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Towards a Regime for the Sustainable, Ethical and Regionally Maintainable Conservation, Presentation and Interpretation of Large Archaeological Sites on the Ancient Silk Roads of Central Asia

Towards a Regime for the Sustainable, Ethical and Regionally Maintainable Conservation, Presentation and Interpretation of Large Archaeological Sites on the Ancient Silk Roads of Central Asia

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09/27/2010

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US/ICOMOS International SymposiumJohn C Hurd. B.Sc. Dip Cons. FIAAS.ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Study and Conservation ofEarthen Architectural Heritage.Personal Contact details:Email.hurdcon@yahoo.co.uk Mail: 3 Magdalen Close, North Lane, Swaby, Alford, Lincolnshire, UK.UK. Tel. 0044[0]1507 480 626.
Towards a Regime for the Sustainable, Ethical and Regionally MaintainableConservation, Presentation and Interpretation of Large Archaeological Sites onthe Ancient Silk Roads of Central Asia.Introduction
 Across the world are hundreds of huge archaeological sites in a better or worse stateof preservation.This paper explores site interpretation at a very fundamental level. It will draw asketch of cultural conditions in the region which it covers, Central Asia, and describean attempt to achieve a strong didactic message, using a textural language and aregional protocol, to help with the definition of ‘separate places’.In terms of the topic of this Symposium, the paper explores, first impact.The speaker will draw from examples on the Silk Roads of Central Asia, Otrar Oasis,ancient ‘Farab’, in Kazakhstan, Sauran, 14/15
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, Century city near Turkestan, andthree Cities in the Chui Valley in Kyrgyzstan, Krasnaya Rechka, ancient Navikat, AkBeshim, ancient Balasagun and Burana, ancient Suyab.
Otrar Tobe, Main Citadel. S. Kazakhstan
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Sauran, 3 Miles of adobe walls, near Turkestan .Sauran. Detail of adobe defensive wall.Reclining Buddha, earth sculpture, Buddhist Temple II, Krasnaya Rechkaancient ‘Navikat’
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Century Karakhanid tower, Burana, ancient ‘Suyab’ Graham.1915.
The sites pictured adequately demonstrate many of the problems in the conservationof earth cities in Central Asia. They are all sites that have received a great deal ofarchaeological excavation and research but almost no site conservation during theSoviet period. Objects have been conserved and often very well, but it may beregretted that major finds, including the earth formed reclining Buddha from KrasnayaRechka, have remained at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.Since perestroika, the regional stakeholders trying to improve the status of themonuments from the World Heritage tentative list have been confronted by aconstantly developing and changing financial and political situation tending toinstability in the discipline of the preservation and interpretation of historic sites.Central Asia has first class conservation scientists, but their work is severely limitedwithin changing priorities for the exploitation of cultural reserves.
Geographic, demographic and cultural setting.
 The region East of the Caspian, south of the Aral Sea, west of the Tien ShanMountains, (the old Soviet border with China) and North of the Oxus has been knownunder several names. Semirechie, and Trans-Oxiania perhaps the best known.
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