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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Language and culture in the Tarim Basin of the first millennium

Public Lecture


Prof. Hannes Fellner, University of Vienna

Date and Time

September 28, 2023, 04.00  - 06.00 pm


From the 2nd century CE on, the communities along the trade routes of the ancient Silk Road in the Tarim Basin were centers of writing, copying, translating, and transmitting texts. The old Indo-European languages Sanskrit, Tocharian, and Saka were the major players in these eastern parts of the Silk Road during the first millennium CE. The texts of these languages are an important record of life on the eastern Silk Road, but are usually treated only in the context of linguistics and Buddhist studies. In this talk, I will discuss the material culture of the Tarim Basin as it emerges from the textual material in combination with archaeological and other secondary evidence. This will shed light on the history of the Tarim Basin as Central Asian borderland.


University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Rämistrasse 59, RAA E-29, 8001 Zurich


Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies  - Chinese Studies