Intrusive’ Images and Stūpas at Monastic Sites in GandharaTuesday 22nd March, 2022 – Iconography and ObjectsSession 3Dr Christian Luczanits (SOAS, London)On the Language of Gandharan Buddhist ArtDr Wannaporn Rienjang (Thammasat University, Bangkok)The Bimaran Casket and its Buddhist ContextSession 4Alice Casalini (University of Chicago)Framing and Reframing: Architectural Legibility in Gandhāran ArtDr Dessi Vendova (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley)Solving the Riddle of the ‘Muhammad Nari Stele’: A New LookWednesday 23rd March, 2022: Sites and ProductionSession 5Dr Abdul Samad (Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, KP Province)Latest Discoveries in the Buddhist Archaeology of GandharaProf Marianne Bergmann (emeritus professor GAU Göttingen), Dr Shailendra Bhandare (Ashmolean Museum), and Martina Stoye (Museum für Asiatische Kunst Berlin, SMB, SPK)Indian Dedications at Berenike on the Red SeaSession 4Dr Fozia Naz (London)Buddhist Art outside the Sacred Premises in Uddiyana Region: An Overview on Fresh Documentation in Malakand DistrictProf Luca M. Olivieri (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice)Artists, Workshops and Early Gandharan Buddhism: The Case of Saidu Sharif I
A special seminar by Prof Mark Allon and Ian McCrabb of Sydney University, Australia: Digital Gandharan Texts – The Digital Framework for the Research and Publication of Gandhari Manuscripts and Inscriptions. Allon and McCrabb introduce their exciting project to document and disseminate Gandharan texts and artefacts.
In conjunction with Gandhara scholars from the University of Washington (UW), Australian National University (ANU), Wilfred Laurier University, and other universities, Mark Allon and Ian McCrabb, both at University of Sydney (USYD), are leading the development of a digital framework (platform and methodology) for the collaborative research and publishing of Gandharan manuscripts and inscriptions, the foundation for their digital repatriation to the communities from which these important cultural artefacts originate. This presentation gives an account of these digital developments and digital repatriation strategy and their importance to the field of Gandharan studies.
Mark Allon is Chair of the Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies at the University of Sydney. His primary research interests are the composition and transmission of early Buddhist literature, the ways in which texts have been used by Buddhist communities, and the Indic languages of early Buddhist texts (Pali, Gandhari, Sanskrit). He runs projects in Myanmar concerning Pali inscriptions at the Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay, and in Pakistan concerning Gandhari manuscripts. He is part of a team of scholars and digital humanists at the University of Sydney, Australian National University, University of Washington, Stanford University and elsewhere developing digital capacity for the publication and study of Buddhist manuscripts and inscriptions, particularly those in Gandhari, Pali, and Sanskrit, e.g. Gandharan Buddhist Texts and the Journal of Gandharan Buddhist Texts.
Ian McCrabb is the founder and managing director of Systemik, a Sydney based IT consulting group. Systemik supports a portfolio of commercial and open-source humanities research platforms clustered around content transformation and text analysis. Ian is the founder and director of Prakas Foundation, a non-profit association which supports digital scholarship in Buddhist studies and Sanskritic languages. Prakas provides strategic planning and program management for platform developments. His dissertation Buddha Bodies and the Benefits of Relic Establishment: Insights from a Digital Framework for the Analysis of Formulaic Sequences in Gandhari Relic Inscriptions was focussed on the ritual practices and religious significance of relic establishment in Gandhara.
Fozia Naz presents a special seminar looking at the results of recent archaeological survey work in the north of the Peshawar Basin.
The 2020-21 Gandhara Connections Lecture by the writer, traveller, and former politician Rory Stewart, speaking from Yale University.
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In this fourth international workshop of the Project, we seek to stimulate an exchange of new information and ideas about two aspects of Gandharan art in the modern world.
Firstly, we examine the ‘rediscovery’ of Gandharan culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. To what extent can the consideration of museum collections, archival documents, and other evidence help us to reconstitute lost information about the provenance and meaning of Gandharan artefacts and sites? And a broader question: how is such evidence shaped and mediated by the experience of Gandhara in the context of colonial rule? Can we – and should we – try to think Gandharan art out of that political, cultural, and ideological setting in which it was first recognized as an academic field?
Secondly, we consider the subsequent shifting, and often disputed, significance of Gandharan art in different places and periods, in South Asia and Central Asia, in Europe, America and the Far East; in world museums, private collections and the controversial antiquities market; in public perceptions of cross-cultural connections and the so-called ‘Silk Road’; from narratives of national identity and cultural heritage, to popular ideas of ancient and modern globalization.
