Silk Road Studies

The lands along the ancient Silk Roads have intricate and fascinating histories. Our teams of young scholars and established colleagues explore these through broad based multi-disciplinary research and intensive case studies.

The Silk Road Studies team is led by Alison Betts, Professor of Silk Road Studies in the Department of Archaeology. The programme combines several individual research projects linked by their relevance to the history of the lands along the ancient Silk Roads. The team includes a group of international post-doctoral researchers, colleagues in international institutions and students at the University of Sydney.

Our research

Silk Road Studies have been integral to teaching and research in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney since 1994 when the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition began its work in Uzbekistan, mainly on excavations at the Royal City of Akchakhan-kala, but also exploring the region more widely.

In Xinjiang a collaboration between archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and researchers from the University of Sydney has been studying the impact of the Eurasian Bronze Age on Xinjiang, and in Kashmir a collaborative team with staff at the Centre of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir and archaeologists from the University of Sydney has been revisiting the Northern Neolithic in the Kashmir Valley.

The Silk Road Study group also holds archives from British excavations at Old Kandahar in Afghanistan (Society for Afghan Studies).

Our people

Prof. Alison Betts (Team Leader)
Peter Jia (Senior Research Associate)
Melodie Bonnat (Conservator)
Gino Caspari (Remote Sensing)
Marie-Laure Chambrade (Landscape Archaeology)
Paula Doumani Dupuy (Ceramics and Textiles)
Fiona Kidd (Mural Art)
Michele Minardi (Mortuary Archaeology)
Ajmal Shah (Archaeology of Kashmir)
Mumtaz Yatoo (Kashmiri Neolithic)
Zahir Youssofzay (Buddhism in Afghanistan)


Near Eastern Archaeological Foundation
Level 4, CCANESA Madsen F09, University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4151