Kashgar Project

This project brings together teams from the Monash Asia Institute, Urumqi Normal University in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China in an international research collaboration to document, measure, and define the most significant cultural monuments and spaces of Kashgar. For the purposes of this project, Kasghar is defined as the modern and ancient city and the eleven countries that currently form the greater region of “Kasghar”. Monash Asia Institute and Urumqi Normal University teams are working with the support of the Department of Tourism, Government of Xinjiang and the Department of Foreign Relations, Kashgar.


Prof Marika Vicziany (Team leader): Director Monash Asia Institute
Specialist on Tourism and Minority Employment in Xinjiang

Prof Yen Hu Tsui, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumuqi
Specialist on Kazakhs and Uygur peoples; anthropologist

John Gollings, Melbourne
Australia’s best known photographer – eg worked on Vijayanagara in Hampi, India

George Michell, London
Team leader of the Vijayangara project which is the basic model followed by the Kashgar project that brings together an international group of scholars

Dr Andrea di Castro, Research Fellow, Monash Asia Institute
Specialist on Buddhist archaeology of Asia

Dr Farid Bezhan, Research Fellow, Monash Asia Institute
Specialist on Islam in south and central Asia

Dr Ayxe Eli, Lecturer, University of Tasmania
Specialist on contemporary Kashgar society and the status of women

Dr Xuan Zhu, Snr. Lecturer, School of Environment and Geography, Monash University
Specialist on geography, GPIS, land use and environmental boundaries

Dr Jim Peterson, Snr. Lecturere, School of Environment and Geography, Monash University
Specialist on GPIS and ancient sites; history of water and glaciers and their environmental impact.

Dr Uri Gilad, scholar
Specialist on the cultural heritage sites of Kashgar and mapping.

Dr David Templeman, Research Fellow, Monash Asia Institute
Specialist on Buddhism in south and central Asia and Buddhist records of Kashgar

Mr Tom Chandler, Phd candidate, IT Faculty, Monash University
Animator for the Kashgar project.


Vicziany, A.M. 2005. ‘Ethics, archaeology and the engineering profession in developing countries‘, 4th Asia-Pacific Forum on Engineering and Technology Education, UICEE, Bangkok, Thailand.

George Michell, Marika Vicziany and Yen Hu Tsui (writers) and photographs by John Gollings,
Kashgar: Oasis City on China’s Old Silk Road, Frances Lincoln, London, 2008, pp. 162.

Gilad, U., Vicziany, M. and Zhu, X. (2009). At the Heart of the Silk Road: The Cultural Heritage of Kashgar. Antiquity (Online Project Gallery), 83 (321). Available online at.

Angelo Andrea Di Castro (2009 in press) ‘The Mori Tim Stupa Complex in the Kashgar Oasis’, East and West vol 58 (1-4) 2008, pp. 257-282. This paper is the first published description of the Mori Tim Stupa since Sir Aurel Stein’s account in 1907.

Book Launches

Kashgar: Oasis City on China’s Old Silk Road was launched in early 2009 at:

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, March
M-on-the-Bund, Shanghai, PRC, April
Hok Tai Hotel, Urumuqi, PRC, April

The audiences at these launches included members of the artistic and academic communities, government and corporate representatives and the general public.

The book launch in Urumuqi was organised by the Xinjiang Normal University and was well attended by the partners in the project namely the Xinjiang Government Tourist Department and the Department of Foreign Relations.

New Developments

Tom Chandler has been supervising Honours students in the IT faculty at Monash University in their production of historically accurate and meticulously designed animations of various aspects of the cultural monuments and sacred sites of the Kashgar prefecture.

These animations enable the viewer to obtain a better idea of what these monuments and sites looked like during their heyday – in the case of the Buddhist stupas, c. 400AD. This important act of reconstruction by Tom Chandler will assist the general public in appreciating the unique historical importance of Kashgar, and hence promote the conservation of these monuments.

Download the brochure with details on the animation of:

  • The Mori Tim Stupa
  • The Aba Khoja Mausoleum
  • Animating a 5th century Camel Caravan

Related Links

Read about Kashgar Merchants in The New Silk Road: Trade and Labour in Asia, Around the Globe, Vol 3 No. 1, 2006


For further details of the project, please contact Professor Marika Vicziany