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Mikhail Gurulev

Newton Fund Researcher Links success story

Sustainable management of archaeological sites is crucial for Kazakhstan’s growing tourism industry – a main driver for modernisation, economic and social development. But for Kazakhstan to grow and diversity its tourism sector, archaeological sites must be managed sustainably to mitigate impacts on the fragile heritage and to secure the future for local communities.

Researchers from the UK’s University College London (UCL) and Kazakhstan’s Institute of Archaeology in Almaty work on new strategies for sustainable development, management planning and international tourism. Funding from a Newton Fund Researcher Links  grant enabled a joint workshop for early career researchers which focused on the use of non-destructive techniques, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) and ground penetrating radar, for the documentation of archaeological heritage. Researchers explored how these new approaches could be used to improve the management of Silk Roads archaeology.

The grant helped researchers in both countries to expand their partnership and launch new initiatives. One such initiative was a joint project with UCL Qatar and Heritage Without Borders. Two workshop participants, Gai Jorayev and Pang Rui, have also discussed their ideas about the Silk Roads transnational tourism with the UN World Tourism Organisation. New project ideas for UNESCO and UNWTO initiatives are currently being developed and individual research projects about the Silk Roads in China and South Korea are under way.

"The workshop was extremely useful for participants' development and building partnerships along the Silk Roads," Tim Williams, UCL