09-29-2015: The Ancient Cities of Uzbekistan: An Exploration into the Silk Road and its Architectural and Religious Heritage


George H. Lewis and Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

Present an Illustrated Lecture
The Ancient Cities of Uzbekistan: An Exploration into the Silk Road and its Architectural and Religious Heritage


Tuesday, September, 29 2015 – 6:30-8:30 – Skylight Room

Few images are more romanticized in the West than those of the Silk Road. Camel caravans laden with silk, carpets, and exotic spices have populated the western imagination since Marco Polo’s remarkable journey into China. However, the exchange on the Silk Road, or perhaps better the Silk Roads, was far more nuanced and complex. People and goods, and above all ideas, have moved east and west, as well as north and south, since the third century BC when the Chinese emperors actively sought the heavenly horses of the Ferghana Valley for their cavalry and Alexander the Great marched his army through Transoxania into the Indus Valley. This illustrated lecture discusses the architectural and religious heritage of the silk road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva in modern-day Uzbekistan as a lens through which we can understand how the material culture, population, as well as diverse religious and cultural ideas, interacted to create one of the most culturally complex, religiously diverse, and tolerant routes of human interaction ever seen in the history of humanity. The legacy of these Silk Roads exchanges can still be seen and experienced through the architecture and religious practices extant in Uzbekistan today.

George H Lewis is an international artist whose body of work explores and portrays the depth and diversity of east-west relations. He uses his art to probe the elements of contrast rather than conflict currently pervading the mosaic of world cultures, religions, and mythologies that comprise the ongoing multifaceted nature of humanity. His travels and research have taken him to over 80 countries. Since moving to New York City, he has received invitations to lecture at Harvard University, The World Trade Organization, the United Nations Commutech Group, The Ibrahim Foundation, and Center for Ethnic Racial and Religious Understanding, Queens College, CUNY. He currently serves on the board of the Tanenbaum Center for Interfaith Relations and Diversity.

Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis is a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Deputy Executive Officer of the M.A. in Liberal Studies at the Graduate Center. She is the editor of two books and the author of a dozen articles on ancient Roman and Islamic gardens and architecture. She has worked on archaeological projects in Italy, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. She serves the co-director of the Upper Egypt Mosque Project, and as a contributing editor for the Arts of the Islamic World, at Smarthistory.org, an open-access art history website supported by the Khan Academy. She is a member of the executive committee and governing board of the Archaeological Institute of America.


PDF flyer for this event

9.29.2015 UZ GeorgeLewis-MacalayLewis


Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Skylight Room


The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Ave., at 34th St.
New York, NY 10016


MEMEAC Website

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