University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Events Calendar

Investigating the Transition from the Achaemenid to the Hellenistic Period in Central Asia: Kyzyltepa as a Case Study

Saturday 19 November 2016, 11:30am - 11:50am
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Dr. Wu Xin, Fellow, Consulting Scholar at Penn, will deliver a paper in Session 10D. New Research in Pre-Islamic Central Asia at the 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting, November 16–19, San Antonio, Texas.

Alexander the Great’s invasion of Central Asia in the fourth century B.C.E. marks a turning point in the region’s history. In the longue durée approach, the arrival of the Greeks meant novel and stimulating developments for the local inhabitants, transforming the region, especial Bactria, into a zone of interaction between the Mediterranean world and the East. Yet, the immediate impact of Alexander’s invasion is still subject to much debate, because what precisely occurred in Central Asia after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire remains largely unknown.

Recent excavations at Kyzyltepa, a site established during the Achaemenid Empire and abandoned in the early Hellenistic epoch, allows us a glimpse into this little-known "transitionary" period and helps to bridge the gap between these two eras. In order to place in context the changes wrought by the Greeks in Bactria, this paper will examine the rise of Hellenism throughout Central Asia, including its impact on the steppe.


Location : San Antonio Ballroom D & E, La Cantera Resort and Spa, San Antonio, Texas
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