The massive fortified site of Akchakhan-kala in the Amu-Dar’ya delta has been under excavation for 25 years. This 2000 year old royal city has yielded extraordinary mural art featuring massive Zoroastrian Gods, a menagerie of animals and a gallery of highly elaborate portraits. The paintings and architecture provide a wholly new perspective on the rich and colourful history of Zoroastrianism in its early floruit before its codification under the Sasanians.

About the presenter

Alison Betts is Professor of Silk Road Studies at the University of Sydney. She has led excavations in the lands along the Silk Roads from Western Asia to China. Her current projects include, besides the excavations at Akchakhan-kala, a collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on the Bronze Age of Xinjiang, and work with the Institute of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir on the Northern Neolithic of the Western Himalayas. She is also negotiating to develop a new project of the Prehistory of Assam.

Image - Dakhma or Tower of Silence for exposure of the dead


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.