Sino-Swiss Archaeological Research Project on Cultural Exchange along the Eurasian Silk Road

Exchanges of goods and ideas between China and the Mediterranean in the Ancient world left traces in the archaeological record of Europe and in China. However, a majority of artefacts that witness East-West and West-East long-distance exchanges are not published in both languages and await interpretation. Sharing methodologies and source material, as well as promoting cross-cultural forms of education and research: these are the core goals pursued by this collaboration project between the Department of Archaeology and Museum Studies, School of History in Renmin University of China and the Unité d'Archéologie Classique, Département des Sciences de l'Antiquité, Faculté des Lettres, UNIGE. Professor Wei Jian has led more than 80 archaeological excavations, with a focus on the Inner Mongolian section of the Eurasian grasslands. He has built up a department specialised in frontier archaeology with an international teaching team:  cross-cultural exchange is thus crucial to the Department of Archaeology and Museum Studies, School of History in Renmin University. Professor Lorenz E. Baumer is directing several excavation and research projects in the Mediterranean (Sicily, Calabria, Albania, Greece and Cyprus) and a field school in Switzerland, some of them focalizing especially on intercultural encounters and exchange on a regional and local level. He built up a research team with a large spectrum of expertise, reaching from the Aegean prehistory to the Late Antique period, including also the reception of Antiquity in modern European arts and collections. He is also directing a doctoral school about “Identity in Antiquity”, and has realized since his nomination in Geneva in 2009 twenty exhibitions. He is also active in the development of the Digital Humanities at the University of Geneva.

Participants