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Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia: A UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Kazakhstan

The project “Support for documentation standards and procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia”, funded with the generous support of the government of Japan through the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust, was carried out from February 2011 to February 2015.

The Central Asian Silk Roads were an essential component of the Silk Roads network from the 2nd century B.C. to the end of the 16th century B.C., facilitating cultural, religious and economic exchange between civilizations and leading to significant advances in urban planning, architecture, monumental art, science, technology and craftsmanship. This project aimed to enable Central Asian Republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to independently undertake documentation of this cultural heritage, through capacity building, technical transfer and basic framework building in the field of documentation of cultural heritage, providing a basis for the on-going procedure for the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination.

Objectives & Activities

  1. Establishment of documentation and research standards valid for all the component sites of the serial and trans-boundary nomination of the Silk Roads;
  2. Capacity building on documentation standards, geophysical survey methods and Silk Roads nomination preparation through a series of four workshops;
  3. On-site training in approaches to site documentation;
  4. Digitalization of archives;
  5. Publication of results of the project;
  6. Improvement of partnerships and development of networks between institutions and experts on the sub-regional and international level.

Lead organization/sector:
World Heritage Centre and UNESCO field offices in Central Asia

Donor country: Government of Japan
Total project cost: 985,073 USD (including 13% support costs)

Associated Organization(s): 

  • Kazakhstan: Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Archaeological Expertise Company;
  • Kyrgyzstan: Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of the National Academy of Sciences;
  • Tajikistan: Ministry of Culture and Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography;
  • Turkmenistan: Ministry of Culture, Department of Monument Protection, in partnership with the Institute of History;
  • Uzbekistan: Board of Monuments, in partnership with the Institute of Fine Arts, & the Institute of Archaeology.