AltSU scientists study the archeology of Mongolia during the Great Migration and the Early Middle Ages

18 April 2020 Department of Information and Media Communications
Scientists of Altai State University, despite the difficult epidemiological situation around the world, continue to implement international projects.

In particular, the first results have already been obtained within the framework of the project “Historical, Cultural and Ethnogenetic Processes in Mongolia during the Great Migration and the Early Middle Ages: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Archaeological and Written Sources”. Head of this project is Doctor of History, Associate Professor of the Department of Archeology, Ethnography and Museology of Altai State University Nikolai N. Seregin. In August 2019, this research  won the competition for the best fundamental research projects organized jointly by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Ministry of Culture, Education, Science and Sports of Mongolia.

This project, carried out, according to the terms of the tender documentation, by the teams of the two countries, has a general plan and a common implementation strategy. From Mongolia, the project is supervised by Candidate of Historical Sciences, Head of the Department of the Bronze and Early Iron Age, Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia, Tsagaan Turbat.

“Our project is designed for three years, and we managed to get the first results before the self-isolation regime, which was introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic in most countries of the world, including Mongolia. At the first stage of the project, an agreement was concluded between Altai State University and the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia, which allowed us to consolidate our scientific contacts at the official level. In addition, in September 2019, work was carried out in the museum centers of Ulan Bator, aimed at identifying and studying archaeological materials from the era of the Great Migration and the early Middle Ages. Based on the collected information and previously published monuments, we created and registered the database “Archaeological complexes of the early medieval Turks of Mongolia”. In addition, a series of articles has already been published, including two in publications from Scopus databases. There is no doubt that the data already obtained will become the basis for further research in this direction. It should be noted that the backlog that was formed by AltSU scientists earlier was of great importance for fulfilling the tasks of the project and general understanding of Mongolian archeology. Since 2007, system expeditionary research in the western part of the country was carried out by the Buyant expedition, headed by Doctor of History, Head of the Department of Archeology, Ethnography and Museology Alexey A. Tishkin. It is also important that in the course of these works it became clear how it is possible to effectively interact with Mongolian specialists, and what scientific areas should be implemented jointly”, Nikolai N. Seregin.

When the situation with coronavirus infection began to escalate and borders between states closed, it was decided to slightly adjust the program for the implementation of the project and to include researchers from the border regions with Mongolia. So, in March 2020, an agreement was signed on cooperation between Altai State University and the Tuva Republic National Museum Named after Aldan-Maadyr. This allowed Nikolai N. Seregin to conduct research on the museum’s collections even before the complication of the situation with COVID-19 in Russia.

“The archaeological sites of southern Tuva are very close in historical and cultural terms to those objects that are located on the territory of Mongolia. The work carried out at the Tuva Republic National Museum was aimed at analyzing materials from the era of the Great Migration and the early Middle Ages, primarily those that were not put into scientific circulation or were published in fragments. Based on the data obtained, a series of articles of various levels is being prepared together with the museum employees”, explained the project manager.

The Russian and Mongolian project teams have to process a significant amount of already published materials in the Mongolian language. This stage of the work will be carried out remotely, and then scientists hope for the end of quarantine and the possibility of another visit to the museum centers of Mongolia, as well as the beginning of field work.

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