With the full support of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, the Agency for Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Khokimiyat (Government) of the Samarkand region, as well as the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Samarkand Region, the team of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) carried out geophysical studies at the site of Kafir-kala, accompanied by scientific documentation with the use of UAVs. The study took place in June 2022, as part of the Uzbek-Italian archaeological project. In the context of the project, under the direction of Dr. Simone Mantellini, archaeological excavations were carried out at two previously unexplored sites. This archaeological expedition is a part of the KALAM project (https://site.unibo.it/kalam/en), a 4-year project funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung foundation and aimed at establishing an archaeological park in Kafirkala. One of the first steps is to create a visitor center.
Since the site of Kafir-kala is a component of the serial transnational World Heritage nomination "Silk Road: Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor", the archaeological studies, as well as the design of the archaeological park, require special attention. International norms and regulations, as well as the use of modern documentation methods are required throughout the entire project duration. Geophysical studies were carried out to identify the archaeological structures if any on the site of the planned visitor center, as well as on two previously unexplored sites of the citadel and the shakhristan. The results of geophysical scanning will facilitate further archaeological research and support founding the archaeological park at the ancient site of Kafir-kala.