Echoes of the past: pre-partition postcards from India

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection 3 Comments

A delightful item which we have recently catalogued is a collection of 58 postcards dating from pre-partition India which was given to us by Cyrus Pherozeshah Mehta (1917-2011)[1]. The collection includes mostly black-and-white views from Baluchistan, Benares, Calcutta and the holiday resorts of Simla and Matheran in Maharashtra. The Sir Stuart Hogg Market, Calcutta. Designed by Richard Roskell Bayne, an architect of the East Indian Railway Company, this Victorian Gothic market complex was begun in 1873. It was officially named after one of its greatest advocates, Sir Stuart Hogg, the …

Bridget Allchin: Pioneering Prehistorian of South Asian Archaeology

Ursula Sims-Williams News 4 Comments

In celebration of Bridget Allchin’s 90th birthday by Danika Parikh, University of Cambridge Archaeologist Bridget Allchin was born Bridget Gordon on February 10th, 1927. Inspired by the work of W.J. Sollas, Bridget had nursed an ambition to study prehistory since childhood; she decided to go to university but made what she calls ‘the disappointing discovery’ that in Britain archaeology was not taught as a first degree subject at the time. She opted instead for a degree at UCL that included Ancient History, spending her Easter break excavating a prehistoric site …

Mixed blessings for those born in the Year of the Rooster

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection 2 Comments

The Year of the Rooster begins on 28th January 2017. What better excuse could there be for writing about an early 9th century description of the animal cycle written in the Eastern Iranian language Khotanese. Descriptions of the years of the monkey, cock, dog and pig, the last four years of the 12 year animal cycle. Photo: International Dunhuang Project (British Library Or.11252/1) This document is one of a group of forty one documents presented to the then British Museum in 1930 by Frederick Williamson who was Consul-General for the …

Christmas and New Year Greetings

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection 1 Comment

The Ancient India and Iran Trust will be closed for Christmas and New Year from 23 December until 2 January 2017. It will re-open again on Tuesday 3rd January. We wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year with a reproduction of this Christmas card sent to Sir Harold Bailey in 1946 by the Norwegian Indologist Sten Konow (1867-1948). Konow had worked with the Central Asian explorer Sir Aurel Stein and the Sanskritist Rudolf Hoernle to decipher the newly discovered Central Asian texts in Khotanese, work which Bailey …

Action-packed 4th Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology

Ursula Sims-Williams News 1 Comment

by Danika Parikh, University of Cambridge December 2nd and 3rd saw the return of the Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology, now in its fourth year. After being hosted at the University of Durham in 2015, the Symposium returned to Cambridge and the Trust this month with an action-packed line up spanning South Asian archaeology from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, from the Neolithic to modern perceptions of the past in Indian cinema. As with other years, the Symposium kicked off with a Friday evening keynote lecture. Roberta Tomber of …