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The Allchin Symposium was established to highlight the outstanding contribution that Raymond and Bridget Allchin made to development of South Asian archaeology and to offer the opportunity for scholars and students across the UK to come together to discuss their common research themes and challenges.  Whilst the natural home of the Allchin Symposium is the Ancient India and Iran Trust with its library and strong link with the Allchins, the post-2014 symposium discussion voiced a clear desire for alternate venues to reflect other regional foci of expertise across the UK. As a result,  the 2015 event was successfully co-hosted at Durham University due to its expertise in Early Historic South Asian archaeology and the presence of the Oriental Museum, home of Sir John Marshall’s photographic archive. The 2016 event will return to AIIT in December.


The Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum Annual General Meeting will take place at the Trust on Saturday 19 June, 2105.


The second ALLCHIN SYMPOSIUM ON SOUTH ASIAN ARCHAEOLOGY, established to commemorate the contribution of Raymond and Bridget Allchin to the development of South Asian studies in the UK,  took place in Cambridge on 5-6 December 2014. The Symposium brought together UK-based scholars working in South Asian archaeology and those researching South Asian history, history of art and architecture, including established lecturers as well as post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.

Following a keynote address  South Asia: Central or Peripheral to the Out of Africa Story by Professor Michael Petraglia (University of Oxford), on Friday 5th December at the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research, Downing Street, Cambridge, the symposium took place on Saturday 6th December at the Ancient India and Iran Trust. The closing addresss was given by Professor Robin Coningham (University of Durham).

The full programme can be found on the Symposium website:


The workshop BACTRIA AND THE TRANSITION TO ISLAM  took place at the Ancient India and Iran trust 10-11 May 2014 in association with the Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project, University of Oxford.

During the last couple of years, researchers connected with the Oxford Balkh project ( have been researching the history of Balkh in the early Islamic era on the basis of archaeological and textual sources. At the same time, other scholars and teams have been studying an ever-increasing quantity of manuscripts, coins, pottery and other materials from pre-Islamic and early Islamic Bactria. These materials include texts in several languages: Arabic, Bactrian, Chinese and others. The translation of these texts and the analysis of these materials is shedding new light on the history of this important region in a period of transition. The aim of this seminar brought 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.

Speakers included: Arezou Azad, François de Blois, Joe Cribb, Frantz Grenet, Stefan Heidemann, Edmund Herzig, Hugh Kennedy, Geoffrey Khan, Shaul Shaked, Nicholas Sims-Williams.