45th Annual History Workshop - Vimalin Rujivacharakul

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Vimalin Rujivacharakul, University of Delaware

"Guldarra: The Buddha and the Unknown in Afghanistan"


How do we write history when the subject’s chronology cannot be established?  This paper tackles this question through the eyes of archaeologists, architectural historians, art historians, and conservators who have tried for nearly two centuries to solve the puzzle of the Stupa of Guldarra.  Renowned as one of the most elegant and best-preserved archaeological sites in Afghanistan, Guldarra has become an icon of the Buddhist past of the country’s post-Bamiyan age.  But little is known about the monument, whether its age, construction date, or reasons why it was abandoned.  More challengingly, its physical elements—from façades, forms, structural methods, materials, and excavated artifacts—suggest variable dates of construction, not as the sequence of restorations but as an archaeological site filled with evidence suggesting multiple timelines.  Many have said that an object can tell its own story.  But when the object is telling many stories simultaneously, which one should we prioritize?  And why does that matter? 


The 2020-2021 academic year represents the 45th year in which the Workshop serves as a regular part of the History Department life. Due to the pandemic, the History Workshop will be brought to you live via Zoom on select Tuesdays. The Zoom meeting will open at 12:15. Presentations begin at 12:30 pm ET. All are welcome!


Please contact Deb at for the Zoom link.



Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 12:30pm to 1:30pm

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Faculty & Staff, Students, Lectures & Programs, Academics, College of Arts and Sciences







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