There has been much discussion about possible strategies for the nominations on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the impact of maritime trade on the cultures and civilizations between East and West often referred to as the ‘Maritime Silk Routes’. The aim of this UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes, which will be held on 30-31 May 2017 in London, is to bring together scholars who have worked on the history, archaeology, and heritage of maritime interactions across this vast area in order to discuss the strategy for further research, as well as the development of a platform to enter into a possible dialogue with the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention along the Maritime Silk Routes.
A group of approximately 35 international and UK participants, as well as key organizers from the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS, ICCROM and the University College of London (UCL) support team, will attend this experts meeting. One of the main objectives is to explore potential approaches to the serial nomination of the Maritime Silk Routes, including potential transnational working methods, coordination and data exchange. The meeting will also consider the chronological and geographic scope of the Maritime Silk Routes, explore the range of archaeological evidence for the Maritime Silk Routes, and consider how the archaeological evidence might comprise ‘attributes’ and values of the Maritime Silk Routes.
The diverse team should bring new insights into the development of trading and cultural exchange along the Maritime Silk Routes. In addition to ‘silk,’ many other names have been given for the ancient maritime road, such as ceramics road, tea road, spice route, monsoon road, road of Buddhism, etc., which either referred to the entire network or part of it. The international participants, coming from Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Oman, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and several others from the European countries, are expected to make a very valuable contribution to the further promotion of the undoubtedly great cultural value of the Maritime Silk Routes.
This UNESCO Expert Meeting is made possible thanks to financial contributions from the Chinese Government’s voluntary contribution to World Heritage Fund to support Silk Roads nomination process, and organizational specificities are undertaken by the Institute of Archaeology of University College of London (UK).