The Silk Roads: China and the West with Charles Higham - Context Travel

The Silk Roads: China and the West with Charles Higham


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There were two Silk Roads. One linked east and west by land, the other by sea. Both saw the movement of people, ideas, and innovations. Knowledge of Buddhism, bronze, and the wheel traveled to the east, while paper and ceramics went west. This seminar will explore the importance of the Silk Roads and how they fertilized the world's first globalization.

Following in the footsteps of Aurel Stein, we will explore how the Silk Roads changed the world. We will encounter the expansion east of early farmers who spoke Indo-European languages and whose bodies lie perfectly preserved in the dry sand of the Taklimakan Desert and visit Mogao caves, where some of the most precious Buddhist documents have survived. How did knowledge of bronze, wheeled chariots reach the innovative farmers of the Chinese Central Plains, and that most vital invention, paper, travel west?

We’ll discuss how the maritime route to the south brought southern China into contact with the Roman Empire. We’ll learn how Chinese ceramics and ideas reached India and Africa, while Indian religions, arts, and language spread across Southeast Asia.

Led by an expert on Eastern civilizations, this interactive seminar will illuminate the fabulous Silk Roads. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased insight into the rise of the first globalization and its impact on world history.

Charles Higham is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is an archaeologist with a particular interest in the origins of Southeast Asian civilizations. His excavations in Thailand and Cambodia have greatly increased our understanding of how the great Kingdom of Angkor began, how God-Kings were revered, and with a climatic deterioration, how it came to an end.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
63%
(5)
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.G.
Fascinating world of the Silk Route

Loved all of it. Mr Higham is a clear and fascinating speaker with a depth of knowledge.

S
S.R.
Wonderful presentation

This was one of the best lectures I’ve heard from any virtual source. Dr. Higham is extremely knowledgable and conveys the information with well thought out connections. The scope of the Silk Road is huge and yet it was broken down so the audience could understand. He is easy to listen to. I will look for more of his lectures!

D
D.S.
Fascinating information about the Silk Roads

Very informative. Great use of maps and photos to show the regions of importance along the Silk Road. Good descriptions of materials, products, agriculture, animals and religious dissemination which moved back and forth. Portrayal of China’s imperial eastward expansion. Beginnings of globalization, which is still in force today. Fascinating!

G
G.G.
Silk Road

It was quite good because he covered a long span of time. He obviously knows a lot about the subject.

J
J.K.

The subject is very interesting and Professor Higham clearly qualified. The only problem is that the subject requires more time than one hour and therefore was unsatisfying. I would welcome a multi-part course on the subject.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
63%
(5)
25%
(2)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.G.
Fascinating world of the Silk Route

Loved all of it. Mr Higham is a clear and fascinating speaker with a depth of knowledge.

S
S.R.
Wonderful presentation

This was one of the best lectures I’ve heard from any virtual source. Dr. Higham is extremely knowledgable and conveys the information with well thought out connections. The scope of the Silk Road is huge and yet it was broken down so the audience could understand. He is easy to listen to. I will look for more of his lectures!

D
D.S.
Fascinating information about the Silk Roads

Very informative. Great use of maps and photos to show the regions of importance along the Silk Road. Good descriptions of materials, products, agriculture, animals and religious dissemination which moved back and forth. Portrayal of China’s imperial eastward expansion. Beginnings of globalization, which is still in force today. Fascinating!

G
G.G.
Silk Road

It was quite good because he covered a long span of time. He obviously knows a lot about the subject.

J
J.K.

The subject is very interesting and Professor Higham clearly qualified. The only problem is that the subject requires more time than one hour and therefore was unsatisfying. I would welcome a multi-part course on the subject.