“How Clothes Make the Man: Textile Art in Ancient Central Asia”

The College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture 2011

William Mierse, Professor of Art and Art History

The lack of surviving textiles is one of the major gaps in our understanding of ancient art. We know that they were important. But the archaeological record has preserved few examples until quite recently. Over the last twenty years excavations in the Taklimakan Desert in China’s Xinjiang Province have begun to reveal rich finds of textiles. These objects are forcing us to change our understanding of the nature of the artistic exchanges between the ancient Mediterranean and Chinese regions and are providing us with a glimpse of the sophisticated artistic production that occurred in Central Asia where influences from the West and the East came together along with indigenous cultural forces to produce these textile works. In this talk, Mierse explores one particularly intriguing textile find from Yingpan.

Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)

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