On August 20-24, 2022, Tim Williams, Professor at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, was in Samarkand on a working visit.
Professor Williams is the manager and ideological inspirer of the Central Asian Archaeological Landscapes project, of which the International Institute of Central Asian Studies became a part in 2019. Six Central Asian countries participate in this project: the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Team members conduct a digital inventory of the archaeological cultural heritage of their countries. This process involves data from fragile paper archives, photographs, plans, drawings, satellite images from different periods of time and much more. The data will be publicly available on an ARCHES internet platform shortly.
During the visit, Professor Tim Williams and the staff of the IICAS Secretariat discussed numerous current issues related to the project, as well as vectors for further development. At IICAS, Professor Williams met with the Acting Director of the Samarkand Institute of Archaeology named after Ya. Gulyamov, Muminhon Munir-ugly Saidov. Professor Tim Williams presented the project's concept to his interlocutor and invited the Samarkand Institute of Archaeology to join the work, since its results will be very useful for local researchers in the future.
Tim Williams also met with Nona Armaisovna Avanesova, Professor at the Samarkand State University. She gave the professor a most interesting tour of the museum-laboratory at the Samarkand State University, after which Professor Williams offered his help in digitising the material to create a museum catalogue. This work will be carried by IICAS for the Central Asian Archaeological Landscapes project.
Taking the opportunity, Tim Williams also visited the archaeological sites of Suleymantepa in Urgut, Buyrantepa in Bukhara and Paykend.