Oriental ceramics expert, Hanne Sutcliffe, examines the “Ancient Art of Afghanistan” at Tennants Garden Rooms, Leyburn. This lecture for The Arts Society Wensleydale, considers the magnificent gold, silver, ivory, bronze and glass objects excavated in the kingdom of Bactria (ancient Afghanistan) that illustrate a unique fusion of Greek, Persian and Indian motifs. Greek and Macedonian refugees fleeing the depredations of Alexander the Great settled there in c300 BC.
The exquisite archaeological finds range from Bronze Age gold and silver to 1st Century AD carved ivory, along with 20,000 gold artefacts found in six graves from Tillya Tepe in northern Afghanistan. The objects illustrated are from Tomb IV.
This rich heritage was believed to have been lost after thirty years of war and anarchy. However, thanks to the courage of Afghan museum staff who hid the treasure, often risking their lives to do so, it survived and re-emerged intact in 2002. It has subsequently toured the world: a magnificent cultural symbol of hope for the future of Afghanistan.
Hanne is an Extra-mural lecturer at Leeds University, Harrogate College and the Art Fund. A Council Member of the Oriental Ceramics Society and author of Chinese Ceramics at Lotherton Hall, she has lectured extensively in Europe, the USA, Australia and China.
Tickets can also be purchased immediately prior to the event. Full details of the 2019-2020 programme are at https://theartssociety.org/wensleydale