Speakers' AbstractsWednesday 24th March 2021Session One: 12:00 - 13:00Prof Peter Stewart (Director, Classical Art Research Centre)Welcome and IntroductionDr Elizabeth Errington (Former project curator, British Museum)Reconstructing Jamalgarhi: The Archaeological Record 1848-1923Session Two: 14:00 - 15:30Dr Rafiullah Khan (Taxila Institute, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)Archaeology in the Princely States of India: The Indian Political Service, the Walis of Swat and the Barger Expedition (1938)Dr Kurt Behrendt (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)Finding Contexts for Gandharan SculptureThursday 25th March 2021Session Three: 12:00 - 15:15Prof Muhammad Ashraf Khan (Taxila Institute, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)The Sukker Collection of Buddhist Sculptures: History of Discovery, Issues of Their Provenance and ChronologyDr Zarawar Khan (University of Swat, Kanju)Gandharan Stucco Sculptures from Sultan Khel (Former Khyber Agency), in the Collection of Peshawar Museum: A Study in Three PartsSession Four: 14:30 - 15:15Dr Andrew Amstutz (University of Arkansas, Little Rock)Buddhist Art, Italian Museums, and the Exhibition of an Ancient Past for PakistanFriday 26th March 2021Session Five: 12:45 - 13:30Dr Shaila Bhatti (National College of Arts, Lahore)Stories of Gandhara: Antiquity, Art and IdolsSession Six: 14:30 - 16:00Dr Helen Wang (British Museum)Gandhara in the News: Rediscovering Gandhara in the TimesDr Shailendra Bhandare (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)Art of Deception: Perspectives on the Problem of Fakery in Gandhara
This special talk is part of the Gandhara Connections project's regular programme of collaborations with museums. Dr Kurt Behrendt, the curator responsible for the Gandharan works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, uses this remarkable collection as a springboard for exploring ancient Buddhist art.
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Oxford University's own Dr Llewelyn Morgan gives the 2019 Gandhara Connections Lecture on 'Heracles' Track to the Indus: Ancients and Moderns in the Swat Valley'. Dr Morgan is Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Literature and author of The Buddhas of Bamiyan (2012), which reflects his longstanding interest in Graeco-Roman connections with Central Asia and India.
Dr Peter Stewart interviews Dr David Jongeward at the Classical Art Research Centre, 11th June 2019, to celebrate his newly published catalogue, Buddhist Art of Gandhara in the Ashmolean Museum. David talks about his unusual career and the journey that brought him from north American anthropology to Gandharan art. He introduces some of the most interesting pieces in the collection.
The 'Global Connections of Gandharan Art' took place in Oxford on 18th-19th March 2019 and examines the links between Gandharan art and other artistic traditions, including not only those of Greece and Rome, but also China, the Iranian world, and the Indian Subcontinent.
Click here for general workshop abstract.
Click here for programme.
Click here for speakers' abstracts.Monday 18th March 2019Session One: 0945 – 1100Dr Peter Stewart (Director, Classical Art Research Centre)Welcome and IntroductionWarwick Ball (Editor-in-Chief, Afghanistan)The Orbit of Gandharan StudiesSession Two: 1130 – 1230Dr Marike van Aerde (Leiden University)The Buddha and the Silk Roads: Gandharan Connections through the Karakorum Mountains and Indian Ocean PortsSession Three: 1400 – 1600Martina Stoye (Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin)On the Crossroads of Disciplines: A theory of Understanding Roman Art Images & Its Implications for the Study of Western Influence(s) in Gandharan ArtDr Peter Stewart (CARC, Oxford)Roman Sarcophagi and Gandharan SculptureSession Four: 1630 – 1800Dr Tadashi Tanabe (Soka University, Tokyo/ LMU, Munich)The Transmission of Dionysiac Imagery to Gandharan Buddhist ArtProf Ian Haynes (Newcastle University), Iwan Peverett, and Dr Wannaporn Rienjang (CARC)3D-Modelling of the Main Stupa at Saidu Sharif: A ProvocationTuesday 19th March 2019Session Five: 1000 – 1100Ken Ishikawa (Wolfson College, Oxford)More Gandhara than Mathura: Substantial and Persistent Gandharan Influence Provincialised in the Buddhist Material Culture of Gujarat ca. 400–550 ADSession Six: 1130 – 1230Shumpei Iwai (Ryukoku Museum, Kyoto)Buddhist Temples in Tokharistan and their Relationships with Gandharan TraditionsSession Seven: 1400 – 1600Dr Joy Lidu Yi (Florida International University, Miami)Cross-Cultural Buddhist Cave-Monasteries: Yungang, the Silk Road and BeyondProfessor Yang Juping (Nankai University, Tianjin)The Sinicization and Secularization of Gandhara Art in China, With Some Greco-Buddhist Gods as ExamplesSession Eight: 1630 – 1730Dr Christian Luczanits (SOAS, London)Gandharan Art and the Himalayas
In an age of diasporas, we often think about how a single image can be made to communicate to diverse people. What can the art of Gandhara tell us? In an extraordinary visual effort to bring together diverse religious communities, the Buddhist goddess, Hariti, in Gandhara began to be shown with children that came from Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Greece and mainland India. Looked at from the perspective of these diverse children, she might not actually have been the Buddhist Hariti to them all. While the Greeks could think of her as Demeter, the Egyptians probably regarded her as Isis, and the Hindus as a matrika. Similarly, an image for the Bodhisattva Vajrapani was created in such a way that he could be read either as the Zoroastrian Behram, or the Roman Hercules. Indra, doubled up as Zeus; Shiva as Oesho and Dionysius.
