Trade, Heritage and Landscape along the Silk Roads

Part of a series of talks supporting The Silk Road: A Living History Exhibition

June 16, 2021
12:00 pm-1:00 pm | London

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

During this webinar chaired by Professor Stéphane Pradines, Professor Roland Lin and Professor Michael Jansen will discuss the Silk Roads and networks between Asia, Africa and Europe. The experts will focus particularly on the land and maritime routes in Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. With some historical and archaeological examples, the discussants will show how Emporiums, city-States and thalassocracies were created around commercial networks. Along the Silk Roads, not only products were exchanged but people circulated bringing with them new ideas, cultures, and religions such as Buddhism and Islam. The experts will develop the idea of intangible heritage along the Silk Roads, and they will share their long-time experience on how to preserve and promote heritage along the Silk Roads. The main questions our speakers will try to answer are how to identify heritage, preserve, and promote sites and monuments? What are the challenges for archaeologists, heritage architects for conservation, creation of infrastructures and sustainable development? What are the NGO and international organisations, such as UNESCO, doing to support nations, cultures, identities, territories through the World Heritage list and what kind of opportunities are created and developed along the Silk Roads heritage?  

Michael Jansen is Professor emeritus at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and Professor for history of urbanization, conservation and heritage management at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). Dr. Jansen has been associated with the Indian subcontinent for more than 50 years. Being the founding rector of GUtech and the director of the German Research Centre Mohenjo Daro, as well as a member of ICOMOS, he has laid the foundation stone for the Research Centre Indian Ocean.

Professor Roland Chih-Hung Lin, city planner and art historian, is currently Project Officer of the Asia-Pacific Unit of the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, in charge of managing Asian Heritage; Cultural Landscape and Silk Roads Safeguarding projects. Born in Taiwan in 1967, living and working in Paris since 1991, working at UNESCO Headquarters in France since 1997, Prof/Dr. Lin holds also Visiting/Guest Professorships and Phd students Director in South China University of Technology (Guangzhou); Tianjin University (Tianjin) and Tongji University (Shanghai) in China and contributes his expertise as Research Fellow in the Paris-Sorbonne University and Chargé de Conférences - « Asian Cultural Landscape and Heritage Preservation Study» in the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Paris).

Stéphane Pradines is an archaeologist and Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in London. He was the Director of the excavations of the Walls of Cairo (Egypt), the Fort of Lahore (Pakistan) and many other excavations in the Indian Ocean (Maldives) and East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros). Professor Pradines worked for more than 20 years on trading networks in the Indian Ocean, especially on the Swahili coast. He was involved in many conservation and heritage projects with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the World Monument Fund and the Unesco.

Image credit:

Christopher Wilton-Steer