Institute of Archaeology

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First for Archaeology in UK 2015

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Tim Williams' keynote presentation at Silk Road Ministers' Meeting 2013

6 March 2013

Great Kyz Kala, Merv, Turkmenistan

Tim Williams has been invited to give the keynote presentation at the UNWTO Silk Roads Ministers' Meeting 2013, taking place in Berlin today.

Just over 40 years ago, the World Heritage Convention was conceived to protect sites of ‘outstanding universal value’ to humanity. Today, almost 1,000 sites are World Heritage listed and millions of people travel each year to experience these unique cultural and natural assets.  The ancient Silk Road is home to some of the world’s most impressive Heritage Sites, and the UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting 2013 will look at the key issues relating to effective heritage management for tourism. The Meeting will explore how destinations can work together to raise the profile of Silk Road tourism while safeguarding heritage sites and living culture to ensure they can be enjoyed by generations to come.

Tim's keynote presentation is entitled Heritage Management along the Silk Roads: The Potential of Transnational Boundary Working. Acclaimed as the ‘greatest route in the history of mankind’ the ancient Silk Road formed the first bridge between the East and the West and was an important vehicle for trade between ancient empires of China, Central and Western Asia, the Indian sub-continent, and Rome. In recent years a team of experts at UNESCO, ICOMOS and UCL, have conducted ground-breaking research into the Silk Road’s sites and routes as part of the transnational Silk Roads World Heritage Serial Nomination project.

This project has involved unprecedented collaboration between States Parties and Tim's presentation will look at how this was achieved and the opportunities it creates for sustainable tourism development as well as providing an insight into the cultural and ecological significance of the Silk Road and will explore how destinations can benefit from taking a collaborative approach to heritage management.