What’s On

Past Events

An archive of the Trust’s lectures, symposia and special events


  • 17 March: Cambridge Festival. Joe Cribb (Hebei Normal University; British Museum; Ancient India & Iran Trust): Money is power: a metaphorical and numismatic approach |More
  • 24 February: Janet Pope & Peter Jackson (independent researchers; Ancient India & Iran Trust): The Protestant Mission to the Buryats, 1818–1840 |More
  • 17 February: Muhammad Waqar Mushtaq (The Islamia University of Bahawalpur): Mapping Archaeological Heritage in the Cholistan Desert, Pakistan: from screen to field and back again |More
  • 27 January: Moazzam Khan Durrani (The Islamia University of Bahawalpur): Magnifying the monumental value of South Punjab, Pakistan: a case study of Bahawalpur state |Watch


  • 3 December: Eighth Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology |More
  • 25 November: Jeffrey P. Charest (independent scholar): Intercultural themes in the Post-Hellenistic music cultures of Bactria, Gandhāra and Indo-Greek kingdoms |More
  • 4 November: Ursula Sims-Williams (British Library; Ancient India & Iran Trust): The many faces of Alexander the Great |More
  • 14 October: T. Richard Blurton (British Museum; Ancient India & Iran Trust): India: a history in objects |More
  • 17 September: Open Cambridge. A hidden gem in the heart of Cambridge: open day |More
  • 10 June: John MacGinnis (British Museum): Clash of empires: excavating a Parthian outpost in the mountains of Kurdistan |More
  • 20 May: Antonio Panaino (University of Bologna): The souls of women in the Zoroastrian afterlife |More
  • 1 April: Cambridge Festival. Joe Cribb (Hebei Normal University; British Museum; Ancient India & Iran Trust): The origins of coinage: China and Turkey c. 600 BC |Watch
  • 11 March: Priyanka Jha (Banaras Hindu University): Negotiating thresholds: Cornelia Sorabjee’s contributions to shaping Gendered intellectual history in modern India |More
  • 18 March: Yousef Moradi (SOAS University of London): The Zoroastrian sanctuary of Takht-e Solayman in the light of newly discovered Sasanian bullae and seal impressions |More


  • 17 December: Harold Bailey Memorial Lecture. Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS University of London; Ancient India & Iran Trust): ‘Miserable scraps’: the joy of decoding unconsidered trifles |More
  • 29 October: Roda Ahluwalia (independent scholar), and Ursula Sims-Williams (British Library; Ancient India & Iran Trust): Insights on Mughal art & culture: the imperial library of the Mughals |More
  • 11 June: Cameron Petrie (University of Cambridge; Ancient India & Iran Trust) Living in the borderlands: a lecture to launch the book Resistance at the Edge of Empires: The Archaeology and History of the Bannu Basin from 1000 BC to AD 1200 |More
  • 26 March: Cambridge Festival. Samuel N.C. Lieu, (International Union of Academies; Robinson College, Cambridge; Ancient India and Iran Trust): Before Gallipoli there was Homer: the new Trojan war of 1915 |Watch
  • 26 February: Emily Hannam (Royal Collection Trust, Windsor Castle): Persia in the Royal Library, Windsor |More
  • 12 February: Domenico Agostini (Tel Aviv University) and Samuel Thrope (National Library of Israel; University of Haifa): The search for lost time: insights on Zoroastrian literature from the new translation of the Bundahišn |Watch


  • 5 December: Seventh Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology |More
  • 4 December: Dinyar Patel (S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai): Naoroji: pioneer of Indian Nationalism |Watch
  • 30 October: Joe Cribb (British Museum; Ashmolean Museum; Ancient India & Iran Trust): Coinage in Afghanistan during the period of Islamic conquest c AH 30–256 AD 650–870 |Watch


