The Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, Iran has established the Iranian Research Center on the Silk Roads. The Center is a scientific and academic institution, and a unique academic research center in Iran to focus on the Silk Roads.
At the initiative of UNESCO and with the support of its former Director General, Mr Federico Mayor (1987-1999), the International Institute for the Study of Nomadic Civilizations was established by an agreement concluded on 16 September 1998 between the governments of Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Mongolia and Turkey.
The Kazakh Research Institute of Culture (KazRIC), established November 10th, 1934, was one of the first scientific institutions in Kazakhstan. Originally, it united several scientific and educational organizations: the Kazakh Central Archive, the Regional Museum, the Regional Bureau and the State Library.
A gold coin discovered close to Gilgil in Pakistan, which bears the portrait of a king and a legend in Parthian (“Abdagases king of kings”), is attributed to the Indo-Parthian king Abdagases II who ruled during the last quarter of the 1st century AD. There are some similarities between this piece and the coinage of the famous Kushan king Vima Taktu (Sôter Megas), who reigned roughly at the same time.
Owing to the conflicts, the number of clandestine excavations have increased in Afghanistan and Pakistan leading to major discoveries of treasures. One of the largest finds was a colossal amount of Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Parthian and Kushan coins, including one find that, altogether, weighed three tonnes and included 450,000 gold and bronze pieces.
In certain areas of Central Asia, petroglyphs provide almost the only source of information on prehistoric routes of communication and the diffusion and migration of prehistoric populations. They have revealed that already in the 3rd millennium BC, there were contacts between Central Asia and the Himalayan region. The routes that were used by ancient populations are very similar to the ones that would later become the Silk Roads.
The International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) was established in August 1995 in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) as a direct outcome of the UNESCO Silk Roads Expeditions. The idea of founding the Institute was conceived during the Steppe Route Expedition across Central Asia, one of the expeditions organized within the framework of UNESCO Project "Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue", a major project of the World Decade for Cultural Development (1987-1997).
SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) is dedicated to the study of the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and is the only Higher Education institution in Europe with this academic specialisation. It also has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
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Section de la recherche, politique et prospective
Programme des Routes de la Soie