Sogdians and Panjikent Featured in Archaeology Magazine

By Judith A. Lerner

Dr. Pavel B. Lurje, Head of the Central Asia, Caucasus and Crimea Section in the Oriental Department of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Co-director of excavations at the Sogdian city of Panjikent in Tajikistan, was to deliver the Eleventh Annual M. I. Rostovtzeff Lectures this past spring, “Sogdian Culture: Its Prelude, Blossom and Afterlife.” Due to Covid-19, however, his lectures are now scheduled for spring, 2022—an event we should all look forward to.

Dr. Lurje is no stranger to many at ISAW for he has lectured here previously and is one of the Sogdian experts featured in the online exhibition of the National Museum of Asian Art (formerly the Freer|Sackler Gallery), “The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads”. It was my great pleasure to co-curate the exhibition, which also featured several other Central Asian specialists, including ISAW’s Prof. Sören Stark, and, from the Collège de France, Prof. Frantz Grenet, who is an ISAW Senior Fellow.

Although we must wait to hear Dr. Lurje’s insights about this remarkable eastern Iranian people, we can read about them in the July/August issue of Archaeology.  In “A Silk Road Renaissance” Dr. Lurje talks about Panjikent and the art and culture enjoyed by its wealthy mercantile inhabitants; we can also learn about the more recently discovered smaller city-site of Hisorak, about 100 miles away, which, unlike Panjikent, survived the mid-eighth-century Muslim invasion for another 200 years. The article is well illustrated; I was pleased to be asked to contribute my two-dinars’ worth.

Access the Archaeology article here