  • 13 December: Harold Bailey Memorial Lecture. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis (British Museum): Divine imagery in ancient Persia |More
  • 7 December: Sixth Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology |More
  • 29 November: Charlie Gammell (independent scholar): Questions of identity in Herat’s past, present and future: 800 years of confusion and change |More
  • 8 November: Friends’ event: Joe Cribb (British Museum; Ashmolean Museum; Ancient India & Iran Trust): The Ancient India & Iran Trust coin collection: an introduction |More 
  • 25 October: Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Ursula Sims-Williams (British Library; Ancient India & Iran Trust): Tipu Sultan: judging the man by his books |More
  • 11 October: Moojan Momen (Afnan Library): The Baha’i faith and Iranian religion |More
  • 31 May: Saloumeh Gholami (Goethe University Frankfurt): Endangered Zoroastrian heritage of Iran: new insights from recently discovered manuscripts |More
  • 10 May: Richard Foltz (Concordia University, Montréal): From Sintashta to Samarkand: the Tajiks and their ancestors in Central Asian history |More
  • 26 April: Friends’ event: Sam Lieu (Macquarie University, Sydney; Ancient India and Iran Trust): Manichaean art and calligraphy from the Silk Road |More
  • 8 March: Georgina Herrmann (University College London): Royal Merv, a city on the Great Silk Road |More
  • 22 February:  Friends’ event:  Joe Cribb (British Museum; Ashmolean Museum; Ancient India and Iran Trust): Coins as the key to ancient Central Asian history |More
  • 25 January: Preeti Khosla (independent scholar): Reintroducing the Ni’matnamah half a century later |More


  • 7 December: Susan Whitfield (University College London): Silk, slaves and stupas: material culture of the Silk Road |More
  • 1 December: Fifth Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology |More
  • 30 November: Keynote Lecture, Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology (McDonald Institute): Richard Blurton (British Museum): The Hotung Gallery at the British Museum: different ideas, and some new views of Amaravati |More
  • 9 November: Katherine Butler Schofield (King’s College London): The courtesan and the memsahib: Khanum Jan, Sophia Plowden and their Hindustani airs, Lucknow 1788 | More
  • 26 October: Cambridge Festival of Ideas: Christine van Ruymbeke (Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge; Ancient India and Iran Trust): Literary criticism and the pendulum of taste: the reception of the Anvar-e Sohayli |More
  • 8 June: Deborah Freeman Fahid (independent scholar & former Assistant Curator of The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait): The Àger rock crystal chessmen: some early medieval imports from the Iranian world? | More
  • 25 May: Joe Cribb (former Keeper of Coins and Medals, British Museum): Constructing Kushan chronology: Bactria and Gandhara 1st–4th century AD | More
  • 18 May: Tree planting in memory of Bridget Allchin | More
  • 18 May: Friends’ event: Rachel Rowe (Cambridge University Library): Archival adventures with ephemera: treasures from the Queen Mary Indian Collection | More
  • 27 April: Deepak Paramashivan (University of Alberta) with Satvinder Sehmbey on tabla: Soulful Sarangi: an Indian classical music concert | More
  • 17 March: Bridget Allchin memorial event at Wolfson College. Michael Petraglia (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena): Following in Bridget Allchin’s footsteps: The current state of archaeology in South Asia | More
  • 9 March: Special event for the Friends of the Trust: James Crowden (author): Soldier, spy, archaeologist and academic: the story of Professor K de B Codrington (1899-1986)
  • 3 March: Visit of delegation from the Republic of Uzbekistan | More
  • 23 February: Christopher Wright (British Library): Robert Ker Porter’s travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia and Mesopotamia 1817-1820 | More
  • 2 February: Almut Hintze (SOAS): The Multi-Media Yasna: recent research in Mumbai | More
  • 19 January: Emily Hannam (Royal Collection): Georges, Nawabs and Nabobs: the British monarchs and India in the 18th century | More
Photos 2018
Tree planting ceremonyBridget Allchin memorial


