Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Archaeological and geographical expedition «Kyzyl-Kuragino»

From the Russian Geographical Society: Archaeological and geographical expedition --Kyzyl-Kuragino n 2006, the Russian Federation Government approved an investment project to build a railroad Kuragino-Kyzyl which should connect the capital of the Tyva Republic with Kuragino transport node (the Krasnoyarsk region). This project is listed as one of the priority projects in the Russian Federation Transport Strategy until 2020, and it is vital for the social and economic development of Tuva. Before the railway construction, scientists have studied the area and detected more than 80 archeological monuments and objects (burial mounds, sites, petroglyphs) in various parts of the territory. All these objects belong to different times, from the late Stone Age up to the ethnographic epoch, and are of a great scientific interest. Some of them are situated right on the construction site. The necessity to adequately study the archeological monuments in the construction area, to carry out rescue excavations and to organize a complex research of the historic region was obvious. As a result, in 2011, the Russian Geographic Society provided a grant to launch an archeological and geographical expedition and to equip a camp called “The Kings’ Valley”. The expedition is intended for at least 4 seasons – from 2011 to 2014. The first season works were carried out by the large Russian research and educational centres – Archeology and Ethnography Institute of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg Institute for the History of Material Culture attached to the Russian Academy of Science and Tuva Institute for Humanities Research. In 2012, the expedition will be enlarged. The archeological works will be carried out in two territories – Krasnoyarsk and Tuva. The intended amount of work is about 20-22 sites per year (which makes 60-66 sites in the following years). “Students from different countries! Unearth the secrets of the Kings’ Valley!” – said the President of the Russian Geographical Society and the Minister for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Management Sergei Shoigu. According to his decision, in 2012 the expedition will be receiving the status of an international scientific and educational project. It will enable young people from different countries with certain interest in history, archeology, geography, and culture, to undergo additional and practical training in their professions and communicate with like-minded people. For this purpose, the Russian Geographical Society has announced the international competition for young people who would like to participate in the second field season of the expedition in 2012. According to the main requirements, the candidates should have no medical contra-indications, be interested in the expedition work and be ready to work in the field. The applications can be submitted by students, young scientists and teachers through the international cooperation departments of their universities. After completing the season works, all the participants will receive a set of papers confirming that they have undergone the practical field training and participated in the excavations. Such factors as the presence of highly professional scientific members, success of the excavations in 2011, variety of outstanding historical heritage of the region, interesting cultural programme based on different forms of intercultural communication – all of the above makes us hope that “The Kings’ Valley 2012” will become one of the most impressive international projects of the Russian Geographical Society conducted in cooperation with its partners, colleagues and friends from different countries.

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