Prof. Julian Henderson has been a full Professor in archaeological Science at the University of Nottingham since 1999. He was recently Li Dak Sum Chair professor in Silk Road studies at University of Nottingham, Ningbo China and is currently visiting Professor there and at Northwest University (Xi’an). He has held other visiting appointments in Oxford and Melbourne Universities. He has been Head of the department of archaeology and Head of the School of Humanities in Nottingham University. He directed the Raqqa ancient industry project. Currently directs the Silk Road project and co-directs the interdisciplinary tri-campus Silk Road network.
Presentation Title: The Silk Roads and Islamic Material Culture
The silk roads were a complex network of contacts connecting western Asia to Africa and east Asia. During the ‘Abbasid caliphate, and later, interactions across the Eurasian silk roads connected western Asia to the Tang Dynasty in east Asia. This talk will consider what role the study of material culture plays in mapping interactions across the Eurasian silk roads as an enriching research area with much potential. By investigating Islamic glass and ceramics found on the silk roads scientifically it becomes possible to establish provenances for them (Henderson et al. 2020). This, in turn, can help trigger ideas about social, including religious, contexts and acculturation: humans and things moved together (Henderson in press). Case studies will be presented here in order to illustrate these issues and concepts.