  • 3 December: HW Bailey Memorial Lecture: Peter Frankopan (University of Oxford): Sir Harold Bailey and the content of Indian, Iranian and Asian Studies | More
  • 17 November: Friends’ Event: Afternoon guided tour of Another India: Exploration and Expressions of Indigenous South Asia at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with exhibition curator Mark Elliott | More
  • 10 November: Ursula Sims-Williams (British Library): Investigating the library of Tipu Sultan of Mysore | More
  • 3 November: Mark Elliott (University of Cambridge): Curating Another India: object histories and contemporary voices | More
  • 23 October: Cameron Petrie (University of Cambridge), part of Cambridge University’s Festival of Ideas: Climate change and collapse: a (not so) simple story of the relationship between climate and the decline of South Asia’s Indus Civilisation
  • 20 October: Julius Lipner (University of Cambridge), part of Cambridge University’s Festival of Ideas: Hinduism and the elusiveness of Truth: the quest for integrity
  • 13-14 October: Symposium The History of Lahore and the Preservation of its Historic Buildings | More
  • 16 September: Open House at AIIT | More
  • 2 June: Hans Bakker (British Museum) The Huns in Central and South Asia | More
  • 26 May: Jesse Palsetia (Guelph) Parsi traders & travellers in the Age of Empire | More
  • 12 May: Sâqib Bâburi (British Library) The Windsor Padshahnamah: A Royal Copy of Shah Jahan’s Chronicle) | More
  • 5 May: Special event for the Friends of the Trust: Julius Lipner (Cambridge) Work in progress: from Bengal to Cambridge and back again – many times | More
  • 24 April: Giles Tillotson (Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur): Recent developments at the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur | More
  • 11 March: Book launch: Holy Wealth: Accounting for This World and The Next in Religious Belief and Practice: Festschrift for John R. Hinnells | More
  • 3 March: Special event for Friends of the Trust Catherine Ansorge (University Library, Cambridge): The Reverend George Lewis and his collection of Persian manuscripts | More
  • 10 February: Elizabeth Key Fowden (FAMES/Classics, University of Cambridge): Eastern Kings and Ancient Philosophers in Ottoman Athens| More
  • 27 January: Suraiya Faroqhi (Istanbul Bilgi University): Importing and marketing Iranian fabrics | More
Photos 2017
Lahore Symposium


  • 2-3 December: 4th Annual Allchin Symposium | More
  • 2 December: Jennifer Scarce (University of Dundee)
    Qajar nostalgia for Sassanians | More
  • 18 November: Christian Sahner (St John’s College, Cambridge)
    Zoroastrians and Christians under early Muslim rule | More
  • 28 October: in association with the Cambridge Festival of Ideas:
    Alan Williams (University of Manchester): Migration and the Mango Tree that Walked: the Arrival of Persian Zoroastrians in Eighth-century India
  • 21 October: Sudeshna Guha (Shiv Nadar University)
    ‘Nineveh’ in Bombay and histories of Indian Archaeology | More
  • 14 October: Special event for Friends of the Trust
    Conor Jameson and Stephanie Morren (RSPB): Save Asia’s Vultures | More
  • 9 July: Rubaiyat Research Day | More
  • 20 June: Reception for workshop ‘Khamriyya as a World Poetic Genre’ | More
  • 12 June: AIIT Summer Garden Party | More
  • 3 June: AIIT Honorary Fellow Lecture 2016
    Anna Dallapiccola: South Indian mural paintings (16th to 18th centuries) | More
  • 22-23 May: Board Meeting and Workshop of the Societas Iranologica Europaea
  • 20 May: Katherine Schofield (King’s College, London)
    Music, art and affective power between 16th century North India and the Deccan
  • 12.5.16 Award of Sinor Medal to Nicholas Sims-Williams and Lecture: The Bactrian Archives | More
  • 6 May: Special Event for Friends of the Trust
    Geoffrey Hales: Kipling in India – a dramatized talk
  • 18 March: Part of the Cambridge Science Festival
    Raymond Mercier (Cambridge): Calendars in India and a problem with eclipses in Orissa | More
  • 26 February: Special Event for Friends of the Trust
    T. Richard Blurton (British Museum): Krishna in the Garden of Assam
  • 19 February: Arthur Dudney (Cambridge)
    What language did Kiyomars speak? Seventeenth and Eighteenth century theories on the origins of Persian| More
  • 12 February: Michelle Quay (Cambridge)
    Female Heroism in Sufi Hagiographical texts – from Sulami (d. 1021) to ‘Attar (d. ca. 1221) | More
Photos 2016
4th Allchin Symposium


