Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads

©Aung Chan Thar / UNESCO Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads

From 138 B.C. until our modern age, the Silk Roads have managed to represent one of the longest-established and permanent hubs for exchange, influence, and cooperation between communities. UNESCO has been working since the 1980s towards gaining a deeper understanding of the key places that have contributed to these cultural exchanges and shared influence, as well as the ideas that emerged from these exchanges along the Silk Roads.  

In addition, it is crucial to foster intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, the awareness raising of the rich history and shared legacy that flourished along the Silk Roads. The appreciation of the mutual influences between varying cultures and individuals along these routes is indispensable for achieving sustainable progress and cooperation in the current globalized world. 

UNESCO thoroughly believes in ever-expanding studies and research of this heritage and its exposition to the public. Therefore, the creation of a Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads aims to promote special fields and elements that have nourished and produced these cultural exchanges and experiences along the Silk Roads over 17 volumes. 

It is therefore expected that the Thematic Collection will hance awareness-raising concerning the Silk Roads shared heritage and contribute significantly to the achievement of the objectives of both the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development. 

Themes of the "Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads"

Seventeen thematic volumes will be published including texts, illustrations, maps, and infographics promoting the cultural exchanges and their results with the first volume from this Thematic Collection focusing on Textiles and Clothing. The following fields will focus on: 

  • Architecture and Monuments
  • Calligraphy et Manuscrits
  • Ceramics and Porcelain
  • Folk Dances and Performance Ar
  • Gastronomy and Food Manufacturing
  • Medicine and Pharmacology
  • Traditional Painting
  • Carpets and decorative art
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Traditional sports and games
  • Astronomy, navigation, calendars and astrology
  • Agriculture and Botany
  • Coins and medals
  • Languages and literature
  • Musical instruments and themes


Publication of ‘Textiles and Clothing’ Volume

UNESCO is pleased to announce the publication of the first volume of the Thematic Collection of the Cultural Exchanges along the Silk Roads on the ‘Textiles and Clothing’ theme. This volume, available on the UNESCO Digital Library, was developed by UNESCO and the China National Silk Museum. It features contributions from internationally renowned scholars and experts in the field of textiles, clothing and Silk Roads exchanges.


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