Goal: Regional cooperation in the field of social sciences.
Description: The project will provide platform for joint and comparative studies in the field of Muslim enlightenment and cultural modernization in Central Asia and Caucasus in second half of 19th – early 20th centuries.
Expected outcome: Publication of the monograph.
Duration: January 2009 – December 2011
Goal: Support to museums in inventory of documentary heritage.
Description: The project will be implemented in cooperation and financial assistance of the Orientalisches Institut of the Martin Luther University (Germany). Several institutions will provide intellectual support: Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Washington (USA), Samarkand State Museum of History, Art and Archeology (Uzbekistan), Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies of Uzbekistan. Expected outcome: Description, cataloguing and publication of documents in Arabic script in the holdings of the Samarkand State Museum of History, Art and Archeology.
Duration: 2009 – 2011.
Goal: Development of free and equal access to the manuscripts.
Description: The project is consisting of research, translation and publication of the Ottoman documents on the history of Central Asia from Bashbakanlik Arshivi (Istanbul, Turkey) and the organization of exhibition of documents. Turkish Archivists’ Society will contribute for the study and translation of the documents.
Expected outcome: Publication of documentary heritage and organization of the exhibition.
Duration of the project: 2008-2010
Goal: Development of free and equal access to the manuscripts of Central Asia.
Description: The project will focus on digitalization and publication of selected manuscripts of 18th-19th centuries on history of Central Asia. The following manuscripts were selected from collection of the Beruni Institute of Oriental Studies (BIOS), which are included into the International Register of the UNESCO Programme “Memory of the World”:
2009 – “Tarikh-I Khumuli” by Mulla Quli Turk b. Sufi Muhammad Urguti Samarkandi Khumuli; “Jami al-Vaqiat-i Sultani” by Muhammad Riza Agahi (in Turki);
2010 – “Ubaydallahnameh” by Mir Muhammad Amin Bukhari (in Persian); “Tarikh-i Abu-l-Fayz Khan” by Abd ar-Rahman Daulat Tali (in Persian);
2011 – “Zubdat at-Tavarikh” by Muhammad Riza Agahi (in Turki).
Expected outcome: Preparation and publication of the texts of five historical manuscripts on the history of Central Asia.
Duration of the project: 2009 – 2011
Goal: Inventory of medieval arts of Central Asia
Description: The project is continuation of the previous program of IICAS on applied arts of Central Asia, which was mostly focused on period of 18th -20th centuries (four volumes on applied arts of Central Asia was published). New project will be oriented on complex studies and inventory of medieval arts of Central Asia (9th – 15th centuries). Research activities will be based on archaeological findings and museum collections in Central Asia. The cost of studies and inventory will be covered by the Central Asian institutes in the field of archaeology and arts. IICAS will contribute for publication of the results of studies.
Expected outcome: Publication of 5-volume monographs on medieval arts of Central Asia: ceramics (volume 1), architecture (volume 2), glass (volume 3), bronze items (volume 4), textile and bone-carving production (volume 5).
Goal: Inventory of the archeological sites of Central Asia situated along the Silk Roads
Description: The project initiated within on-going programme of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO on “Silk Roads” serial nomination. The academic institutes from Central Asia will carry out studies on inventory of the archaeological sites in their countries by using its own budget. Contribution from IICAS will be used for publication of results of the inventory in Central Asia. UNESCO Tashkent office will contribute to the publication in Uzbekistan.
Expected outcome: Preparation and publication of monographs in five volumes on the prominent archeological sites of Central Asia.
Duration of the project: 2008 –2011
Central Asia is one of the most interesting regions, where spiritual – religious rise has been observed from early stages of historical development. The interaction of the peoples of various cultural identities worked towards formation peculiarities of cults, traditions, local featuring of initial world religions.
Wide archeological researches and studies of data sources of the last decades in Central Asia brought the valuable, original data for a new stage of complex research and generalizations regarding the sources, the formation process and functioning of world religions, as well as their interrelations and influences on other parts of spiritual culture of the peoples.
A team of researchers dedicated their joint work to the general study of such processes by highlighting the history and features of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Manicheans, Buddhism and Islam in Central Asia.