  • 16 December: Book launch: Arts of the Hellenized East | More
  • 27 November: Robin Ackroyd
    Mongol nutag, Chingisiin Ongon – Monglian homeland, Genghis Khan’s tomb
  • 20 November: Friends Event
    Almut Hintze (SOAS): Living scholarship: a journey into Indo-Iranian Studies
  • 6 November: Cameron Petrie (Cambridge)
    Adaptation to variable environments, resilience to climate change; Land, Water and Settlement and the Indus Civilization
  • 16 October: Christine van Ruymbeke (Cambridge)
    Kashefi’s Anvar-e Sohayli: Rewriting Kalila wa-Dimna in Timurid Herat
  • 5 June: Rosemary Crill (Senior Curator, Asian Department, V&A Museum)
    The Fabric of India
  • 8 May: John Falconer (Curator of Visual Arts, British Library)
    Photography and the Archaeological Survey of India 1855-1900
  • 24 April: Margaret Cone (Darwin College, Cambridge)
    The Joys and Sorrows of Pali
  • 6 March: François de Blois (UCL)
    Sasanian royalist ideology and Zoroastrian millennialism
  • 20 February: Vesta Curtis (British Museum)
    The power and purpose of iconography in ancient Iran
  • 6 February: Special Event for Friends of the Trust
    Sam Lieu (Macquarie University, Sydney): Between Parthia and Rome – Palmyra and Dura Europos
  • 23 January: Gabor Kosa (ELTE University, Budapest)
    Judgement after death: the Manichaean cosmology painting
Photos 2015
Launch of Arts of the Hellenized East


  • 5-6 December: Second Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology
  • 5 December: at the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research,
    Prof Michael Petraglia (Oxford): South Asia: Central or Peripheral to the Out of Africa Story
  • 28 November: Razia Sultanova (Cambridge)
    Music of the Uzbeks of Northern Aghanistan
  • 14 November: Sam van Schaik (British Library)
    The Married Monks of Kroraina
  • 7 November: Friends screening of: Following the Peacock, a film by Dr Eszther Spät
  • 24 October: part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas
    Sir Nicholas Barrington: Envoy – the experiences of a diplomat in Asia
  • 17 October: Imre Galambos (Cambridge)
    A Forgotten Civilisation: Remains of the Tangut Kingdom in Central Asia
  • 16 May: Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS)
    Go East Young Man! A personal journey
  • 23 May: Touraj Daryaee (UCI)
    The Sasanian Empire as a Garden: The walls and rivers of the Sasanian Empire
  • 11 May: Half day workshop
    Bactria and the transition to Islam
  • 9 May: Nina Mirnig
    The Religious Centre of Pashupatinath: Early Nepalese Shaiva Inscriptions in Context
  • 25 April: Prof Geoffrey Greatrex (Ottawa)
    Procopius’ Persian Tales: entertainment, history or morality fable?
  • 21 February: Janice Stargardt (Cambridge)
    The Early Kingdoms of Burma 1st-8th century CE
  • 14 February: Eleanor Sims
    Heinrich Friedrich von Diez’s “little Collection of Paintings Illustrating Firdausi’s Shahnama”
Photos 2014
Bactria and the Transition to Islam


