Theses Master's

Enhancing the Interpretation of Sites on the Silk Roads: A Study of Shaanxi Province

Zhang, Xuechun

As the initial section of the Silk Roads, Chang¡¯an-Tianshan Corridor, being inscribed as World Heritage in 2014, the interpretation issue of its associated properties has been more and more pressing because of the predictable growing number of tourists both domestic and overseas. Since the future visitors are not likely to travel the entirety of the extremely broad roads network, it is of great importance that a given site conveys the connection between the individual sites and the larger routes network, helping audiences construct a deeper understanding of the invaluable Silk Roads heritage. However, it is observed that some obvious deficiencies do exist in the current interpretive scheme so that the underlying connections can not be perceived by visitors completely and effectively. Recognizing these issues, the intent of this thesis is to analyze the existing problems thoroughly and find out the possible interventions to enhance the interpretation of relevant sites on the Silk Roads. In light of the large scale of the Silk Roads, the research mainly focuses on its eastern starting points, Shaanxi Province (the ancient Chang¡¯an City and its surrounding area) and its seven inscribed properties, which include two sites of ancient palace, four religious sites, and one tomb. Through documentation and assessment, their current conditions of interpretation are investigated and discussed. In addition, the three case studies of different categories are selected; surveys and interviews were conducted for further data collection. Based on the results of field research, a synthesized analysis of Shaanxi Silk Roads sites is generated and a regional interpretation framework is developed. To better illustrate the feasible interventions for each site, the specific proposals for the three case studies are presented and elaborated in detail to be served as references for other sites on the Silk Roads.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Raynolds, William
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
September 25, 2018