Excavations in the Bukhara Oasis, Uzbekistan: New Archaeological Data from Bukhara during the Samanid and Qarakhanid Periods

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7:00 pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre
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Excavations in the Bukhara Oasis, Uzbekistan: New Archaeological Data from Bukhara during the Samanid and Qarakhanid Periods

The city of Bukhara, one of the major urban centres of Mawarannahr, reached a climax of its demographic and cultural development between the 10th and the 12th century, when it served as capital for the Samanid Dynasty and for several Qarakhanid rulers.

However, compared to other major centres of the wider region - such as Merv or Samarqand - the archaeological investigation of Bukhara lags considerably behind. This talk will present new archaeological data and finds from three seasons (2020-22) of archaeological rescue excavations, conducted by the UzbekAmerican Expedition in Bukhara (UzAmEB) in the centre of the old city. They throw new light on Bukhara during its "golden age" and vividly illustrate the city's character as a vibrant centre of the eastern Islamic world during the 10th through 12th centuries.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Scott Redford. 

About the speaker

Dr Sören Stark received his PhD in Central Asian Archaeology in 2005 from Martin-LutherUniversität Halle-Wittenberg. He has close to two decades of experience in conducting and directing archaeological fieldwork in Central Asia. Between 2005 and 2007 he conducted and co-directed archaeological surveys and excavations in Northern Tajikistan on Bronze and Iron age petroglyphs, Iron age kurgans, and Samanid-Qarakhanid period mountain settlements; since 2011 he is co-directing archaeological fieldwork in the oasis of Bukhara at various sites dating between the Late Bronze age and the middle Islamic period.

Sören Stark’s current research interests are, among others, on Hellenistic and Late Antique/ Early Medieval Sogdiana and the archaeological and history of the nomadic groups close to oasis territories in Western Central Asia. His publications include a monograph on the archaeology of the 6th -8th century Türks in Inner and Central Asia, an expedition catalogue on Early Iron age kurgans from Kazakhstan, and numerous articles and book chapters on the history and archaeology of Sogdiana between the Hellenistic and the Islamic periods.

He has been the co-editor of the Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology (at Brepols) and is currently co-editor of Brill’s Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section 8: Uralic & Central Asian Studies (HO8).


Enquiries and Zoom link from Hon. Secretary: rw51@soas.ac.uk.