Professor to delve into Afghanistan’s archaeological past and present at lecture

In hopes of preserving Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, NYU Professor Rita Wright has been engaged in an ongoing project to analyze the country’s archaeology, which she will share on April 18 when she will lecture on Afghanistan: Archaeological Boots on the Ground at 8 p.m. at the Bruce Museum.

After 36 years, Dr. Wright returned to Afghanistan to search for the source of copper and tin, a highly valued resource that was traded throughout the Near East 5,000 years ago. The limitation on conducting archaeological research during years of conflict have left a significant gap in identifying the origins of this important resource and the international ties between Afghanistan and distant cultures of the ancient past.

Dr. Wright was hosted by the French Archaeological Mission to Afghanistan and funded by the U.S. Embassy. She traveled from Kabul to Mes Aynak, where the world’s second largest copper mine is just south of the city. During her lecture she will describe the conditions under which she traveled, her search for evidence of ancient mining and the cooperation she encountered while in the war-torn country. The project is ongoing and she will make a strong case for continued research.

Dr. Wright is Professor of Anthropology at NYU. Her undergraduate work is from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D. are from Harvard. Her field research includes many years in the Upper Indus Valley and at Harappa, Pakistan. Widely published, her most recent book is the Ancient Indus: Urbanism, Economy and Society in South Asia. It was nominated for the Council of British Archaeology Archaeological Book Award and the Archaeological Institute of America Book Award. She is also the founding editor of Case Studies in Early Societies, a major archaeological series written by scholars actively engaged in research, from Mesopotamia to Cahokia Mounds in the United States.

This event is sponsored by the Archaeological Associates of Greenwich (the AAG). The lecture is free to AAG, Bruce Museum members, students with ID and $15 to the public at the door.

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