  • 13 December: Bailey Memorial Lecture
    Professor Maria Macuch (Berlin): Kinship Ties and Fictive Alliances in Sasanian Law
  • 6 December: part of inaugural Annual Allchin Symposium in South Asian Archaeology
    Prof. Adam Hardy (Cardiff): Digging up Designs: reconstructing medieval Indian temples from stones, drawings and texts
  • 29 November: Christophe ROUSTAN-DELATOUR (Museums of Cannes)
    The Spirit of Place: Penelope Betjeman’s Himalayan photographs
  • 29 November: Himalaya Round-table
  • 8 November: Dr Llewelyn MORGAN (Oxford)
    Gradus ad Aornon. Classicists in NW India & Afghanistan
  • 1 November: Prof. Monica SMITH (UCLA)The Urban Hinterlands of Kalinga in the Early Historic period: Archaeology at Sisupalgarh and Talapada
  • 25 October:  Dr Cameron PETRIE
    Frontiers and edges of empires: living in the borderlands of Pakistan from the Neolithic to the spread of Islam
  • 14 June: Maria SCHETELICH (Leipzig)
    Why Chess could have been invented in India. A never-ending Story
  • 7 June: Friends event:
    Dr Sudeshna Guha: Tour of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
  • 31 May: Dr Arezou AZAD (Oxford)
    The Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project: exploration, maps and silk road history from Balkh, northern Afghanistan
  • 24 May: Dinyar PATEL (Harvard)
    Indians in Late Victorian Britain: Perspectives from the Naoroji Papers
  • 3 May: Professor Almut HINTZE (SOAS)
    A Zoroastrian Vision
  • 1 March: Dr Jeevan DEOL (Cambridge)
    The Sikhs of Afghanistan: some notes toward a cultural, social and literary history ca. 1600-2012
  • 15 February: Dr John MACGINNIS (Cambridge)
    Excavating a Provincial capital of the Assyrian Empire: The Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Project
  • 11 January: Dr Badshah SARDAR (Ancient India & Iran Trust)
    Buddhist Collection of Nimogram Swat, Pakistan: Its History, Classification, Analysis and Chronology
Photos 2013


  • 30 November: Dr Peter JOHANSEN (British Columbia)
    Following in the Footsteps of the Allchins: Recent Archaeological Research in Central Karnataka
  • 23 November: Professor Louise MARLOW (Wellesley College)
    Ancient Wisdom in Early Arabic Advice Literature
  • 16 November: Dr Annabel GALLOP (British Library)
    Ottoman Links across the Indian Ocean
  • 2 November: Professor Eijiro DOYAMA (University of Osaka)
    The unusual birth of the hero in ancient Indian mythology
  • 24 October: Professor Almut HINTZE (SOAS)
    A Zoroastrian Vision
  • 25 May (3pm): Friends Event
    A guided tour of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s exhibition The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China, led by exhibition curator Dr James Lin, Senior Assistant Keeper of Applied Arts
  • 11 May: Sue Stronge (Asian Department, V&A Museum)
    Court art in the reign of Jahangir
  • 4 May: Professor Julius Lipner (Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge)
    A Hostage to Fortune? Hinduism and the Classical
  • 27 April: Professor Jean Kellens (Collége de France, Paris)
    Some Thoughts on Young Avestan Polytheism
  • 9 March: Dr Agnes Korn (Frankfurt)
    Discoveries in language from modern and ancient times: Caucasian-Albanian to modern Udi
  • 24 February: Friends Event
    Ursula Sims-Williams (Ancient India & Iran Trust and British Library)
    Harold Bailey: Founding Trustee of the Ancient India & Iran Trust
  • 17 February: Dr Gillian JULEFF (Exeter)
    Technology and evolution: Asian metallurgy from protohistoric Sri Lanka to Japanese steel
  • 10 February: Mr Kaveh BAKHTIAR (SOAS)
    Islamic Architecture of Britain
  • 27 January: Dr Bruno de NICOLA (Cambridge)
    The Mongol Khatun’s Economic Activity
Photos 2012


