Homecoming

photo is provided by the expedition members
photo is provided by the expedition members

On June 25, the first season of the Complex Archeological and Geographical Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society for the study of the Tunnug mound was completed in the Republic of Tuva.

The closing ceremony was organized by volunteers of the Society and the expedition administration: creative performances were followed by thank-you speeches and awarding of volunteers. Each of them received a personal certificate of participation in the expedition.

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

The archaeological works were headed by Timur Sadykov, the senior researcher of the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He summed up the results of the first month of excavations of the mound and thanked the volunteers of the Russian Geographical Society for their help. The expedition members also thanked all the organizers for the «best month in their life».

When the official part ended. the volunteers tied ribbons on the "tree of friendship". At the end of the event, a rock band "Khartyga" gave a concert. Their music is based on the Tuvan national musical tradition. 

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

Later there were gatherings by the fire with a guitar, and also a disco under the starry sky. The next day the volunteers went home with a lot of vivid impressions and positive emotions, new knowledge and plans for future expeditions.

The participants will have plenty of memories until the next season, including such great moments like the latest events on the excavation and adventure during the weekend excursions!

During the the excavation of the mound, the first important finds discovered were the arrowhead and fragments of ceramics. The bronze arrowhead surprised even experts – this is a rare type of weapons for this area. Archaeologists still have to study the discovered artifacts of the IX century BC, but even now one can assume that the Scythian burial mound Tunnug has many surprises for the second season as well.

During the guided tours the young people visited the ethnocultural complex "Aldyn-Bulak" on the bank of the Yenisei River near Kyzyl, made an ascent to the mountain of Dogee, sacred for the Tuva people. Rising to the top of the mountain, whose height is 1002 m, the volunteers waved the flag of the Russian Geographical Society, enjoyed the beautiful views of the Uyuk ridge of the Sayan Mountains and took hundreds of amazing photos.

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

The next point of the Sunday trip of the Tunnug conquerors was salty lake Dus-Khol (Svatikovo),which is located 45 km from the capital of Tuva and known for its curative mud. Then the volunteers visited the Ergaki natural park. Hiking to the legendary Hanging Stone became one of the most memorable events for the volunteers of the "Tunnug" expedition.

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

After three weeks in the Tuva steppe, the members were interested in seeing the mountain-taiga landscape of the Western Sayans.There is not an everyday opportunity to play snowballs in June against the background of the Sleeping Sayan and flowering alpine meadows. And the volunteers took their chance! They swam as well in mountain lake Karovoe, which resembles a huge jacuzzi, but only the water in the lake is icy, the bubbles in this "jacuzzi" are ice cubes and walls are high rocks.

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

A trip to the holiday in the village of Arzhaan was another memorable and important event for the participants. A small trip was a great opportunity to plunge into the traditions of the Tuvan people, to get to know its modern way of life, communicate with the locals. So, the volunteers saw traditional horse races and took part in other events dedicated to the Day of Youth.

Today, we can without any doubt say that the expedition "Tunnug" will have not only archaeological and geographical results, but also bright, memorable events and, of course, a strong friendship!

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Photo is provided by the expedition members
Photo is provided by the expedition members

The complex archaeological and geographical expedition of the Russian Geographical Society for the study of the Tunnug burial mound is realized using the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society provided by the Foundation for Presidential Grants. The expedition is conducted by the Russian Geographical Society with the participation of the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Expedition Center of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.