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Vidéo Année : 2022

Where Worlds Meet: Objects and Ideas Across Indo-Iranian Frontiers



By now, art historical discourses have long grappled with their own tendencies to emphasize and reify “influences” flowing unidirectionally from west to east. Calls for decolonization of the discipline have resulted from ongoing scholarly self-reflection and intellectual activism, advocating for the historically more accurate multi-directionality of technological and cultural exchanges. In turn, this decolonization itself must be self-reflective, continuing to differentiate the monolithic “east” and recognizing the vastly varied cultural geographies constituting it — equally applicable to any monolithic notion of the “west.” This paper builds upon the latter observation to examine studies of Indo-Iranian exchanges, focusing on the long twelfth century CE in what is modern Afghanistan – the meeting place of the Indic and Iranian cultural spheres. Curiously, the west-to-east flow of ideas and technologies appears entrenched even in the historiographies of these regions of the so-called global South: Persianate architectural (and other) technologies, for example, are often still emphasized as the new, aspirational models introduced with the late twelfth-century Shansabani successes in northern India, whence they were disseminated southward into the Deccan and beyond over the following 200 years. Relying upon close stylistic and iconographic analyses of architecture and objects resulting from the Shansabani campaigns, the present work hopes to right the historical and historiographical balance by demonstrating the multi-directionality of cultural exchange.

Dates et versions

hal-04193209 , version 1 (01-09-2023)



  • HAL Id : hal-04193209 , version 1


Alka Patel, Julien Thorez, Pierre-Jean Vigny, Unité Tice-Dsirn, Raphaëlle Herve. Where Worlds Meet: Objects and Ideas Across Indo-Iranian Frontiers. 2022. ⟨hal-04193209⟩
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