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When studying human social and cultural diversity, there are usually distinctions being made based on world regions. This leads commonly to the assumption that there is a continental divide between Europe and Asia. However, researchers from many disciplines point out that Eurasia should rather be seen as a unity. In the comparative anthropological study CHRIS HANN presents in this video, he found commonalities across the Eurasian landmass at the level of values that can be traced back over centuries and distinguish it from other parts of the world – in particular from the settler societies of North America. It is argued that this value consensus was promoted by cultural exchanges between East and West that took place along the Silk Road and across the Indian Ocean over thousands of years of Eurasian history.


Chris Hann is Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, as well as Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway. Furthermore, he is an Honorary Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent at Canterbury, the University of Leipzig as well as the Martin-Luther-University, Halle Wittenberg.
Hann’s main areas of interest include economic organization, property relations, and religion. In geographic terms, he has been focusing this research on the areas of rural Hungary and Poland, Turkey and Yinjiang.


Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the world’s leading centres for research in socio-cultural anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality. Fieldwork is an essential part of almost all projects.

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Original publication

A Concept of Eurasia

Chris Hann
Current Anthropology
Published in 2016

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