Central Asian Archaeological Landscapes is by far the largest project undertaken by the IICAS.
Central Asian Archaeological Landscapes is by far the largest project undertaken by the IICAS. For more than a year, 14 teams from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been working with archives of national institutions and individuals in order to have them connected to the Arches database. The expected outcome of the project is a highly detailed map of the location of archaeological sites in Central Asia. Each of the sites is to be linked to a set of available archival data, research data and findings of archaeological expeditions, retrospective photographs and maps, space images and much more. Such a map will be of use for scientists, archaeologists, architects, historians, surveyors, climatologists, government agencies such as inspections for the protection of monuments, cadastral services.
At the moment, approximately 5,000 of scanned archival files containing hundreds of thousands of pages, present information about 3,000 archaeological sites. Inventory and digitisation of archives, carried out by the teams to the highest standards, allows them, among other things, to preserve the paper-based files stored in the archives of respective institutions. The teams identify the geolocation of not only existing monuments, but also of those, which have not survived to this day.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2023, however, systems and algorithms being applied within the project will make it possible to supplement the database in the future. The project is funded by the Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and curated by University College London.