I am Susan Whitfield — a scholar, writer, traveller, and lecturer on the Silk Roads. I am Professor in Silk Road Studies at the University of East Anglia and Honorary Associate Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Before this, I worked for twenty-five years at the British Library as curator of the Central Asia manuscript collection from the explorations of M. Aurel Stein and others in the early twentieth century. I developed and then directed the International Dunhuang Project (http://idp.bl.uk): an international collaboration to make these manuscripts and other artefacts dispersed in collections worldwide freely available online.

My research interests are broad: starting with Chinese historiography, censorship and forgeries, and moving on to include all things Silk Road, from archaeology, history, art, religion, geography, as well modern issues such as the UNESCO Silk Road World Heritage inscriptions, BRI and human rights. I have travelled widely on the Silk Road, including field trips to many of the archaeological sites.


By the Amu Darya (Oxus River) valley, Wakhan corridor, northeastern Afghanistan.
Photograph: John Falconer

Most of my posts will be works in progress. After decades of research and travel I have too many ideas and leads ever to follow up in a single lifetime and I welcome others to cite and expand them.