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	Image: Standing ram (detail), Tillya Tepe, 1st century AD. National Museum of Afghanistan. Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Exhibition talks: Afghanistan

Hear from archaeologists and museum experts

The 230 artefacts in Afghanistan: hidden treasures from the National Museum, Kabul began their journeys more than 2000 years ago, when the country we now know as Afghanistan lay at the heart of the Bronze Age world. The four regions that comprised ancient Afghanistan – Bactria, Aria, Arachosia and Parapamisadai – were sites of complex exchanges of trade and culture. Included in the exhibition are Hellenistic stone and bronze statues, gold bowls bearing Mesopotamian designs, Roman glassware coloured iridescent blue in imitation of lapis lazuli, a spectacular folding gold crown buried with a nomadic princess, and ivory carvings.

Image: Standing ram (detail), Tillya Tepe, 1st century AD. National Museum of Afghanistan. Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Wednesdays 2-30 April 2014

Free with exhibition entry

Duration 30 minutes
Location: Upper Asian gallery

Related exhibition: Afghanistan

Curator's introduction

Join Craig Judd, consultant curator for Afghanistan: hidden treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, for an introduction to the four archaeological sites featured in the exhibition.


Wednesday 2 April 2014 7:15pm – 7:45pm

Glass masterpieces

The glass objects in the Afghanistan exhibition represent masterpieces of their time. Join Wendy Reade for a discussion on how and why these beautiful pieces were made and used, and what it is that makes them special.

Wendy Reade is vice president of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation at the University of Sydney and works on archaeological excavations in Greece and the Middle East. She specialises in conservation and the study of ancient glass.


Wednesday 9 April 2014 7:15pm – 7:45pm

Bactrian jewellery and Begram ivories

Join Monica Jackson for an exploration of the famous Begram ivories as well as the gold jewellery and other objects found in situ in the Tillya Tepe graves. Both treasures exemplify a symbiotic blend of Greek, Roman, Buddhist and Hindu art which celebrates the continuity and the uniqueness of Afghanistan’s historic place at the crossroads of ancient civilisations.

Monica M Jackson is a classical archaeologist and a research associate in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney. She is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London and an author, lecturer and world authority on ancient jewellery.


Wednesday 16 April 2014 7:15pm – 7:45pm

Tillya Tepe and ancient Afghanistan

Alison Betts explores the significance of the great Bactrian Hoard, discovered at Tillya Tepe in 1978 by Russian archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi, as a reflection of the complex cultural influences that influenced ancient Afghanistan.

Alison Betts is professor of Silk Road studies at the University of Sydney. She specialises in the archaeology of the lands along the Silk Roads from the near east to China, with a particular interest in the study of nomadic peoples.


Wednesday 23 April 2014 7:15pm – 7:45pm

Hellenism in the east

Richard Miles uncovers the history of the great Graeco-Bactrian city of Ai Khanoum and the objects it left behind.

Associate professor Richard Miles teaches classics and ancient history and is research director of the Ancient North African and Phoenician Diaspora Research Group at the University of Sydney.


Wednesday 30 April 2014 7:15pm – 7:45pm