Friday, November 23, 2012

IDP Beijing — Tenth Anniversary Celebrations

We were in Beijing last week for celebrations at the National Library of China (NLC) of the 10th anniversary of the launch of the IDP Beijing Chinese language website in November 2002. Colleagues joined us from IDP Dunhuang and from Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology along with scholars and press. Opening speeches were given by Zhang Zhiqing, Deputy Director of the NLC, Baroness Blackstone, Chair of the British Library Board, HE Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador to China, Luo Huaqing, Deputy Director of the Dunhuang Academy, and Susan Whitfield, Director of IDP at the British Library.

The celebrations continued over two days, with Joanna Burke, Regional Director of the British Council, hosting a lunch for Chinese and British guests at the Ambassador's residence.

The picture above shows guests at the UK Ambassador's Residence in Beijing. From l. to r. (seated): Wu Xinyi, Emma Goodliffe, Vic Swift, Zhang Zhiqing, Susan Whitfield, Yu Zhiyong, Idris Abdurusul, Anwar Abulkasim. From l. to r. (standing): Luo Weiyan, Matkasim Tomur, Liang Xushu, Liu Bo, Sheng Yanhai, Lin Shitian, Chen Hongyan, Zhang Xu, Colin Chinnery.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Directions on the Silk Road: Beyond East and West

IDP's conference, 'Archaeology of the Southern Taklamakan: Hedin and Stein's Legacy and New Exploration', finished on Saturday after three days of stimulating papers by a enthusiatic and knowledgeable group of multidisciplinary international scholars.

One of the themes that emerged was the limitations of understanding Taklamakan cultures in terms only of east-west interactions. Several speakers spoke of the importance of pastoralist routes from desert to mountain and desert to steppe, while one suggested that we think in terms of circular routes of influences — perhaps conceptualising them as clouds rather than routes.

The papers and both formal and informal discussions showed both how little we understand about these cultures but also showcased the richness of the archaeological materials both from historical and modern explorations.

The papers were all recorded and will be put online on the conference website, along with details of forthcoming publications.

The image above shows the conference delegates and attendees in the British Library piazza.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

IDP International Conference: Archaeology of the Southern Taklamakan: Hedin and Stein’s Legacy and New Explorations

A few places are still available for the conference taking place on 8th-10th November. For more information see the conference web page. A PDF programme is now available. For those unable to attend we hope to video the talks and make them available online at a later date.