A Talk by Fiona Kidd, University of Sydney
The recently discovered painted portrait gallery at the monumental site of Kazakl’i-yatkan in ancient Chorasmia (modern Uzbekistan) provides a unique snapshot of pre-Islamic Central Asian elites rarely found in the archaeological record. But who do these portraits represent: are they kings, or priests or perhaps members of the ruling family? Located in a monumental building clearly associated with cult, the portraits provide a unique foundation on which to explore status and identity in the broader context of Iranian and steppic visual art. Status and identity are key themes in Central Asia, whose cultures are intrinsically syncretic. The region lies at the crossroads between east and west, blending influences from China to the Mediterranean. In this lecture, Dr. Kidd will discuss the identity of those portrayed at Kazakl’i-yatkan through an exploration of elements of status. An understanding of the visual construction of elite identity at Kazakl’i-yatkan will provide critical insight into one of the Dark Ages of ancient Central Asia.
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Dr. Fiona Kidd is a Research Associate in the Department of Near Eastern Archaeology at the
Dr. Kidd is a candidate for the East Asian Archaeology position in the UCLA Cotsen Institute.
Tel: (310) 794-4838
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