Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Alison Betts – School of Humanities Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Alison Betts – School of Humanities

Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Alison Betts

Professor Alison Betts | The University of Sydney

When East and West First Met

Up until the 4th millennium BCE, cultural development in China and Central Asia followed individual and distinct trajectories. Apparently, at some time in the early to mid-3rd millennium BCE, Chinese cultural influences began to spread westwards as Eurasian influences drifted eastwards. The principle point of contact for these influences was Xinjiang, but significantly they also each carried with them new agricultural technologies which at one point met in the middle and passed over into new cultural realms. It is now possible to offer an hypothesis about the location of this switch. Through a wider study of Central Asia, Xinjiang, eastern Eurasia, the western Himalayas and the Hexi Corridor, this paper also explores the nature and variety of these first early East-West cultural and technological transmissions.

Professor Alison Betts is Edwin Cuthbert Hall Chair of Archaeology and Mythology of the Ancient Middle East at the University of Sydney. Her research interests spread across Asia from Xinjiang to the Levant. She obtained her PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1986 on the Prehistory of the Black Desert of Eastern Jordan. She has led fieldwork in Jordan, Uzbekistan, Xinjiang and Kashmir and has a wide variety of interests in mechanisms of cultural transmission, hunting traps, nomadic peoples, game drives and the early history of Zoroastrianism.


Everyone is welcome to attend the Near Eastern Seminar Series.

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11 May 2020, 4:00-5:00pm


The Department of Archaeology is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

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May 11 2020


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


This event is free




+61 2 9351 4151

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