Caucasus Connections Conference: April 4-5, 2014

Call for Papers:

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington announce:

Caucasus Connections

Indiana University, Bloomington 

April 4-5, 2014

A Conference Sponsored by

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and The Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington

Deadline: September 30, 2013

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus in cooperation with the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington announces an interdisciplinary conference focused on the institutions, languages, cultures and histories that connect (as well as divide) the various places and peoples of the South Caucasus.  We welcome papers that present original research or discuss challenges or innovations in teaching on the South Caucasus (defined as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). We particularly encourage scholars, however, to present work that is transnational or otherwise crosses traditional boundaries of nation, language, and culture to explore the breaching or blurring of these lines, both in the past and the present.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bruce Grant (New York University)

Featured Speakers: Dr. Ed Lazzerini (Indiana University), Dr. Christina Maranci (Tufts University), Dr. Harsha Ram (University of California, Berkeley), and Dr. Kevin Tuite (University of Montreal)

For more information and to complete the registration form, please see

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

This conference is supported with a grant from the US Department of Education and is co-sponsored by the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.

New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology

New special issue devoted to ancient Silk Roads and cultural contacts across Eurasia

BMFEA 75 – ”New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology”

Volume 75 of the Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities is a special issue, ”New Perspectives in Eurasian Archaeology,” also the title of a IIAS-ASEF sponsored symposium at the Museum in late 2003 — in commemoration of the museum’s illustrious founder, Johan Gunnar Andersson, and his explorations of the archaeology of prehistoric East-West contacts and the fascinating issues regarding possible early relations between prehistoric East and central Asia. The volume is a contribution to the vibrant new research in this field.

BMFEA 75 contains the following original articles and reports:

— LI Shuicheng: Ancient Interactions in Eurasia and Northwest China: Revisiting Johan Gunnar Andersson’s Legacy;

— MEI Jianjun: Qijia and Seima-Turbino: The Question of Early Contacts Between Northwest China and the Eurasian Steppe;

— Louisa G. FITZGERALD-HUBER: The Qijia Culture: Paths East and West;

— Bo LAWERGREN: Western Influences on the Early Chinese Qin-Zither;

— YUAN Jing and Rowan FLAD: Two Issues Concerning Ancient Domesticated Horses in China;

— Donald B. WAGNER: The Earliest Use of Iron in China;

— CHEN Xingcan: Where Did the Chinese Leather Raft Come From? –A Forgotten Issue in the Study of Ancient East-West Cultural Interaction;

— CHOE Chong Pil: Some Problems Concerning Korean Dolmens in Eurasian Perspective;

— Evgeny BOGDANOV: The Origin of the Image of a Predator Rolling up in a Ring in the Portable Art of Central Asia;

— Nguyen Kim DUNG: Johan Gunnar Andersson’s systematic research on Fai Tsi Long Archipelago archaeology and the Andersson collections kept in Viet Nam;

— Nils RINGSTEDT: Swedish Archaeology and the Archaeology of Long-Distance Trade.

In addition, there is a separate article by Lucie OLIVOVA, ”Forgotten Bridges: Dulinqiao and Shanqiao in Southern Hebei, China,” which discusses bridges which are favorite symbols of cultural contact, thus very near the theme of the volume as a whole, evoking the BMFEA credo of ”Dialogue, not diatribe.”

The BMFEA is available for purchase from the MFEA,, English section

Caucasus Panorama

Amongst the Eurasia-related events this semester at Cornell is a speakers series dedicated to the Caucasus.  Final details are still being arranged but our interdisciplinary roster of speakers includes:

February 20. Bruce Grant (NYU Anthropology)

March 7. Gerard Libaridian (UMich, History)

April 4. Harsha Ram (Berkeley, Slavic)

TBA. Ronald Suny

EAC Trends: Further Thoughts

In my opening remarks for the 4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference, I noted some geographic trends in the papers over the course of the last 11 years.  Here is the graph:

The increase in the representation of research in Mongolia explains the growth in the “non-USSR” category.  But it was hard to miss the expansion in international collaborative archaeological research in the former Soviet Republics represented at the Conference versus the decline in the representation of work in Russia.  It will be interesting to see if we can help reverse that trend in the next conference.

Conversations during the conference however suggest this is not just an idiosyncratic sample.  Various discussions suggested that incentives for collaborative work in the Republics and Mongolia versus considerable hurdles in Russia may be pushing international projects onto the edges of the Eurasian landmass.  This move will undoubtedly have a significant theoretical impact.  Compare how the exile of foreign archaeologists from Iraq and Iran in the late 20th century drove not only new projects in the periphery but new models of world systems and (post)colonial identity formation in antiquity.  One possible leading consequence of the reduced presence of Russian archaeology may be a tendency to focus on alternative geographic interlocutors.  For the Caucasus, this would be the Near East, for Mongolia and Central Asia, China.  This shift in the imagination of the geographic centers of gravity shaping the edges of Eurasia in the past was already visible in many of the excellent papers at the 4th EAC.

Thank You!

Thanks to all of the participants and attendees of the 4th Eurasian Archaeology conference.  With 50 papers, 3 invited lectures, and 80 registered attendees, this was our largest conference to date.  Kudos to the Graduate Student Organizing committee on putting together an informative and collegial gathering.  We look forward to seeing you all back in Ithaca for our next meeting.

Welcome to the 4th EAC!

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Ithaca this week for our largest EAC yet. Our first session on Thursday October 11 will be in the Carrier Ballroom of the Statler Hotel on the campus of Cornell University.  We wil be available for on-site registration starting at 12:30pm in the foyer outside the ballroom.  Registered attendees should check in with our registration desk to get their name tags and information packets.

On Friday, October 12, we will be in the Amphitheater at the Statler Hotel.  Late arriving attendees can pick up their registration materials starting at 8:30am in the foyer outside the Amphitheater.

The conference keynote address by Dr. Christopher Gosden, entitled “Flows and Stoppages: Towards a Dynamic Model of Identities” is free and open to the public.  It will begin at 8pm in Physical Sciences Room 120.

The final program is available at the link above both online and in pdf format.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Cornell.

Final Program Now Available

The final program for the 4th Eurasian Archaeology Conference is now available.  Click on “Final Program” above to see session and paper details.  The conference includes 3 invited lectures, 51 papers, and, at the moment, 65 registered attendees.  We look forward to welcoming you to Cornell.