AIA Tours

AIA Lecturer/Host: Betty Hensellek

Betty Hensellek is an art historian and archaeologist of Iran, Central Asia, and the Steppe. Her research investigates cosmopolitanism across Central Eurasia, addressing how and why material culture enabled transcultural systems of communication. Stemming from her doctoral dissertation, her first book project, Fashioning Central Eurasia (400-900 CE), explores how a particular garment, the kaftan, shaped social interactions and intertwined diverse communities from the Black Sea to the Gobi Desert in the age of the Great Silk Roads. Dr. Hensellek is also interested in the modern lives of ancient art. Her online digital database project, Eurasian Silver (, documents the complex provenance of 3rd- to 13th-century Iranian and Central Asian silver vessels found in hoards across northern Asia. Dr. Hensellek earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University (2020), a M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts-New York University (2013), and a B.A. and B.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati (2011). She has held fellowships with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and serves on The Met’s Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art’s Advisory Committee. Dr. Hensellek has traveled extensively across western, central, and northern Asia for fieldwork, including for excavation projects in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey.

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