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A comparative study of the role of heritage in Post-Soviet Central Asian nation-building

Jorayev, G; (2014) A comparative study of the role of heritage in Post-Soviet Central Asian nation-building. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research explores the recent use of archaeology and heritage in the Central Asian region, with its diversity of cultures, manifold landscapes, and large sparsely populated territory. The present-day countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan - share some similarities in culture and language, as well as tangled histories which can be traced back long before the Soviet era. However, the current Central Asian states were delineated under the USSR and its collapse presented a major challenge. New state borders brought new political, economic and social realities. The need to replace Soviet ideologies with new national ideologies, based on interpretations of national histories, was paramount, and the interpretation and presentation of archaeology played a central role in this process. Archaeology thus became a highly political subject. Through analysing political texts, mass media materials and other reflections of the state’s vision of the heritage and nation’s past, the research demonstrates the use of heritage by the newly independent states under Independence in the last 20 years. It looks at the structure of heritage management agencies, the activities of heritage research institutions, and at the main national museums in order to analyse the relationship between claims about the greatness of national heritage and the actual practice of heritage management. It also briefly discusses the role that interpretations of heritage play in the relations between neighbouring states. This research relies heavily on primary data gathered in the region; the discussions with local specialists as well as the reviews of publications from the region reveal interesting details of the contradictions in heritage management in the Central Asian states. The findings reveal constant changeability in the state approaches and suggest looking at the processes as ‘nation-branding’ instead of ‘nation-building’.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A comparative study of the role of heritage in Post-Soviet Central Asian nation-building
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received.
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Politics of heritage, Central Asia, Archaeology, post-Soviet Central Asia
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1425277
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