NEAF Saturday Seminar series | From Cordoba to Kashgar – 4 – School of Humanities NEAF Saturday Seminar series | From Cordoba to Kashgar – 4 – School of Humanities

NEAF Saturday Seminar series | From Cordoba to Kashgar – 4

“From Cordoba to Kashgar: Islamic Cultures and the Wider World” | Saturday Seminar Series

The Mongol Empire and Central Asia

Ben Churcher

Genghis Khan as the ‘wrecker’ is vaguely known to many, however, this gifted leader, warrior and administrator ushered in a period of Central Asian dominance that was to fundamentally shape much of the second millennium.

Admittedly brutal when required, Genghis Khan also ruled an empire from faraway Karakorum: an empire that had to be started from scratch including the building of a capital, the introduction of a script for the Mongolian language, commissioning written histories and writing codified laws. In a few years of his death in 1227, his successors ruled from the China Sea to the Euphrates where the Yuan Dynasty unites China and Mongolian princes calculate equinoxes from Iranian observatories. One hundred ye rs later, other leaders, such as Emir Timur in Uzbekistan, call on the greatness of Genghis Khan to establish their own far-flung empire administered from distant Samarkand. The rise of Central Asia at the hands of individuals such as Genghis Khan and Emir Timur will be examined during this lecture as we recall the role this region had in shaping the world around us today.


About the series
  • The lectures will be held remotely via Zoom.
  • The lecture will start at 10am with a break at 10.45, then the second lecture will begin at 11 am and finish at 11.45.
  • The lecturer will be available to answer questions at the end of each session.
  • The cost of the series is:
  • Members: $20 per session. All 6 sessions: $100
  • Non-members $30 per session. All 6 sessions: $150
  • All students are free
  • A minimum of 20 is required for each lecture for this series to run – our upper limit is 300 per lecture.
  • Once payment is received a receipt and Meeting ID and password will be sent to you.
  • To avoid this being passed onto anyone who has not paid, participants will be matched against a list by their screen name to ensure they are a financial participant. Please ensure your zoom screen name correctly identifies you or telephone number if you are connecting via telephone and add this in the area provided when you book.


Please click here to book for this seminar

About the series

NEAF has for a number of years presented weekend lecture series in which our aim has been to provide general background to those interested in Western Asia and its areas of influence. Walk through the palaces of the Alhambra in Granada in air perfumed from their gardens. Stand in the vast maidan in Isfahan overawed by the brilliant tiles of the Imam Mosque. Hear the Mu’adhan call midday prayers in the great court of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus. Climb the stairs to the ‘jewelled’ tombs of the Timur and his descendants in Samarkand. Wander the courts and chambers of the Topkapi in Istanbul, wondering at the treasures they hold. Within these places you are surrounded by the glories of Islamic culture.

These sites are among the outstanding examples of Islamic culture that will be discussed in their general context during a series of lectures in October and November 2020. In this series of lectures we aim to give an overview of the different Islamic cultures that have influenced the West over almost 1500 years. It will explore the various aspects of the material culture of different areas following the arrival of Islam and how these have influenced the non-Islamic cultures that co-exist with them. These influences may be in the architecture, the sciences, the decorative arts and in technology. This series will start on Saturday 10 October 2020 and will run for six weeks. Please note this is a re-run of our very popular Islamic series presented in 2017 (which sold out very quickly). It is our pleasure to offer this series on zoom to any newcomers or if you wish to revisit this fascinating era of Islamic culture.

Future seminars in the series

  • 07 November 2020 John Tidmarsh
  • 14 November 2020 Kate da Costa


Hosted by the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)

Enquiries and RSVP:
Click here to register
| +61 2 9351 4151
F | +61 9114 0921
Click here to email



Oct 31 2020


Followed by a drinks and a chat with the lecturer
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Members: $20 per session All 6 sessions: $100 | Non-members $30 per session All 6 sessions: $150 | All students are free

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