Central Asia



‘Great Ruler of Sogdiana, of the Tchao-ou Race’/Alram’s ‘Imitationsgruppe V’
Yueh Chih Principality of Sogdiana AR Tetradrachm, 130 BCE – 80 CE

The Fifth Seminar in Central Asian and Middle Eastern Numismatics in Memoriam Boris Kochnev will be held at Hofstra University on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

This seminar is free and open to the public. Hofstra is located in Hempstead, NY, easily accessible from NYC by the Long Island Railroad. For directions click here or here. The seminar will be held in Breslin Hall, room 112. For more information, contact Aleksandr Naymark or Daniel Martin Varisco.

Seminar Program:

10:00 am
Daniel Varisco (Hofstra University)
Opening Remarks

10:15
Vadimir Belyaev (Zeno.ru, Moscow) and Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
Archer Coins from South Sogdiana (1st – 3rd centuries C.E.)

10:45 pm
Pankaj Tandon (Boston University)
Notes on Alchon Coins

11:15 pm
Waleed Ziad (Yale University)
The Nezak – Turk Shahi Transition:
Evidence from the Kashmir Smast (mid 7th c. C.E.) (more…)


Arabic Paper #0972, University of Utah- J. Willard Marriott Library

by Anouar Majid, Tingis Redux, January 31st, 2013

After reading Jonathan Bloom’s splendid book Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World, published more than decade ago, I now think that there is a close relationship between Islam as we know it and the discovery of paper by Arabs in the 8th century. I also understand why natives of Tangier in Morocco call paper “kaghit.” Since it was the Chinese who invented paper some 2000 years ago, the Muslims who conquered Central Asia in the 8th century used that term, which was borrowed from the Persian kaghaz, itself originating from the Chinese guzhi.

The Muslims adopted paper with gusto and the technology of papermaking soon spread in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Spain. Europeans learned papermaking from the Moors who established the first paper mills in Spain. Paper eventually facilitated the printing process that was started by Johann Gutenberg in 15th-century Germany.

According to Muslim sources, the first Muslim paper mill was established in 8th century Baghdad either by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur or by Harun al-Rashid. Regardless of who claims the honor, the use of paper soon led to the establishment of a Stationers’ Market (Souk al-Warraqeen). By the 12th century, according to one account, the Moroccan city of Fez had some 472 paper mills. No wonder papermaking has been associated with Arabs and Arabic. When one talks about “reams” of paper, one is using an Arabic term—rizma, which means bundle—via the Spanish resma and Old French rayme.

The discovery of paper by Arabs led to a major revolution in human civilization. Until then, most documents outside Asia were written on parchments (dried animal skins) or papyrus rolls—both laborious and expensive processes. Paper was easier to use. The Abbasids lost no time in making use of it to enhance their standing among world civilizations. They established a House of Wisdom (bayt al-hikma), commissioned the translations of foreign works in Greek, Hindu and Persian, wrote down the Hadith and codified Islamic law from what had been a mostly oral tradition. Libraries grew and played a major role in the dissemination of knowledge. The Shiite dynasty of the Fatimids in Egypt had an annual budget for library collections and activities. (more…)


Colloquium at Hofstra University
Art and Archaeology of Central Asia: Works in Progress
Saturday, January 26, Breslin Hall 105

Session I
11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Michael D. Frachetti
Washington University in St. Louis
Agriculture and Mining among Highland Mobile Pastoralists of Semirech’e (3000 – 1500 BCE)

Claudia Chang
Sweet Briar College, Virginia
Progress on the Archaeological Researches
on Iron Age settlements on the Talgar Fan

Perry Tourtellotte
Sweet Briar College, Virginia
Mortuary and Settlement Landscapes of the Iron Age:
Talgar Fan and Beyond

Lunch
12:45 pm – 1:30 pm

Session II
1:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Pavel Lurje
Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
Personal Names throughout the History of Chorasmia

Fiona Kidd
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Some New Thoughts on the Procession Scene
in the Paintings of Akchakhan-kala

Anna Feuerbach
Hofstra University
Recent Research on Industrial Remains at Ancient Merv (more…)


Sogdiana, Chach 3rd century

The Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies program at Hofstra announces
the Fourth Seminar on Central Asian and Middle Eastern Numismatics in Memoriam Boris Kochnev

Hofstra University, Breslin Hall 217, March 17, 2012
(Directions to Hofstra)

Attendance is free and all are welcome.

11:00 am
Daniel Varisco (Hofstra University)
Opening Remarks

11:15 am
Vladimir Belyaev (Zeno.ru, Sankt-Petersburg) and Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
Ancient Sogdian Coins from the Center of Kashka-darya Valley

12:00 noon
Stefan Heidemann (Hamburg University)
A Hoard from the Time of the Collapse of the Sasanian Empire

12:45 pm Lunch Break

1:30 pm
Michael Bates (American Numismatic Society, New York )
How Ziyad Made a Name for Himself:
Coins and the Chronology of Ziyad ‘son of his father’/’son of Abi Sufyan’ (more…)


The Third MECA Seminar on early Iranian and Central Asian Numismatics will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, this Sunday, April 10, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in 106 Breslin Hall. This seminar has been organized by Prof. Aleksandr Naymark and is open to faculty and students of Hofstra University and to the public, free of charge. For more information, check out the conference website.

