TABLE OF CONTENT
SUMMER ARCHAEOLOGY IN MONGOLIA
From July through August 2002, American and Mongolian archaeologists
will initiate a full-coverage pedestrian survey
of a remote section of the desert-steppe zone of Middle Gobi province
in Mongolia. The research site of Baga Gazaryn Chuluu is famous
for its majestic granite peaks, wildlife, and labyrinthine desert
canyons. Gobi horse herds and camels are common sites among the
peaks as are the Mongolian nomads who inhabit this area today.
Baga Gazaryn Chuluu is set in the harsh environment of the Mongolian
desert-steppe but will appeal to those who enjoy a real challenge.
2002 will be the first field season of the Baga Gazaryn Chuluu survey
project. We hope to survey approximately 130 sq km of land on the
southern side of the ridge formation, extending outward into the desert-steppe.
Preliminary visits to the site have provided evidence for a large
number of stone features dated to the 2nd and 1st millenniums BC as
well as Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age and Medieval habitation sites.
Ancient petroglyphs can be discovered on the granite outcrops at Baga
Gazaryn Chuluu. Stone stelae, erected by early Turkic nomads, are
located in the main valley running between the towering peaks.
We are in search of a group of volunteers
who will assist archaeologists from U.S. and Mongolian research institutions
in beginning the survey and in conducting several small-scale excavations
of burial and habitation sites dated to the Bronze and Early Iron
Age (800 - 400 BC). Our project is supported by the Mongolian Institute
of History in Ulaanbaatar and we will be joined by Mongolian archaeologists
and students who will collaborate in both the survey and excavations.
The Baga Gazaryn Chuluu region contains a wealth of archaeological
sites and the research programs being initiated in 2002 will help
us and other researchers better understand the extraordinary nomadic
culture of Mongolia that gave rise to some of the most powerful land
empires on earth.
Volunteers with a variety of backgrounds
are invited to work with us at Baga Gazaryn Chuluu and will have opportunities
to learn and practice a wide range of field skills including ground
survey, site mapping, use of GPS and GIS, settlement excavation, and
artifact processing. In addition, we will take time to visit local
nomadic families, search the granite peaks for wild Mongolian sheep,
and attempt to ride Bactrian camels. We also expect to make several
jeep trips into the true sand Gobi of Mongolia to the south in order
to collect ore samples and to visit archaeological sites known from
Mongolian research reports. There are a number of volunteer sessions
available and a moderate tax deductible donation is requested to help
us meet the expenses of the expedition.