This lecture provides a close reading of some of these extraordinary iconographic developments in Gandhara to show what kind of images emerged in that multicultural society. Gandhara is usually thought of as a mishmash of artistic styles, however by carefully peeling away the many sources for creating these images, it will be seen that they can be polyvalent, as well as, as shall see in this talk, they seek also to accommodate difference. Can the art historical record be found to supplement what we have learnt of the anxieties around the gradual assimilation of foreigners in Ancient India?
Globalisation brings a fear of homogenising different cultural identities, and yet, what it has enabled, oftentimes, is a cosmopolitanism that allows for different local practices to coexist even as some differences collapse. Similar ideas can be seen in the past as well.
View the lecture here.
Please note that audience contributions are included in these recordings. However, the microphones in the venue pick up audience questions and comments more faintly and you will have to turn up your volume to hear these. Full programme available hereDay 1: Thursday 22nd March 2018Dr Peter StewartIntroductionDr Jessie PonsGandhāran Art(s): Methodologies and Results of a Stylistic AnalysisDr Satoshi NaikiSimilarities and Differences in Gandharan Sculptures Among RegionsDr Zarawar KhanSources of Acquisition for the Gandharan Buddhist Sculptures in the Former S.R.O. Collection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan, in the Light of Archival DocumentsProf Muhammad Ashraf KhanFresh Researches Discoveries at the Badalpur Buddhist Monastic Complex, Taxila ValleyMuhammad Habibullah Khan KhattakFresh Research on the Buddhist Monastic Complex of Takht-i-BahiConcluding commentsDay 1: Friday 23rd March 2018Dr Abdul Ghafoor LoneScope of the Buddhist ‘Workshops’ and Artistic ‘Centres’ in Swat Valley, Ancient Uddiyana-PakistanDr Pia BrancaccioRegional Workshops and Votive Stupas in the Swat Valley: An Analysis of the Evidence from Gumbat, Saidu Sharif and PanṛDr Alexandra VanleeneDifferences and Similarities in Gandharan Art Production: The Case of the Modeling School of Haḍḍa (Afghanistan)Dr Stefan BaumsPlace Names in Gāndhārī InscriptionsDr Jason NeelisMaking Places for Buddhism in Gandharan Sacred Geography - Stories of Past and Present Births in Images and TextsConcluding discussion
The extraordinary 'Silk Road' archaeological site of Mes Aynak, 25 miles south-east of Kabul is one of the largest and most important in Afghanistan, and includes extensive remains of Buddhist art and architecture from the first millennium. But the vast copper deposits beneath the site, which contributed to its ancient prosperity, also represent a phenomenally valuable resource for a a modern country in need of investment, and in 2007 the site was leased to the China Metallurgical Group for £3 billion. Recordings are available here of Brent Huffman's introduction to the Oxford screening of his multi-award-winning Saving Mes Aynak and the interview by Dr Peter Stewart which followed it.
For information about how to see the documentary itself (free in Afghanistan), please visit the Saving Mes Aynak website.Introduction by Brent HuffmanInterview with Brent Huffman
The first Gandhara Connections public lecture was given by the historian and broadcaster Michael Wood, who presented a dazzingly overview of experiences of Gandhara, interspersed by clips from his past television documentaries and by slides. The edited recording of his lecture is viewable here. (With thanks to Chris de Lisle/the Classics Faculty Media Team for filming and editing.)
Dr Shailendra Bhandare's workshop in the Ashmolean Museum on 2nd June, 2017 was webcast using Facebook Live. A gallery of coins presented in the workshop is available here. The recording is available online via the project's Facebook page
and now also here on the Gandhara Connections pages.
Programme and details here (all times in GMT)
This workshop is now available online in the separate recordings below.
Open access proceedings of the workshop will also be published within the next twelve months.Day 1: Thursday 23rd March 2017Peter StewartWelcome and IntroductionJoe CribbNumismatic Evidence and the Date of KanishkaMonika ZinBuddhist Art’s Late Bloomer: The Genius and Influence of GandharaAbdul SamadRecent Archaeological Excavations and their Relevance to ChronologyAnna Filigenzi & Luca OlivieriOn Gandharan Sculptural Production from Swat: Recent Archaeological and Chronological Data (read by Peter Stewart)Ciro Lo MuzioOn Some Similarities between Gandharan Toilet-Trays and the Earliest Buddhist Art of Northern IndiaDay 2: Friday 24th March 2017Wannaporn RienjangOn the Chronology of Stupa Relic Practice in Afghanistan & Dharmarajika, Pakistan, and its Implications for the Rise of Popularity of Image CultStefan BaumsHow Can We Use Inscriptions to Help us Date Gandharan Art?Robert BraceyIs it Appropriate to Ask a Celestial Lady's Age?Juhyung RhiPositioning Gandharan Buddhas in Chronology: Significant Coordinates and AnomaliesKurt BehrendtLate Gandharan Chronology: The 3rd to 6th Century PeriodConcluding discussion