Lecture Series, Zurich, Spring Semester 2022 (February-June)

The Golden Peaches from Samarkand – like nothing else – stand pars pro toto for all exotic things that reached China during one of its most cosmopolitan and prosperous eras in history. Eminent scholars like Berthold Laufer and Edward H. Schafer masterfully demonstrated the earliest exchange of exotics between China and regions from across Eurasia by using linguistic, historical, and archaeological data. Beyond doubt, tremendous progress has been made in all these fields ever since.

With this series of lectures, which is part of the project “Sino-Indo-Iranica rediviva”, we bring together scholars from across the world and from diverse fields to present innovative insights into the earliest relationships between China with Inner Asia and the Ancient Near East.

For more information, please see the detailed introduction.

The lectures will be held in hybrid mode and are planned to have a max. duration of one hour including discussion. The on-site part of the lecture series will take place in room SOD-1-104. Because there is limited space, pre-registration is required. Pre-registration is also needed to join the lectures on Zoom. 

For more details on the lecture series and registration links, please go to the following website: 


Lecture schedule: 

  • March 2, 2022: Appreciation and distribution of Chinese lacquerware across the Eurasian hemisphere – from Korea to Crimea (3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D)
  • March 23, 2022: Indo-Iranian terminology for horses and chariots
  • March 30, 2022: Transcontinental cultural contacts of China during the Bronze Age
  • April 13, 2022: Transcultural Narrative Exchanges of Buddhist Birth Stories in Literary and Visual Cultures between Gandhara and Central Asia: A Case Study of the Pūrvayoga of Sudaṣṇa (Viśvantara Jātaka)
  • April 27, 2022: Climatic constraints and cultural filters in the adoption of western grain crops in ancient China
  • May 11, 2022: The horse in China — its introduction, trade and breeding from the 1st millennium BCE into the 1st millennium CE
  • May 25, 2022: Animals as Diplomatic Gifts along the Maritime Silk Roads
  • June 1, 2022: Following the donkey’s trail: A linguistic and archaeological study on the introduction of domestic donkeys to China


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