Ai Khanum in the Face of Eurasian Globalization: A Trans-Local Approach to a Contested Site in Hellenistic Bactria

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Abstract

This paper reassesses the material culture of Ai Khanum, the most important site of Hellenistic-period Bactria, from a translocal globalisation approach. While ‘Hellenism’ is a commonly cited explanation for cultural change in what is often referred to as ‘The Far East’, it begs the question how particular cultural elements were used and perceived socially on the ground. In rethinking Ai Khanum’s ‘mixed’ cultural features in the face of ancient globalisation processes that made Eurasia a smaller world, this paper opts for a more dynamic approach to cultural interaction in Hellenistic-period Central Asia by arguing that recontextualised cultural elements may have served to act out multiple (trans)local identities according to the social sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-186
JournalAncient West & East
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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