  • 2 Dec: Dr Paul RUSSELL and Dr Elizabeth BOYLE (Cambridge)
    Colonialism and Celticism: Whitley Stokes in India (1862-1882)
  • 25 Nov: Dr Razia SULTANOVA (Director, Centre for Central Asian Music, and Fellow, Central Asian Forum, Cambridge)
    Music from Central Asia: From Shamanism to Sufism
  • 11 Nov: Veronica DOUBLEDAY (Independent Scholar)
    The Legacy of Quatrain Singing as practiced in Afghanistan
  • 28 Oct: Dr Ilya YAKUBOVICH (Moscow State University)
    The Invention of Old Persian
  • 26 Oct (Wed): Professor Nicholas SIMS-WILLIAMS (SOAS)
    Deciphering Bactrian- An Illustrated Lecture
  • 14 Oct: Prof. A. POOLE (Cambridge), Dr. C van RUYMBEKE (Cambridge), William MARTIN and Sandra MASON (Independent Scholars & Chairs of AIIT Friends)
    Omar Khayyám and FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát after 2009
  • 10 June: Professor Herman TIEKEN (University of Leiden, Netherlands)
    The function of the So-called Ashoka Pillars
  • 20 May: Dr Christiane ESCHE-RAMSHORN (Independent)
    Christian Art between Europe and the Middle East (14th-15th c.). Nakhitchevan and its sacred geography explored in a multi-faith context
  • 6 May: Professor Alberto CANTERA, (University of Salamanca)
    Why do we really need a new edition of the Avesta?
  • 19 April: Professor Robin CONINGHAM, (University of Durham)
    Lumbini: preserving and protecting a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal
  • 11 March: Anton ZYKOV (St Antony’s College, University of Oxford)
    Nasusalars and khandias in the Zoroastrian communities of Iran and India
  • 25 February: Dr Erica HUNTER (School of African and Oriental Studies London)
    The Christian Library from Turfan
  • 4 February: Dr Vincenzo VERGIANI (University of Cambridge)
    Pānini’s Grammar: its role in the hegemony of Sanskrit and some open questions
  • 28 January: Professor Samuel N.C. LIEU, (Macquarie University, Australia)
    From Xerxes to Kemal Ataturk
Photos 2011


  • 10 Dec: Bailey Memorial Lecture: Professor Frantz Grenet (Paris)
    The rediscovery of the court culture of the Qarakhanids (11th to early 13th centuries): recent results of the French-Uzbek Archaeological Mission at Afrasiab (Samarkand)
  • 26 Nov: Dr Annabel Gallop (British Library) and Dr Venetia Porter (British Museum) (lecture accompanying exhibition)
    Islamic Seals: Treasures from the British Library and the British Museum
  • 19 Nov: Friends Event
    Guided visit to the Shahname exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, with Prof. Charles Melville.
  • 12 Nov: A celebration of the life and work of Dr Bridget Allchin and the late Dr Raymond Allchin
    Professor Robin Coningham (Durham): From Kabul to Kelaniya: Raymond Allchin and the Archaeology of South Asia
    Professor Robin Dennell (Sheffield): A life in stone: a retrospective appreciation of Bridget Allchin and the South Asian Palaeolithic’
  • 29 Oct: Roger Cooper
    A New Look at the Sikhs
  • 15 Oct: Professor Charles Melville (Cambridge)
    An Illustrated Shahname
  • 4 June: Professor Vicente Dobroruka (University of Brasilia)
    Hellenistic Political Propaganda and Zoroastrian Oracles
  • 28 May: Dr Rosemary Crill (Senior Curator, Victoria & Albert Museum, London)
    The Indian Portrait 1560–1860
  • 15 May: Special event
    Recent Research on the Cultural History of Sri Lanka
  • 14 May: Dr Sethuraman Suresh (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Chennai, India)
    From Kanchipuram to Kampuchea: A Millennium of Trade and Cultural Exchanges between South India and Cambodia
  • 7 May: Professor Stanley Insler (Yale University)
    The Oldest Zoroastrian Calendar
  • 12 February: Dr Cameron Petrie (University of Cambridge)
    Lost rivers and life on the plains — human interaction with the environment in early Indian civilization
  • 29 January: Professor Michael Pye (University of Marburg and Otani University, Kyoto)
    Lives of the Buddha and the initial dynamics of the Buddhist religion
  • 15 January: Conor Jameson and Rhys Green (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, London)
    Cause and consequences of the catastrophic decline of vultures across South Asia
Photos 2010