Lecture: Dunhuang, Khotan and Barikot: Reconstructing a Buddhist City?

Date of event:   26/01/2023 − 26/01/2023

Title: Dunhuang, Khotan and Barikot: Reconstructing a Buddhist City?
Series: Dunhuang and Silk Road Seminar
Speaker: Susan Whitfield (University of East Anglia)
Format: Hybrid [ZOOM]
Date: 26 January 2023 (Thursday)
Time: 17:10
Organized by: Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

The architecture and archaeological remains of Dunhuang provide few clues as to the Buddhist city, its layout or its architecture, but sites further west, protected by the desert sands and benign neglect, might provide clues. These include the remains of temples and stupas in Kroraina, but especially in Khotan and Barikot in the Swat Valley.. We will look at these sites —alongside the sparse textual reports—to consider how the Mogao rock-cut temples might have fitted into the sacred space of medieval Dunhuang.

Susan Whitfield is Professor of Silk Road Studies at the University of East Anglia where she is currently working on the project Nara to Norwich (NaratoNorwich.org). She previously curated the Dunhuang and other central Asian manuscripts at the British Library and helped develop and then directed the International Dunhuang Project. She has travelled through much—sadly not all—of the Silk Roads, curated several exhibitions, and published widely.