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Lost Art from the sands of the Kizilkum – Nicholson Museum Sydney

February 03, 2018 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Speaker: Alison Betts

The first lecture in the Nicholson Museum’s 2018 Saturday series, Postcards from the Past, is held by Professor Alison Betts.

The Royal City of Akchakhan-kala has been under excavation by a team from the University of Sydney together with their Karakalpak colleagues for over twenty years. This magnificent mud brick fortress in far western Uzbekistan has held its secrets for over two thousand years until archaeologists began to unlock them. Hidden in the ruins of the site are magnificent paintings, created by long dead kings to promote and reinforce their power. They appealed to the gods to assist them and ordered the creation of massive images of their protective deities over six meters high to adorn their audience chamber. Other murals show magnificent animals, a multitude of portraits and a fantastic garden filled with beautiful flowers and wild creatures.

The team has just returned from another highly successful season at the site and this talk will show how the city, its rich legacy of art, its kings and its people reflect elaborate ritual practices that form the foundations of one of the world’s great religions, Zoroastrianism.

Alison Betts specialises in the archaeology of the lands along the Silk Roads from the Near East to China. Her key interests lie in the study of nomadic peoples. Having worked extensively in eastern Jordan and Central Asia, she currently runs major field projects in Uzbekistan and Xinjiang.

Academy Travel is proud to sponsor the 2018 Nicholson Museum Lecture Series. The event is free though you will need to RSVP your attendance through the Nicholson Museum > here.


February 3, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Alison Betts


General Lecture Theatre, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney
University Place
Camperdown, NSW 2050 Australia
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