For the implementation of this project a complex international archeological and ethnographic expedition was organised to explore the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China. It has worked for two years, September-October of 2006 -2007. The following Central Asian scholars took part in the expedition: А.Аsankanov, ethnologist from Kyrgyzstan; B. Matbabaev, archeologist, Uzbekistan; A. Saidov, orientalist, Tajikistan, and also an interpreter, an operator of video shootings and a driver (7 participants).
This project has been extremely helpful for Central Asia scholars in their researches as well as in the establishment of contacts with colleagues in the visited countries and facilitation of joint projects of research and publication.
The modern condition of historical and archeological studies requires new approaches in preservation and study of the whole cultural heritage of the Central Asian peoples as a part of world heritage.
That is why in the short perspective we intend to create a full digital database of all cultural and historical monuments in Central Asia that will provide not only the basis for their registration and protection but also an impetus towards global historical and cultural conclusions.
The solutions of these questions also require the associated efforts by archeologists, historians, architects, topographers, cartographers, and photographers with the development of the entire program of fixing the monuments at the modern technologies level. With this purpose IICAS has carried out a project on systemization and database development on cultural monuments of the people of Central Asia.
The project was carried out in 2001-2007 in close collaboration with the UNESCO Division of Cultural Heritage, the UNESCO Cluster Bureau in Central Asia (Almaty, Kazakhstan), the UNESCO Mission in Tashkent. The project started with publica¬tion of team’s monograph ‘Petroglyphs of Central Asia’ (Bishkek, 2001) where the most significant con¬gestions of rock paintings of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan found its reflection.
There is a great amount of rock painting monu¬ments on the territory of Central Asia. By its histor¬ical and cultural significance, petroglyphs are as important component of cultural heritage as the ruins of ancient cities, eminent architectural edific¬es and other monuments of Central Asia. However, they are the most subjected to destructive influence of natural and anthropogenic factors. That is why the following problems are vital today: preserva¬tion and study of rock painting monuments, crea¬tion of a full database using modern computer technologies.
Three conferences were held in the framework of the given project: in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan (2001), in Samarkand (2002) and on the most interesting con¬gestion of rock paintings in the Sarmish gorge and field seminar-training in Navoi region (2004).
In 1998 – 2007 IICAS carried out a research project on applied arts in central Asia. Scholar and experts studied the history and contemporary development of national crafts of Central Asia people. Based on archaeological findings the sources of applied arts comprising the elements of nomadic and sedentary cultures were analyzed. The unique artifacts of ceramic, bronze and silver ware were subject of inquisitive study from the view point of emergence and dynamics of cultural development of contemporary people. A wide range of ethnographical and archive materials were investigated to learn about such traditional crafts as pottery, copper embossing, jewelry, wood carving, production of wooden and leather vessels, stone and alabaster carving, and decorative painting on alabaster, wood and papier-mache etc.
Special attention was dedicated to the production of carpets, decoration materials and leather ware. The decorative and golden embroideries and other kinds of applied arts of the people of central Asia were specifically investigated. The outcomes of multi-year researches were published in four volumes of “The Atlas of Central Asian artistic crafts and trades” dedicated to arts of Uzbekistan (Tashkent, 1999); Kazakhstan (Tashkent, 2001), Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek, 2002) and Tajikistan (Bishkek, 2007).
One of the main directions of IICAS academic activities is the study of the variety of the Great Silk Road matters. A large scale research “Cities and Routes of the Great Silk Road in highlights of the of Central Asia materials ” was carried out by IICAS and resulted in publishing of a monograph (Tashkent, 1999).
The history and routes of the regional section of the Great Silk Road were elucidated by joint efforts of scholars from four Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). Based on historical and topo¬graphical archaeological materials the localization of some ancient and medieval trade routs, cities and large caravanserais was done alongside the Road,
In the book the allocations of commodity entrepots and mountain through passages, architectural features of caravans–sarays and their internal topography are considered.
The book was written in English and was addressed to all interested in the history of Great Silk Road and the culture of Central Asian people.
The second monograph, which was published in 2006 within the framework of this direction is “Maverennahr on the Great Silk Road” (authors Yu. Buryakov and A. Gritcina).
This project is continued and a number of monographs, which outline the history of development of different routs of magisterial trade roads, are going to be published.