Tuesday, August 22, 2006


UNESCO has published the Discovering the World series as a collection of compact guides aimed at making subjects accessible for a young readership (from 10 years old onwards). They are perfect for students of school or college age who need to prepare a text or presentation on any one of these subjects. Parents and teachers will also find these little books an interesting read. Many are in English, and some are in foreign languages (and they might be especially useful for those studying those languages, since they should have relatively simple vocabulary and sentence structure),

Here are some of the titles:

"Tell me about UNESCO"
All about UNESCO for the young (10-12 years old): its history, functioning, ideals, programmes and buildings. A clear and well-documented overview of the Organization working towards a better understanding of tolerance.

"Tell me about World Heritage"
This compact guide promotes the understanding of what it means to be included on the World Heritage List. Written in an accessible way and illustrated with many examples, the book touches on the meaning of heritage, the World Heritage Convention, the criteria for choosing sites and their protection. In short, information and projects that bring alive the meaning of heritage for a young audience.

"Cultures and Civilizations"
The history of humankind, its cultures and civilizations, is inextricably linked with the development of trade. Cities grew up around the markets and empires were built on the wealth that trade created. Across Asia, the paths of the Silk and Spice Routes brought together many different peoples, fostering the exchange of ideas, lifestyles, arts and goods. This book explores exciting aspects of intercultural relations brought about by the thriving trade along the Silk and Spice Routes.

"Inventions and Trade"
Over the centuries, the exchange of technologies -from the horse's bit and the wheel to the microchip and the computer- hasinspired new developments and improvements. It is through trade that much of this exchange has taken place. This book explains how the Silk and Spice Routes across Asia played an important role in bringing together different peoples and ideas that favoured new technologies and inventions in many fields: health and medicine, alchemy and chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, spinning and weaving. glass and ceramics, metalwork and agriculture, to mention just a few.

"Exploration by Land"
A fascinating account of the life and adventures, the discoveries and explorations of travellers along the Silk Routes, stretching over 8,000 kilometres through the heart of Asia, from the Mediterranean to the China Sea. They crossed some of the most spectacular and dangerous places on Earth: the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush and the notorius Taklamakan desert whose shifting sands have been known to swallow up great cities.

"Exploration by Sea"
An exciting description of the adventures and discoveries of travellers along the Spice Routes, which stretched for over 15,000 kilometres around Asia, from China's seas, across the Indian Ocean up the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and overland to the Mediterranean. A dangerous route, full of treacherous coral reefs, violent storms and unexpected pirate attack, which nevertheless tempted many sailors and adventurers seeking trade or treasure over the ages.

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