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Exploring World Heritage Sites in Asia

Evening Program

Friday, June 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1J0033C
$25 - Member
$35 - Non-Member
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Left to right: Mogao Grottos in Gansu province, China; Shah-i-Zinda necropolis in the city of Samarkand; Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet; and The Taj Mahal

Please Note: This program has a rescheduled date (originally May 14, 2020).

There are 269 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout Asia. Each of them offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. This series offers an in-depth overview of four of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites in Asia, including both well-known and lesser-known sites. Each lavishly illustrated program goes far beyond the typical tourist experience by incorporating the insights of the latest scholarship and research.

Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, acts as guide through the iconic monuments and cities of Asia. He is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures, and is currently producing a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses.



One of the oldest and most cosmopolitan cities in Central Asia, Samarkand is the urban crossroads of Eurasia. Over the past two thousand years, it has absorbed the wealth and labors of Sogdian merchants, Manichean priests, Islamic astronomers, Mongol khans, Timurid emperors, Russian tsars, and Soviet comrades, all of whom attempted to use Samarkand as a base from which to conquer all of Central Asia. Jacobs provides an in-depth analysis of the cultural achievements of each of these historical groups, with particular emphasis on the Sogdians and Timurids.

If you are interested in additional sessions to this course, please click here.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)