Cultural diversity

UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project for Preservation and restoration of the ancient city of Otrar, Kazakhstan
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Language(s): English

Summary/Historical Context

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Until the XV century, Otrar, together with the rest of the Great Otrar Oasis, represented the main urban centre on the marginal zone between southern towns and northern steppes, between settlers and nomads of Central Asia. The oasis constituted a peaceful economical and cultural complex, an avant-post in attracting northern nomads, settling them down, and so importing elements of the nomadic culture into the sedentary societies. This is reflected in the town planning, architecture, in the art of pottery and jewellery.

Archaeological excavations brought into light the general plan of the territory, the irrigation system, the suburbs, and the earthen ruins of the towns. They are almost reduced to the plan, but, through the remains of towns, of canals and roads, it is possible to observe the evolution of this interaction of cultures stage by stage, from the very beginning to the period of final decay, when the Eurasian route lost its importance and the towns their economical role.

This film presents the most interesting facts on the history of Otrar and gives information on the safeguarding measures and conservation works undertaken by the team of Kazakh and international experts, under the UNESCO project.

Place/country: Kazakhstan,
Type: Documentary
Duration: 17 minutes
Credits: Victor Zadvitsky (director), UNESCO (publisher),

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