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The Tibetan Empire in the Afghan Pamir : Recent Discoveries from Wakhan

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The Tibetan Empire in the Afghan Pamir : Recent Discoveries from Wakhan

Wakhan Corridor.jpg

Le CRCAO et la MAFIL organisent une conférence donnée par John Mock

Le vendredi 29 avril, de 14h à 15H30

Salle Lévi Strauss, CRCAO/Collège de France
52, rue du Cardinal Lemoine
75005 Paris

Summary :

Wakhan, the remote north-eastern district of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province, is intimately connected with the historical Silk Roads. Wakhan’s historical archeology is known largely from Aurel Stein’s visit in 1906 and less so from the work of Austrian, German, French and American teams in the early 1970s, who were more focused on natural science and left the sites mentioned by Stein largely unvisited.

Stein’s central focus in Wakhan was on the 747 CE battle between forces of the Tibetan and Tang Chinese empires. During five trips to Wakhan I was able to re-visit all sites
described by Stein and locate several new, previously unknown sites. In this illustrated talk, I will expand upon Stein’s descriptions and present an initial analysis of the new finds. These include the site of Lien Yün, which Stein discussed but was unable to definitively locate, Tibetan-style fort complexes and watchtowers, and several Old Tibetan rock inscriptions, some with inscribed dates. These materials suggest tentative
answers to questions raised by Stein and offer new information on the Tibetan Empire in
Wakhan, Balur and Central Asia.

About John Mock :

J. Mock holds a Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Aga Khan Foundation (Afghanistan), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the Worldwide Fund for Nature-WWF, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the National
Geographic Society and Lonely Planet Publications. His research in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan has been supported by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, The Christensen Fund, W.L. Gore & Co, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.
He is currently a Trustee and Member of the Executive Committee (Secretary) of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies.