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Documentary From Aksum to India premiered during Week of Classics

For the annual Week of Classics, Dr Marike van Aerde and her team made a documentary about their research project Routes of Exchange, Roots of Connectivity. In the film the team touches upon the interactions of Greeks and Romans with the wider ancient world, ranging from the African kingdom of Aksum to India. The documentary is now available online.

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Premiere Event

On Sunday 11 April 2021 the documentary premiered at the Leiden Antiquities Museum (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden), followed by a live Q&A with Dr Marike van Aerde and MA student Alexander Mohns, representing the team. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions and the absence of a large live audience, it was a festive evening. Especially the Q&A with the Egyptian temple as backdrop was a memorable sight.

Dr Marike van Aerde and Alexander Mohns during the Q&A

Documentary synopsis

When we speak of Antiquity, this often refers to ancient Greek and Roman history - also known as 'the Classics'. But the ancient world consisted of a great diversity of cultures and civilizations. Numerous interactions and contacts between these cultures, in turn, led to innovations and historical change and development. Greeks and Romans were certainly part of these processes, but they were not the only ones.

In this documentary, From Aksum to India: Inclusivity & the Classics, archaeologist Dr. Marike van Aerde and her international team of PhD and MA students will introduce you to several remarkable examples of this kind of culture contact in Antiquity. Artefacts from Leiden museums are presented (the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden and Museum Volkenkunde), alongside contributions from locations in India, Italy, and the Arabian desert. In this way, you will follow the team on a journey from Aksum to India.

Project website

More information on the documentary and the research project can be found on the project website.

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