Qian Gao is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Stirling (UK). She has a MA in Archaeology (prehistoric art) from Durham University (UK) and a PhD in Management of Culture and Heritage from the University of Barcelona (Spain). Her research focuses on the inter-relationships between heritage and contemporary societies, and deals with topics including rock art, conservation, authenticity, value, heritage tourism, and UNESCO World Heritage. Her doctoral project, “World Heritage, Archaeological Tourism and Social Value in China,” fully-funded by AGAUR, the government of Catalonia, explored the complex relationship between UNESCO World Heritage designation, tourism development, and the social values attributed to archaeological sites by local communities, in the context of contemporary China, using the Huashan rock art area in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region as a case study.
She is currently undertaking a three-year Anniversary Fellowship funded by the University of Stirling, with a research project titled “Values Beyond Boundaries: Heritage in a climate change(d) and digitised world.” The project is an innovative study aiming to achieve advanced understandings of the social values attributed to rock-based heritage sites in contemporary societies under the influence of climate change, scientific interventions and digital visualisation technologies. With a focus on the rock art and rock carving sites in China and the UK, the project uses a series of methods crosscutting humanities and sciences to generate cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural comparisons. The study provides fundamental insights to facilitate evidence-based decision-making in heritage practices and policies.
The Huashan Rock Art Site (China): The Sacred Meeting Place for Sky, Water and Earth