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*****THE TRUST WILL BE CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR, FROM THURSDAY 24TH DECEMBER 2015 UNTIL TUESDAY 5TH JANUARY 2016.  Normal opening hours will resume on Wednesday 6th January 2016*****
Bimaran Workshop held at the Trust, 11-12 September 2015
The Buddhist relic deposit from Bimaran stupa No. 2 is one of the richest Buddhist stupa monument deposits in ancient Afghanistan. The deposit contained a unique gold casket with images of the Buddha, as well as an inscribed stone reliquary and various gold ornaments and jewels. Four coins issued by a Scythian satrap were found with the casket, and these late first century AD coins suggest that the Bimaran deposit was one of the earliest in the region. The Bimaran deposit, particularly the gold casket, has long fascinated art-historians, puzzled numismatists and archaeologists, and been a popular topic for articles on the art and religion of ancient Afghanistan, since its discovery in 1834. We were delighted to host this two-day workshop which brought together international scholars from different disciplines, whose work and interests have been closely engaged with ancient Afghanistan and the practices of relic worship. The event presented some new findings relevant to the Bimaran deposit, in a lively and friendly atmosphere which facilitated discussion of many aspects of the Bimaran stupa deposits. The workshop led to some insights into relic cult practices in ancient Afghanistan, and suggested some new lines of thinking on long debated questions.

Denis Sinor Medal awarded to our Chair, Nicholas Sims-Williams

We are pleased to report that the Royal Asiatic Society's triennial Denis Sinor Gold Medal for Inner Asian Studies will be presented to our Chair, Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams in 2016.   The Sinor Medal was inaugurated in 1993 due to the endowment by Professor Denis Sinor, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Central Asian Studies at Indiana University and a tenured lecturer at Cambridge University between 1948 and 1962. The Royal Asiatic Society says: "The Society is pleased to be able to honour the contribution that Professor Sims-Williams has made to Inner Asian Studies by the conferment of this medal".



The second in the biennial series of Symposia Iranica will be held at Downing College 8-9 April 2015.  The Trust is sponsoring a prize for the best paper on pre-Islamic Iran.



The Trust will be closed on Good Friday 3rd April and Easter Monday 6th April.


JULY 2014

The Spring/Summer issue of our newsletter INDIRAN has now been published.  To see an online version, click here.

JUNE 2014

The Trust's annual Summer Garden Party took place in good weather on Sunday 1st June and was attended by over 120 friends.

See our blog for photos. 

MAY 2014

The workshop Bactria and the Transition to Islam, co-chaired by Nicholas Sims-Williams, AIIT (Cambridge) and Edmund Herzig, BACH (Oxford) took place at the Trust on 10-11 May, in association with the Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project, University of Oxford. The aim of this seminar was to bring together the various groups of researchers interested in the history and culture of the period immediately before and after the Arab conquest and to discover whether their results are compatible and mutually illuminating.  35 people attended.  Speakers other than the co-Chairs included: Frantz Grenet, François de Blois, Geoffrey Khan, Étienne de la Vaissière, Stefan Heidemann, Arezou Azad and Shaul Shaked.


The Himalaya round-table took place at the Trust on 29 November 2013.  Participants attended from a wide range of institutions, including the British Library, the British Museum, Cambridge University Library, the Centre for South Asian Studies Cambridge, the Museums of Cannes, Paris University Ouest Nantrerre La Defense, The University of Kabul, the National Archives of Afghanistan and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Speakers included Anna Maria Motrescu-Mayes (Centre for South Asian Studies), John Falconer (British Library) and Christophe Roustan-Delatour (Museums of Cannes).


On 26 November 2013, the Ambassador of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr Daud Yaar visited the Trust for a briefing on the activities of the Trust and the work of the University in Afghan archaeology, Iranian languages and Islamic Studies.  Later that day he visited King's College to see rooms associated with Lord Keynes and held a question and answer session with students and teachers in the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Studies.




'From the Oxus to Mysore in 1951', Raymond and Bridget Allchin's memoirs of a year in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, has now been published by Hardinge Simpole.

 You can buy your copy from the Trust for £14.99 plus postage (by cheque, or by electronic transfer, see Friends and Donors link to the left) - but please contact the Administrator first for a final price - by email, info[AT], or telephone 01223 356841.

The book is also on sale at 




'Latest news' has been archived but can still be accessed via the following link.

News archive