NSU Organizes Archaeological Field School in Kyrgyzstan

From August 24 to September 5, an archeology field school, "Multidisciplinary Methods of Studying the Stone Age Monuments", was organized in Kyrgyzstan as part of the International Archaeological Expedition. These field schools have taken place in Southern Kyrgyzstan since 2014.

Svetlana Schneider, Executive Director of the NSU “New Archeology” Scientific and Research Center at the Humanities Institute, said there are no analogues for such a school in Central Asia even though this region has been a focus of attention by archaeologists from around the world for the past 20 years. She continued,

Human migrations have always traveled through this region, one of the most extraordinary things here is the Silk Road. With regard to more ancient history, the Stone Age monuments here were being actively studied during the Soviet times and again in the 2000s. Our team, led by renowned archaeologist Andrei Krivoshapkin, has been working in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan since 1998. During this time, we have accumulated a huge amount of material, developed new hypotheses and formed a large international team, which allows us to reconstruct the ancient history of the region with great accuracy.

Since 2014, experts from 20 countries have participated in the expedition work. They conduct research that is getting attention all over the world. The team consists of specialists from various fields including geologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, archaeozoologists, paleobotanists, and paleogenetics. In south Kyrgyzstan, scientists are studying how people lived in the Stone Age from the earliest settlement, 200 thousand years ago, to almost the present. This information comes from the monuments of Selungur, Obishir-5, Obishir-1, and new objects discovered by the expedition.

Schneider described the school’s history,

From the beginning, we have had many volunteers on the expedition. These were students who wanted to learn something and devote their future to archeology. This year we received an enormous number of applications to participate. Since specialists with various profiles and students from everywhere work in the field, we decided to create a field school.

The field school specialists and students from eight countries, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, and Poland attended the school. The format includes lectures and practice in the field excavating key Stone Age objects from the Selungur Cave and the Obishir-5 monument.

The school was organized by New Archeology, the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Zhusup Balasagyn Kyrgyz National University (Temirlan Chargynov), American University of Central Asia (Aida Abdykanova), University of Toronto Canada (Bense Viola), Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Geology (Maciej Kraitsarz), University of Nicholas Copernicus (Poland) (Magdalena Kraitsarz), and the French National Center for Scientific Research (William Rendeu).