The Baga Gazaryn Chuluu Survey Project






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.

Participant Application

Please join us this coming summer at Baga Gazaryn Chuluu!. More information and applications are available on these Web Pages. We welcome any questions regarding the summer 2002 expedition. Please carefully note the deadline for submitting applications and deposits to CSEN i We look forward to seeing you in Mongolia!


Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads

Chastiye Kurgany Excavations

577 San Clemente St.

Ventura, CA 93001 US

The Baga