Kazakhstani University helping to revive ancient Silk Road route
Nov 06, 2019

Expert anthropologists and archaeologists from Nazarbayev University are developing the New Silk Road in an ethical, sustainable, and culturally-respectful way, says Dr. Daniel Pugh, Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. This is after joining The University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR), an alliance between universities with the aim of reviving the 2000-year-old East to West trading route.

The UASR supports The Belt and Road Initiative, which Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced after visiting Kazakhstan, to create the New Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative, along with the UASR, aims to promote educational collaboration and economic growth in countries along the Silk Road, including countries throughout Europe and Asia.

As a trained anthropological archaeologist, Dr. Pugh is partially involved with the UASR via the Heritage Alliance of the New Silk Road; a group of universities and heritage professionals interested in developing the Silk Road in an environmentally sustainable way while preserving the archaeological, historical, and cultural resources of the region.
Founded in 2015, the UASR includes 132 universities spread over five continents, and has become vital to the Ministry of Education of China’s plans for Educational Development along the Silk Road through student exchange and joint research.

The original Silk Road was a network of trade routes integral to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between the East and the West from 2nd century BCE to the 18th century – almost two millennia! Its name is taken from the original use of trading in silk, but would also carry paper, gunpowder, and scientific advancements, as well as philosophies and religions. This trade route was significant in the development of civilisations in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.


Construction of the New Silk Road puts the archaeological heritage of the road at risk of being destroyed. Dr. Pugh believes that the heritage of the region needs to be protected by up-training those involved in the construction, that the New Silk Road should be used to develop tourism of the area, and that knowledge gained during construction should be developed as a resource for scholars around the world. https://nu.edu.kz/

SOURCE / NameNazarbayev University