文化遺産国際協力コンソーシアム Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage JCIC-Heritage logo JCIC-Heritage

UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project Support for Documentation Standards and Procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia[phase I]

UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project Support for Documentation Standards and Procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia[phase I]

National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

【Kazakhstan】TheBoraldai tombs, The Sauran site/ 【Kyrgyz】 The Ak Beshim site, The Kenbulun site/ 【Tajikistan】The Hulbuk site/ 【Uzbekistan】The Kanka site/ 【Turkmenistan】The Merv site

2011-2014 Human Resource Development,Provision of Equipment,Funding
01/03/2015
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BACKGROUND

Providing Support for Inscription of Silk Roads on the World Heritage List

Silk Roads and Five Central Asian Republics

   Silk Roads, which connect the east and west sides of Eurasia, have survived from ancient times to the present. These trade routes have served as the infrastructure for cultural, social, and political integration and interaction between the East and the West. A great deal of cultural heritage that shows historical traces of the accumulation and spread of people, products and information via the roads exists in five countries in Central Asia in particular: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The cultural heritage related to the Silk Roads comprises extremely diverse heritage, including cities and fortresses where trade between the East and the West has taken place, accommodations for caravans and travelers, mining sites of natural resources such as tin and lapis lazuli unique to Central Asia and the factory sites where these were processed, religious structures evidencing the spread of Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Nestorianism between the East and the West, geographical features such as mountain passes, water management systems developed for life in arid areas, and the cultural landscapes of farming and grazing lands.


Issues for Inscription on the World Heritage List

   Although these five countries in Central Asia have varied and unique cultural heritage, the number of sites listed as World Heritage is relatively few compared to countries in other regions. This is not only a result of the economic conditions in the five countries, but also due to a possible lack of know-hows and human resources required to move forward in the registration of World Heritage Sites. Support has being required for the development of documentation skills needed to record archaeological remains and structures in an accurate manner, the development of archiving skills for the systematic management and use of documentations, the restoration and conservation skills to maintain and pass down such cultural heritage to future generations, and the presentation skills to establish archaeological parks or the like based upon scientific explanations and interpretations of the historical significance of cultural heritage.

Practical training of ground penetrating radar (GPR) suevey at the Boraldai burial mounds (Kazakhstan)

Results of GPR survey at the Boraldai burial mounds

ACTIVITIES

Workshops in Five Central Asian Republics

Background of the Workshops

   The above-mentioned issues are obstacles to inclusion of Silk Roads on the World Heritage List. The joint application for the registration of Silk Roads on the World Heritage List has been advanced since 2003 by six countries, including China and the five Central Asian Republics. However, progress had significantly been different among these countries. It is clearly necessary to fill the gap in the case of the joint application by multiple countries. Therefore, the Japanese government officially announced the provision of assistance through UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage for the registration of Silk Roads on the World Heritage List at the UNESCO meeting in Almaty of Kazakhstan held in May 2009. This resulted in the holding of a series of workshops to promote developments of human resource and technical transfer regarding documentation for cultural heritage targeting the five Central Asian Republics between 2011 and 2014.


Workshops in the Five Countries

   Workshops were planned to be suitable to state of cultural heritage documentation in each country. For example, in Kazakhstan, where more or less adequate documentation skills have been achieved, workshops were designed for the development of human resources and technical transfer related to geophysical survey of subsurface archaeological remains. In the other four countries, in which technical foundations have not been fully established, basic training was carried out with an emphasis on the measurement and digital mapping of archaeological remains and historical structures. We also supplied essential equipment for documentation like Total Station to each country in order to promote the establishment of the basic ground for such equipment common to the five countries.
   Furthermore, we asked for cooperation not only from research institutes in Japan, but also from overseas institutes to enable the five countries to establish independent relationships for cultural heritage preservation with other countries. To be concrete, we assigned each cooperative organization to workshops held in different countries, i.e., NRICPT and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties handled Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, and Tajikistan, University College London handled Turkmenistan, and NRICPT and Doshisha University handled Uzbekistan.

The 2nd Meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Serial World Heritage Nomination of the Silk Roads held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Practical training of measurement of archaeological remains conducted at Ak-Beshim

Practical training of CAD operation in Tajikistan

RESULTS

Silk Roads as World Heritage Sites and the Future

Inscription of Silk Roads on the World Heritage List

   At the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee Meeting held in Doha, Qatar in 2014, the section on Silk Roads network, Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor submitted by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China was inscribed on the World Heritage List. Our support of Silk Roads network registration as World Heritage has progressed to a certain degree. Meanwhile, the inscription of Silk Roads: the Penjikent-Samarkand-Poykent Corridor submitted by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was postponed, and application for the cultural heritage proposed by Turkmenistan was not submitted to the committee. We determined to provide the continuing assistance not only to achieve the inscription of these unlisted sites on the World Heritage List, but also for the improvement of fundamental systems for research, the creation and utilization of the cultural heritage database, and the sharing of archives in the five countries for the building of a system of sustainable management for cultural heritage and a cooperative relationship with tourism development projects (Phase II: 2014-2017).


Silk Roads and Japan

   Our assistance for registration of Silk Roads as World Heritage by five Central Asian Republics has and will help us to review the history of Japan and understand the future because Japan, which is located at the east end of Silk Roads, was also a part of the history of the interactions between the East and the West through Silk Roads. In this sense, it is our pleasure and responsibility to support the inscription of the Silk Roads network on the World Heritage List by the five Central Asian Republics. In addition, the restoration of Silk Roads as World Heritage Sites by international cooperation will be a key in Japan’s re-establishment of dialogues and harmonious relationships with other Asian and European countries through cultural interaction.

Practical training of photographic measurement in Uzbekistan

Action plan letter for Phase II

MAP