The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world that are of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
The Silk Roads were an interconnected web of routes linking the ancient societies of Asia, the Subcontinent, Central Asia, Western Asia and the Near East, and contributed to the development of many of the world’s great civilizations. The routes served principally to transfer raw materials, foodstuffs and luxury goods. However, these vast networks carried more than just merchandise and precious commodities. The constant movement of people, merchants and goods along these routes also brought about the transmission of and exchange of knowledge, ideas, cultures and beliefs, which had a profound impact on the history and civilizations of the Eurasian peoples. The Silk Roads were listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2014.