This online conference is a joint event by the British Council and the University of Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre. 
Wednesday 23 September 2020 -
17:00 to 18:30
Online event on Facebook LIVE

Our joint LIVE conference with the University of Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre will introduce the audiences to the ongoing archaeological survey and excavation of Barda, in modern Azerbaijan, which was the capital city of the ancient Christian kingdom of Caucasian Albania and the site of one of the first Muslim garrisons in the Caucasus. The survey is part of the centre's work to fill a gap in modern scholarly work on the Caucasus, focusing on the long, rich and diverse history of this strategically and culturally important region of the world. Her Majesty's Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mr. James Sharp, and British Council's Country Director in Azerbaijan, Mr. Summer Xia will participate in the conference.

This online conference will take place on Wednesday, 23 September, 17.00 (Baku time)

Our speakers

Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell has worked as an archaeologist for the past decade throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, and is now completing a doctorate at the University of Oxford looking at the impact of the Mongol Conquests on the cities of Central Asia and the Caucasus. She is currently excavating Medieval Cities in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Ashleigh Haruda

Ashleigh Haruda graduated magna cum laude with a major in history and a special minor in archaeology. She completed her M.Sc. in Palaeoecology of Human Societies with a focus on zooarchaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. Her doctoral research at Exeter University looked at zooarchaeological remains from Late and Final Bronze Age sites from Kazakhstan to evaluate animal population connectivity and trade along the Silk Road. She now works on the ‘Sus 100’ project, based at the Central Natural History Collection at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

Prof. Edmund Herzig

Edmund Herzig is the Masoumeh and Fereydoon Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies and a Fellow of Wadham College. A historian of Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia, he has worked on Safavid history, early modern trade and merchants, the the post-Soviet Caucasus, the uses of history in contemporary Iran and the post-Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia, and on the foreign relations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since taking up his current position in Oxford in 2006, he has been closely involved in the work of The Oxford Seminar for the Caucasus and Central Asia (TOSCCA), and from 2016, he led the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Programme for the study of the languages and cultures of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, a programme supporting archaeological research on Barda, research activity and graduate scholarships in Oxford, and the translation of studies from Russian and Azeri into English.

Leyla Najafzada (moderator)

Having completed her MPhil at the Oriental Institute in 2013, Leyla Najafzada became involved in the creation of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Programme which successfully grew into the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre. She first came to the UK from Azerbaijan as a Chevening Scholar. She plans to continue her academic career alongside her administrative work for the centre, with a particular interest in how Nizami Ganjavi’s poetry was re-imagined by socialist writers in Azerbaijan and Turkey in the 20th century.

David Stone

David Stone is an Irish Research Council, Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar and Fulbright Creative Ireland Museum Fellow at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin where he studies the archaeobotany of the Southern Caucasus, focusing on plant macro-fossils from the Late Antique and Islamic periods of Barda in Azerbaijan.

Dr. Paul Wordsworth

Dr Paul Wordsworth is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford specializing in the archaeology of the medieval Caucasus and Central Asia, with a particular interest on the northeastern fringes of the early Islamic world. He is currently directing two archaeological projects: one explores the remains of Bardha’a, a frontier city of the early Islamic Caliphate in Azerbaijan, the other is a new project with the Metropolitan Museum in New York to examine the emergence of a medieval Silk Road town in the desert of Turkmenistan. He has also carried out extensive archaeological fieldwork in the Near East and Central Asia and received his PhD from the University of Copenhagen on medieval Central Asian trade routes and travel. His forthcoming book, Moving in the Margins: Desert Travel and Power in Medieval Central Asia explores the complex relationship between movement, trade, politics and society that lies behind the development of medieval networks of travel in the region.

See also