The Silk Roads were a network of paths connecting civilisations in the East and West that was well travelled for approximately 1,400 years, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China. Central Asia and China’s northwest frontier lay at the heart of this network. The UNESCO Silk Roads Programme promotes cultural heritage from sections of the land and maritime Silk Roads, including historical sites and monuments, costumes and rituals, traditional knowledge, and craftsmanship as well as contemporary festivals and events.
This unique module explores Silk Roads with the focus on Dunhuang, which is a county-level city in the North-western Gansu Province of China and is best known for the nearby Mogao Caves (UNESCO world heritage site).
The module aims to:
Review the history, culture and arts of Silk Roads (tangible and intangible)
Establish the knowledge of International Dunhuang Project (IDP)
Explore the historic Silk Roads
Debate different subject areas of the Dunhuang heritage (artefacts, mural paintings, manuscripts, caves’ structure, heritage site management, etc.)
Critically analyse UK’s Dunhuang collections (Stein collection)
This module is suitable for museum professionals or individuals who would like to learn more about this subject area.
Have a conceptual understanding of:
The history and culture heritages of Silk Roads / Dunhuang Collections
The UNESCO Silk Roads Programme
The international collaboration work of International Dunhuang Project (IDP)
Dunhuang collections in the UK (British Library, British Museum and V&A Museum)
Conservation methods of Dunhuang objects in the UK
Ability to identify key issues surrounding Silk Roads / Dunhuang collections around the world
Ability to critically analyse existing Silk Roads / Dunhuang collections and make creative suggestions for improvement
Explore how digital technologies are used to present Silk Roads / Dunhuang information
Explore the areas that are covered by the Silk Roads / Dunhuang heritage
Introduction to historic silk roads
Introduction to International Dunhuang Project (focusing on the management of British Library and Dunhuang Research Academy)
Dunhuang collections in China
Dunhuang collections in the UK and France
History, culture and arts of Dunhuang
Conservation of Dunhuang manuscripts and paintings
Dunhuang mural paintings
Students will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, guest lectures, workshops and visits.
Coursework 1 (40%) & Coursework 2 (60%)
Total: 100 %