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Exploring World Heritage Sites in Asia

Evening Program (Session 3 of 4-Session Course)

Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0033C
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member

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


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.


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.

For information on the World Heritage Sites in Asia course or other sessions, please click here.



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.


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  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.


This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.