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From Syria to Xi'an: Syriac along the Silk Road

February 26, 2022
11:00 AM to 02:30 PM
Teaching Day represents a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to experience the work of a research institution such as Dumbarton Oaks. Participants will hear papers from leading scholars and engage with Museum staff through object discussions.


The 2022 Dumbarton Oaks Teaching Day, "From Syria to Xi'an: Syriac Along the Silk Road," will focus on the development of Syriac culture in its spread from the Mediterranean through Mesopotamia and Persia along the trading route through Mongolia to China. Largely a Christian culture, they coexisted beside Jewish, Greco-Roman, Persian, Arab, Seljuk, and Ottoman cultures, reaching East Asia by the ninth century. The speakers will consider various aspects—language, literature, religious practices, and material remains— of these cultures which persist in parts of the Eastern Mediterranean world and in India. Participants will be introduced to related artifacts in virtual tours of our museum galleries, along with a newly opened exhibition of Byzantine lead seals.

Teaching Day is by invitation only.


Floor Mosaic with Beribboned Parrots, late 5th century - early 6th century. From Antioch-on-the-Orontes. Dumbarton Oaks BZ.1938.74.b.1.