The Ancient Merv project was established in March 2001 as a collaboration between the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL), and the State Historical and Cultural Park Ancient Merv, part of the National Department for the Protection, Study and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments within the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan. The project is directed by Tim Williams (Institute of Archaeology, UCL) with the support of other researchers from both inside and outside UCL.
The project is concerned with holistic management of this remarkable World Heritage Site. Key aims include
a) Improving our understanding of the survival, condition and potential of the archaeological resource.
b) Developing holistic site management – site management, conservation, research, education, interpretation and visitor management; inter-related approaches to the archaeological resource (above and below ground);
c) Undertaking active research into the ancient cities, developing interpretative models to aid in both their management and research.
d) Developing the information base upon which decisions about the management of the site is taken.
e) Building local skills, in archaeology, management, conservation and interpretation.
f) Promoting the active management of the archaeological resource.
g) Making the research available to the widest possible audience, and especially enhancing the local educational uses of the site and archaeological resources.
h) Using the project for methodological and technical development.
An overview of the range of activities being undertaken can be accessed on project website.
The project has been generously supported by a number of different sponsors (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/merv/sponsor).