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Seminar on “The Cultural Nexuses between Greco-Roman Art and Gandhara Civilization”

The Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) organized a seminar titled “Cultural nexuses between Greco-Roman art and Gandhara Civilization” with an aim to introduce students with Gandhara region, its cultural heritage and Greco-Roman influence on the civilization.

While describing the art of Gandhara, experts stated that it possesses both autonomy and originality; its unresolved relationship with Graeco-Roman art and the effect of this relationship on its uncertain chronology and development have always exerted a strong interest of the archaeologists and historians around the world.

Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Bhatti faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, QAU, spoke on the Greco-Roman Art and its presence in the region of the Gandhara. While explaining the Gandharan history he said that the Greek rule in Gandhara did not last longer than the death of Alexander, which was followed up by internal conflict among his generals. He briefed  the students that  name ‘Gandhara’ is found in its various forms in the Vedic Sanskrit literature of the late 2nd millennium BC, the Sanskrit epics, Pali literature and the earlier Indian inscriptions and in the Old Persian Achaemenid inscriptions, Greek accounts and the reports of Chinese pilgrims.

The latest instances seem to be as Kandahar in earlier Islamic references to the region. The earliest literary references to the Gandhara region are in the oldest document of the Indo-Aryans, the Regveda, a collection of hymns composed in a diction called Vedic Sanskrit (c. 1200 BC).

Dr. Mohammad Arif, Director General, Department of Archaeology and Museums enlightened the students and participants on the archaeological history of Pakistan and its importance. He explained the details of the Gandharan sites located in various parts of the country and role of the Department of Archaeology and Museums for conserving the sites. Dr. Ghani-ur- Rehman, Department of TIAC, QAU, described the Buddhist teaching and Buddha’s stories as gleaned on the stone sculptures. Ch Jafar Iqbal, MNA, Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Ms. Foazia Saeed, Executive Director, Lok Virsa, Islamabad and Dr. Waheed Chaudhry, Chairperson Department of Anthropology also addressed the audience.