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Our tour introduces the entire span of Japanese archaeology, from Paleolithic sites to medieval castles. Beginning in Tokyo, we fly to Kyushu, visiting samurai houses and gardens, ancient burial mounds and prehistoric town sites as well as Kyushu’s famous traditional craft villages. The tour continues with seven days exploring Nara and Kyoto’s famed temples and gardens as well as the famous Meho Museum designed by I. M. Pei. We have scheduled this tour in the spring, one of Japan’s most beautiful seasons. Throughout, we will visit Japan’s great museums, attend special cultural events and study the role of Japan’s ancient culture in today’s modern nation.

Apr. 3 - 17,

Led by Professor Robert Thorp, Washington University
tile Central Asia

Central Asia
(Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan)

The magical names of Samarkand and Bukhara conjure up images of the ancient Silk Road, Alexander the Great and Kublai Khan. We will travel in their footsteps, visiting Tamerlane’s glorious cities resplendent in intricately designed glazed tiles and brick work, as well as Khiva and Nisa, capital of the Parthian empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour highlights include the archaeological remains of ancient Merv and visits to the ongoing excavations at Pikent, Varaksha in Uzbekistan and Gonur-Tepe in the Kara Kum desert of Turkmenistan. Interspersed with the ancient sites will be visits to fine local museums, cultural programs and Central Asia’s legendary bazaars.

Apr. 21 - May 8,


Led by Professor Craig Benjamin
Grand Valley State University

South of the Clouds
Yunnan and Sichuan

Beginning in Yunnan, where excavations have revealed the material remains of a sophisticated Bronze Age culture, we will study the complex history of this very beautiful region. We will then travel to two distinctive ethnic areas: Dali and Lijiang, each with a diversity of religions, languages and culture. We will visit temples famed for their frescoes and cave sites that show the impact of Taoism and Tantric Buddhism on the numerous peoples who occupy the area. Traveling into Sichuan, our touring will include Chengdu, the Sanxingdui site museum, the Taoist temples on Qingchengshan, birthplace of the Celestial Master sect in the Han dynasty, and the fabulous Buddhist grottoes rich in finely carved sculptures in Dazu. Our tour ends in Shangha with its superb museumi. Lush vegetation and colorful cultures will enhance our enjoyment of these exotic regions.

May 18 - June 4,


Led by Professor Robert Thorp
Washington University
Indonesia puppet

Indonesia: The Islands of Java, Sulawesi & Bali

Our tour studies three of Indonesia’s most interesting and exotic islands: Java, Sulawesi and Bali. Beginning in Yogyakarta, the tour includes the renowned temples at Borobudur and Prambanan, a spectacular day trip through mountain villages to the Dieng Plateau, as well as Solo and the nearby Bima cult temples. In eastern Java, we visit the largest temple complex in Indonesia at Panataran and the ancient capital of the Majapahit Empire at Trowulan. We will spend four days in the highlands of Tana Toraja on Sulawesi and five days in the lush tropical paradise of Bali, visiting Hindu temples and traditional villages. Our experience will be enhanced by the many specially commissioned musical and dance performances arranged for us.

Aug. 11 - 31,


Led by Professor Richard Cooler
Northern Illinois University
Khmer Figure

Khmer Kingdoms
(Myanmar, Thailand, Laos & Cambodia)

This popular tour focuses on the historical, religious and aesthetic aspects of these four countries. Beginning in Myanmar visits include the ancient royal cities, pagodas and golden temples in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan. We continue to Laos’s magnificent 7th-century Khmer temples at Wat Phu and to remote northeastern Thailand to visit Wat Prasat Phanam Rung and Phimai. In The tour ends in Cambodia with the fine National museum and Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and five glorious days at Angkor Wat. These exciting days will be enhanced by colorful markets and traditional music and dance performances.

Jan. 30 - Feb. 21,


Led by Professor Richard Cooler
Northern Illinois University
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