The project aims to train young researchers engaging with cultural heritage protection in Central Asia jointly with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage in the National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.
A series of human resource development workshops on four themes—“documentation”, “excavation”, “conservation”, and “site management”—are planned to be continued over a period of four years, with a focus on the medieval city of Ak-Beshim (known as Suyab in ancient times) along the Chuy valley in the Kyrgyz Republic as the site of training. By studying these four themes, participants are expected to acquire not only knowledge in a specific area such as archaeology, conservation and restoration and architecture, but also wide-ranging, comprehensive knowledge needed for cultural heritage protection. Furthermore, by inviting participants from the five Central Asian countries, the project aims to create a network of young researchers for cultural heritage protection in Central Asia.
In fiscal 2011, two workshops were held on “archaeological surveys” and “drawing of archaeological objects” as topics under the theme of “documentation of cultural heritage,” and training was provided in traverse measurement and levelling, creation of topographical maps, drawing of pottery, stone tools and clay objects, and photo shooting of artifacts.
In fiscal 2012, two workshops were held under the themes of “excavation” and “conservation,” and training was provided in excavation methods, measurement and photo shooting of archaeological features, measurement and photo shooting of artifacts, lifting of fragile artifacts, removal of soil stratigraphy, conservation of metal items, and reconstruction of pottery.
In fiscal 2013, two workshops are planned to be held on the themes of “excavation,” “conservation” and “site management.” The first workshop has already been held from August 27 to September 12, and included practical training in excavation, conservation, and lectures on site management. The second workshop is scheduled to be held in mid-February 2014.
These five workshops were attended by a total of more than 50 young researchers not only from the five Central Asian countries, but also from Afghanistan and Armenia.
In fiscal 2014, the final year of the project, similar workshops are scheduled to be held under the theme of “site management.”