Conservation of the grottoes and earthen architectures on the Silk Road in China

Xudong, Wang, Zuixiong, Li and Haiying, Zhao (2005) Conservation of the grottoes and earthen architectures on the Silk Road in China. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

The grottoes and earthen architectures on the Silk Road in China are of great cultural significance. Most of the grottoes were excavated into conglomerate rock, which is soft, consisting of gravels and sands bound by clay or calcium salts. Earthen structures were built using sand and clay as raw materials. The climate of the Gobi desert—characterized by strong winds carrying wind-blown sand and occasional heavy rain—is responsible for severe damage to earthen structures. Many ancient sites are facing the threat from desertification. Moreover, site protection in the past was inadequate, and unable to combat such practices as exploitation of earthen sites for farming, inappropriate use, and unplanned excavations by foreign explorers. At present, many ancient sites on the Silk Road are in danger of disappearing. Dunhuang Academy has over the years conducted conservation research, including the assessment of significance, condition recording, analytical research, and the development of conservation materials and technologies for many sites on the Silk Road. A number of major conservation projects have been undertaken, including the Yumen Pass and Hecang site in Dunhuang, Western XiaEmperor No.3 mausoleum in Yinchuan, and the Beacon tower of Jiaohe. The results of the consolidation have assessed and judged effective.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Xudong, Wang
Zuixiong, Li
Haiying, Zhao
Languages: English
Keywords: Silk Road; cultural routes; grottoes; earth architecture; conservation methods
C.ARCHITECTURE > 04. Building materials
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 07. Cultural routes
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2010 19:32
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:14
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