The region of modern Central Asia was formed in the early decades of the twentieth century. It currently comprises five independent states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and in antiquity included several ethnocultural zones, such as Parthia, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana and Scythia. Today after more than a century of wide-ranging studies we know that these civilizations, in addition to their commercial-economic and agricultural orientation, were also heavily culture and religion oriented.
This couse will introduce the geopolitical and historical context of Central Asia through revealing various evidencse related to the spheres of culture and religion.
Barakatullo Ašurov is a visiting scholar at Harvard University in the Near Eastern Languages and Civiliazations Department. His research is best categorized as cultural history, with an interdisciplinary focus between history and culture broadly conceived, including languages and religions of Central Asia with emphasis on ancient Sogdiana in its Iranian and Chinese geopolitical settings.
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