Program

Session I: Early Islamic Coinage
10:30 am to 12:00 pm

• Konstantin Kravtsov (State Hermitage Museum)
An Obscure Period in the History of Tabaristan (760s AD): Analysis of Written and Numismatic Sources

• Stuart Sears (Wheaton College)
Crisis on an Asian Frontier: The Countermarking of Umayyad Dirahms in Khurasan in the Early Eighth Century CE

• Luke Treadwell (Oxford Univeristy)
Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
The Very Last Sogdian Coin

Lunch break
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Session II: Classical Age of Islamic Coinage
1:00 pm to 2:15 pm

• Michael Bates (American Numismatic Society)
The Second Muhammadiyya, the Mine of Bajunays

• Arianna d’Ottone (La Sapienza University of Rome)
From Russia to Rome: the Stanzani Collection of Islamic Coins

• Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
Byzantine Anonymous Folles from Qarakhanid lands in the Ferghana and Chu Valleys

Coffee Break
2:15 pm to 2:30 pm

Session III: On the Borders: India and Yemen
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

• Waleed Ziad (Yale University)
Islamic Coins from a Hindu Temple: Reevaluating Ghaznawid Policy towards Hinduism
through new Numismatic Evidence from the Kashmir Smast in Gandhara

• Daniel Martin Varisco (Hofstra University)
Rasulid Coinage in the Daftar of al-Malik al-Muzaffar: A Preliminary Textual Study

Coffee Break
3:30 pm to 3:45 pm

Session IV: Mongols
3:45 am to 5:00 pm

• Stefan Heidemann (Metropolitan Museum of Art B Bard College Graduate Center)
The Coin Finds from the Heart of the Mongol Empire: Qaraqorum Results of the Bonn University Excavation

• Necla Akkaya (Selcuk Universty)
Coins of the Ilkhanid ruler Abu Sa`id Bahadur Khan

• Olga Kirillova (Orel, Russia), Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
A Copy of the Seal of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan II Asen from Samarqand

General Discussion
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Dinner in Brooklyn – 6:45 pm

Café Uzbekistan
2170 86th St. Brooklyn, NY 11214 (in the first block east of the crossing with Bay Parkway; parking on the sides streets)
Tel.: (718) 373-9393


For an interesting photographic essay on the Uyghur Muslims of Central Asia, check this out: http://emphas.is/web/guest/discoverprojects?projectID=306


Sogdian coin, 6th century AD, British Museum


The Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies Program
at Hofstra University will be hosting a day-long workshop on “Early Iranian and Central Asia Numismatics: In Memoriam Boris Kochnev (1940-2002).” The program will be held in CV Starr Hall, room 109 on Sunday, April 18 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Details of the program are provided below. For more information, please contact Prof. Aleksandr Naymark .

Preliminary program

Session I
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Michael Bates
(American Numismatic Society, New York, USA)
Surprises from Arab/Sasanian Fars, 640-710

Stefan Heidemann
(Jena University, Germany – Bard College Graduate Center, New York, USA)
A New Iranian Mint for Drahm in Sasanian Style: Isbahan

Konstantin Kravtsov
(Hermitage Museum, Sankt-Petersburg, Russia)
Semidrachms of Farrukhan the Great in the Collection of the State Hermitage Museum (more…)

Hofstra University Announces Middle Eastern and Central Asian Study Day
A Series of Presentations Focused on Faculty Research

Who: Hofstra faculty who have conducted research on Middle Eastern and Central Asian (MECA) studies
What: MECA Study Day
When: September 16, 2009
Where: 310 C.V. Starr Hall and 117 Berliner Hall, South Campus
Why: To highlight and learn about the research Hofstra faculty have done on MECA studies

Hofstra faculty from a variety of departments such as fine art, art history, anthropology, history, comparative literature, economics, political science and religious studies will give presentations on their research in MECA studies. Topics from their research will include archeology, women’s issues, history and the contemporary Middle Eastern and Central Asian world. These talks are free and open to the public.

MECA Schedule

Western and Central Asia in the Middle Ages
9:30 – 11:15 a.m., C.V. Starr Hall, 310
Moderator: Dr. Stefanie Nanes, Department of Political Science

• Greeting by Dr. Bernard Firestone, Dean of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
• Opening remarks by Dr. Daniel Martin Varisco, Department of Anthropology

• Dr. Aleksandr Naymark, Department of Fine Arts/Art History
Amazing Sogdians: Masters and Creatures of the Silk Road

• Dr. Anna Feuerbach, Department of Anthropology
The Damascus Steel Sword

• Dr. Daniel Martin Varisco, Department of Anthropology
The Sultan’s Green Thumb: Yemeni Agriculture in the 14th Century (more…)

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