There will be the fifth season of “Kyzyl – Kuragino”!

From left to right: Natalia Solovyova, Ruslan Baysarov, Sergei Shoigu, Anastasia Chernobrovina
Слева направо: Наталья Соловьева, Руслан Байсаров, Сергей Шойгу, Анастасия Чернобровина

On August 25 at the headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society, a press conference dedicated to the end of the field season of archaeological and geographical expedition “Kyzyl – Kuragino” was held.

Field season of this year proved to be extremely rich and gave researchers a number of surprises.

Archaeological and geographical expedition “Kyzyl – Kuragino” is one of the largest projects of the Russian Geographical Society. Works in the territory of the railway, which will connect the Republic of Tuva with Krasnoyarsk Krai have been carried out for four year. There are monuments of different eras in this area – from the ancient sites of the primitive man to the medieval fortifications. The aim of the expedition is to ensure the preservation of cultural and historical heritage in the area of construction of the railway line.

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President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu
President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu

- We started working on June 3 and completed the work on August 25 – said President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu. – This season 520 volunteers, 123 of them – foreigners who came from Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, the UK, Germany, Holland and other countries – took part in the expedition.

A huge number of artifacts have been found. Thus, in the valley of the river Idjim during excavations of the burial Kuyart-1 of Krasnoyarsk Krai, archaeologists discovered an undisturbed ancient tomb where they found more than a hundred items relating to X-XII centuries AD. According to experts, the findings in the burial Kuyart-1 give an entirely new scientific information on the funeral rites, beliefs and customs of the peoples who inhabited the valley of the river Idjim in the ancient time.

At the end of August in the “Valley of the Kings” in the Republic of Tyva the excavation of 33 mounds was completed: 5 mounds of Mongun Taiga culture with ground burials in the high stone vaults-cysts, 18 mounds of Scythian time with burials in deep holes, 2 commemorative structures of Hun-Sarmatian time and 8 mounds of the Middle Ages. There are also a lot of discoveries here: ceramic and wooden vessels, bronze and bone decorations, iron stirrups, saddle, daggers, arrowheads and even a birch bark quiver.

Archaeologists note a very good state of preservation of artifacts, which is rare.

Today 80% of the total amount of archaeological work is completed, more than 150 mounds have been studied. Works in Kuraginsky and Ermakovskom districts of Krasnoyarsk Krai are to be finished, there is also a large amount of excavation remains in the Republic of Tuva.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all who helped in this project and especially to our major sponsors. However, they are not just sponsors – those are people who are genuinely interested in our work and in the results of this project. We are talking about the government of Tuva and Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tuva Energy Industry Corporation, the company “Eurasia”, Institute for History of Material Culture, Tuvan Institute of Humanitarian Studies and, of course, RTR holding always accompanied this project, as well as the regional branches of the Russian Geographical Society !

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the exhibition “Tuva in the running of Time”,  organized by the Museum of arts and crafts, together with the Russian Geographical Society, will open on September 15 in Moscow. There you will learn about the progress of the expedition. This is the first large-scale exhibition showcasing the cultural heritage and the unique art of the Republic of Tuva. It will be held in the framework of Days of Culture of Tuva in Moscow and is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the unification of Tuva and Russia, as well as the establishment of the capital of the republic.

In addition, in early November in Moscow a “megaevent” will be held – the first festival of the Russian Geographical Society, where an exhibition devoted to the “Kyzyl – Kuragino” expedition will take one of the main expositions.

So we are compliting the fourth season of the expedition. Once again I join all expressed gratitudes and can not hide the sincere envy of those who were able to touch the ancient history of the region and spend a few weeks on the expedition …

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Ruslan Baysarov
Ruslan Baysarov

Then Director General of “Tuva Energy Industry Corporation” Ruslan Baysarov thanked the participants and organizers of the expedition.

- You make a significant contribution to the study of the history and culture of our country – said Ruslan Sulimovich. – This is a valuable and important work, and for our part we will do our best to help it. The following year a more interesting program will be waiting for volunteers…

Traditionally, in summer the Russian Geographical Society deploys two field camps for volunteers: “Ermak” in Krasnoyarsk Krai and “Valley of Kings” in the Republic of Tyva.

During four field seasons the expedition was attended by about 2 thousand volunteers! And they were not only from Russia, but also from foreign countries. A serious competition is held before the start of the expedition. As a result  young men and women whose aspirations consistent with the objectives of the project become voluntary helpers of the archaeologists.

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Наталья Соловьева
Natalia Solovyova

– - The fourth season of the expedition is surprisingly rich in findings – there are thousands of them. But the most important thing for us – for the scientists – is to obtain scientific results, – explained the scientific leader of the expedition, deputy director of Institute for History of Material Culture Natalia Solovyova. So, this season we have been able to eliminate a large white spot. Never before the Ermakovsky district of Krasnoyarsk Krai was studied from an archaeological point of view. And now we got such a wealth of information! We can now characterize the processes that were taking place there and argue that the heart, the youth of mankind was in Tuva, in Asia, and from there, along the path where you are now going to build a railroad, four thousand years ago people traveled…

In addition to information about the findings, journalists and volunteers of “Kyzyl – Kuragino” wanted to know whether there will be the fifth season of the expedition? The answer to this question was: “Must be!”.

Press Service of the Russian Geographical Society