Gandhara Connections is a project of the Classical Art Research Centre originally developed between 2016 and 2022. Its aim is to stimulate and support the study of ancient Gandharan art and its links to the classical world of Greece and Rome, thousands of kilometres to the west. The project's webpages are intended as a hub with resources for understanding Gandharan art and information about past and future events.
During the first few centuries AD a flourishing production of mainly Buddhist art emerged in Gandhara, an area very roughly corresponding to northern Pakistan, which was at the time part of the Kushan Empire. It is characterized especially by sculptural reliefs used to adorn Buddhist shrines. This art often drew upon and adapted Greek and Roman conventions which had developed several thousand kilometres to the west, in respect to styles, compositions, dress, mythological imagery, and the use of lifelike and expressive figures. There has been intense interest in this archaeological heritage for well over a century. International museums contain thousands of Gandharan artefacts and archaeologists in Pakistan continue to make important new discoveries. But many things about Gandharan art are still only partly understood, including its chronology, the patterns of its production, and its still puzzling links to other regions of the ancient world.
Read more here about the project's achievements in 2016-2022 and what happens next.
Gandhara Connections team
- Direction: Prof Peter Stewart
- Project Consultant: Dr Wannaporn Rienjang
- IT Developer: Mr Greg Parker
- Administration: Mrs Sarah Knights Johnson
International Advisory Committee
- Dr Kurt Behrendt (Associate Curator of Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum, NY)
- Dr Pia Brancaccio (Associate Professor of Art History, Drexel University, Philadelphia)
- Mr Joe Cribb (former Keeper of Coins and Medals, British Museum)
- Dr Elizabeth Errington (Curator, Masson Project, British Museum)
- Mr John Falconer (Lead Curator, Visual Arts, British Library)
- Dr Anna Filigenzi (Researcher, Università degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale')
- Dr Christian Luczanits (SOAS)
- Dr Lolita Nehru (Independent scholar, New Delhi)
- Dr Jessie Pons (Visiting Research Fellow, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
- Dr Abdul Samad (Director of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
- Prof RRR Smith (Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology & Art, University of Oxford)
- Ms Martina Stoye (Curator of South and South-East Asian Art, Staatliche Museen, Berlin)
- Dr Michael Willis (Curator, South Asia, British Museum)