5th conference of the Hellenistic Central Asia Research Network (HCARN) : “Whose custom is it anyway? Empire, cities and people through archaeology, art and written sources in Hellenistic Central Asia”

The CNRS Sciences humaines et sociales institute, the UMR 7041 “ArScAn” laboratory, the “Archéologie de l’Asie centrale” team, the French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC) and the Université Paris Nanterre are pleased to invite you to the 5th conference of the Hellenistic Central Asia Research Network (HCARN).

Date / Venue: March 21st to 23rd, 2024; Max Weber building, Université Paris Nanterre

Language: English

Programme is available here.

Mandatory registration for the Zoom link (open until March 20th): https://forms.gle/K8xrQKGFVMwCniBLA

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Recent bibliography on Hellenistic Central Asia excels at finding new ways to emphasize the privileged position of this region: crossroads of Asia, nexus of the Eurasian steppe, heart of the Silk Roads, the latter being a concept which itself is being critically reconsidered. There is no questioning the fact that multiple influences were at play in Hellenistic Central Asia, a unique melting-pot which led to stunning and innovative cultures. The body of evidence grows larger each year and testifies to multicultural societies across the steppe, the irrigated plains of Bactria and the Indus, and the high valleys from the Tian Shan to the Karakoram through the Pamir Mountain ranges.

This collection of varied and complex influences in all aspects of everyday life is a challenge for scholars trying to determine the respective features originating from the Achaemenid, Hellenistic (and, beyond, Mediterranean), Indian, Chinese and Steppe worlds. Above all, the very people living in Central Asia when the main empires emerged, namely the Bactrians but not only them, suffer from an alarming underrepresentation bordering on near-absence in historiography.

As there are numerous ways to tackle these issues, we chose to focus our attention on an inverted-pyramidal approach starting with the imperial/royal level, then through a more regional and urban perspective, and finishing with the individual view. Specifically, the question of identification, combination, adaptation and/or confrontation of customs and traditions, wherever they originate from, is at the heart of our investigation. Through these topics, we wish to encourage reflection upon social and cultural interactions.

Papers will address the following problems:

  • How did the geographical and social context of Central Asia influence emerging imperial and royal policies, both foreign and domestic?
  • What place should be given to local customs and traditions, if any, in settlement features, patterns and networks?
  • What degree of social cohesion may we infer in various aspects of everyday life, thus leading to a potential Central Asian vivre-ensemble?

Topics of historical and archaeological interest also include but are not limited to:

  • Which methodologies should be considered and/or encouraged regarding cultural heritage and preservation of archaeological sites?
  • New management tools such as software or approaches for archives and data oversight and exploitation.

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
ifeac (6 mars 2024). 5th conference of the Hellenistic Central Asia Research Network (HCARN) : “Whose custom is it anyway? Empire, cities and people through archaeology, art and written sources in Hellenistic Central Asia”. IFEAC. Consulté le 18 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/vyki


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