Trip scholar

Dr Iain Shearer, Research Affiliate at The Centre for Applied Archaeology University College London, currently on secondment to the V&A Museum
Iain has lectured and researched extensively on development and conflict archaeology and has accompanied five previous trips for alumni


  • Explore beautiful Kyrgyzstan and Lake Issykul, the world's second highest navigable lake
  • Journey through the spectacular Tien Shan Mountains, past herds of Bactrian Camels and Tajik camping grounds
  • In Urumqi visit one of China's most impressive museums and learn more of the Mummies of Urumqi and the secrets of the Silk Road
  • Visit Turfan, an oasis of gardens, orchards and vineyards in the barren desert
  • Discover the caves at Dunhuang in Central China and Longmen Caves in Eastern China, two of the world's richest treasure troves of Buddhist art
  • Explore the great city of Xi'an, the Eastern Terminus of the Silk Road


17 August – 4 September 2022


From £3,860 per person (single supplement from £860)

More information

The term Silk Road is a modern one, coined in the 19th century by the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen. It was of course not a single route but a vast network of roads stretching from Xi’an to the Eastern Mediterranean. Linking India, Europe and the Far East, routes passed through spectacular cities and tiny hamlets, through harsh forbidding mountains, gentle steppe lands and hot deserts. Along its length, intrepid merchants traded in a huge number of items such as Baltic amber, lapis from Afghanistan, beautiful silk, porcelain and jade from China and fine carpets from Central Asia. But the Silk Road was not simply a highway for the trade of precious items, it was the main East West artery for the flow of ideas.  Buddhist monks from India rubbed shoulders with Persian Manichean priests, and Zoroastrians whilst Nestorian Christians sought converts among the travellers and settlers of the roads. 


Further details & bookings

 Distant Horizons
 +44 (0) 151 6253425