VOLUNTEER CAMPS IN KAZAKHSTAN IN 2015

 

During the summer and autumn of 2015, Laboratory of Geoarchaeology (Faculty of History, Archeology and Ethnology, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) is organizing archaeological investigations covering all periods from Palaeolithic to Modern times all over Kazakhstan. The programme of work consist mainly in mapping, land and aerial photography, collection of paleodata for analyses. Open-air lectures in the history, archaeology and geoarchaeology of Central Asia and visits of local sites will be included. Sessions will take place between July and October 2015 and are 15 days in duration. Volunteers and students of archaeology are welcome to join us. The participation fee is ˆ250 (or 300 USD) per week and academic credit is given by the Kazakh National University. Interested volunteers and students of archaeology should contact the LGA to ask for full details on the various survey and excavation opportunities on offer.

Renewed information are also available on the Laboratory of Geoarchaeology web site: http://www.lgakz.org 

Or you can check the updated announcement of our volunteer camps on the Fieldwork webpage of the Archaeological Institute of America.

 

There will 3 expeditions occurring from July 01, 2015 - October 31, 2015

 

1) Chu-Ili mountains (Petroglyphs sites), 01-24 July; 15-31 September; 7-21 October

2)   Geoarchaeological study of the Balkhash lake and Ili delta,  14-31 August.

3)  Geoarchaeological documentation of Aschybulak (East of Almaty), 1-7 July; 1-7 September

 

Application Deadline: Not applicable


 

1. BRONZE AND IRON AGE OF PASTORAL SOCIETIES, SURVEY OF THE CHU-ILI MOUNTAINS AND NORTH-WEST BALKHASH REGIONS

Director:

Renato Sala

Site/Period:

Bronze, Early Iron, Wusun, Turkic

Volunteers:

5-10

Experience required:

No previous experience necessary

Excavation dates:

01 July to 21 October 2015 in 3 sessions

Application deadline:

ASAP

Minimum stay:

Two weeks

Cost: 

USD300 per week

Fare: 

Not included

Accommodation:

Provided

Food: 

Provided (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)

Vaccination:

Anti-tetanus recommended

Passport/visa: 

Valid passport; for visa contact organiser 6 weeks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                       

The Chu-Ili mountains are smooth undulations of a maximum altitude 1500m in a semi-desertic landscape south-west of Lake Balkhash. Their springs and oases constituted a refuge and a corridor for cultures from Palaeolithic to ethnographic times, represented archaeologically by cemeteries, houses, steles and, most predominantly, petroglyphs. From the Middle Bronze to the Turkic periods the area was a crossroads for tribal migrations reflected in the character and range of petroglyphs, which now represent the most important monuments of the area and are among the most important rock art sites of Central Asia and Siberia.

Fieldwork will be directed by specialists from the Laboratory of Geoarchaeology.  During this survey, the camp will be nomadic. You will work various sites including the recently discovered petroglyph sites of the southern border of the Chu-Ili range (site of Kuljabasy) and the disseminated petroglyphs sites located in the gorges around the Balkash lake.

The objective of this camp is to continue the survey and documentation of the petroglyphs sites existing in the region and to map the archaeological monuments. Volunteers will be introduced to modern techniques of preliminary geographical study using satellite, aerial photography and detailed maps. Documentation will be provided by traditional and new advanced methods (GIS, digital-video). The ecological features of the landscape (summer-winter camps, tracks etc.) will be studied.

Geological and trial trenches will be excavated to collect paleosoils for dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. The weather is extremely dry. Volunteers should bring a sleeping bag, a mat, a sweater, some strong shoes, and a flashlight.  Further tours can be organised at the end of the fieldwork.

 

 

Useful reading   

 Sala R., Deom J.-M., 2005 Petroglyphs of South Kazakhstan. Almaty. (Available in English and Russian,  link to sale online: Alibris.com. ).

 Aubekerov B.J., Rogozhinskii A.E., Sala R, 2004 Pamyatniki Kazakhstana (Rock art sites of Kazakshtan) in: Rogozhinskiy A (ed) (2004) Rock Art sites of Central Asia: documentation, conservation, management, community participation. Almaty. (Available in English on CD-Rom, contact ispkz@yahoo.com for purchasing).

 

 

 Contact:   Jean-Marc Deom, Laboratory of Geoarchaeology (Faculty of History, Archeology and Ethnology, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University), av.al-Farabi,  71, 4th Floor, room 4-8, 050060 Almaty, KAZAKHSTAN

 

Tel:   +7 701 760 92 89

Fax: 

Email:  ispkz@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

2. GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE BALKHASH LAKE AND ILI DELTA

Director:

Renato Sala & Jean-Marc Deom

Site/Period:

Neolithic to Modern Times

Volunteers:

5-10

Experience required:

No previous experience necessary

Excavation dates:

14-31 August 2015

Application deadline:

ASAP

Minimum stay:

Two weeks

Cost: 

USD300 per week

Fare: 

Not included

Accommodation:

Provided

Food: 

Provided (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)

Vaccination:

Anti-tetanus recommended

Passport/visa: 

Valid passport; for visa contact

The lake Balkhash is more than 500 km long and 10-60 km wide, representing the fifth largest water surface on earth. The 80% of its tributary waters come from the Ili river. The western part of the Balkhash, by receiving water and sediments from the Ili, is made of fresh but muddy and shallow water, while the eastern part is saline, clearer and deeper. The water level during the last 10,000 years fluctuated of 15 meters between 348 and 333 m asl (today at 341 m). The rocky northern shore has been inhabited from Paleolithic times and the southern shore, apart the swampy region of the Ili delta that has moved progressively westward, is constituted by a sandy desert inhabited during different Holocene climatic periods as testified by numerous Neolithic campsites, Bronze and Iron Age winter camps and for the VIII-XII centuries AD by a caravan route and three caravanserais.

The aim of the fieldwork is to collect paleoenvironmental and archaeological data to be intercorrelated for understanding the Holocene lake level change, the evolution of the Ili delta and the chronological pattern of human habitats. This will be done through the implementation of cores in the old Ortasu delta and in the Uzunaral straight and by the survey of ancient deltas and estuaries in order to find surface and buried cultural layers.
Volunteers will be introduced to modern techniques of preliminary geographical study using satellite, aerial photography and detailed maps. Documentation will be provided by traditional and new advanced methods (GIS, digital-video). The ecological features of the landscape (summer-winter camps, tracks etc.) will be studied.
Geological and trial trenches will be excavated to collect paleosoils for dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. The weather is generally hot during the day and cool in the evening, rains are also frequent till September. Volunteers should bring a sleeping bag, a mat, a sweater, some strong shoes, a rain coat and a flashlight. Further tours can be organised at the end of the fieldwork.
                

Useful reading   

 Aubekerov B., Nigmatova S., Sala R., Prehistorical and historical stages of development of the Balkhash lake. In: Watanabe M. and Kubota J. (eds.), 2010. Reconceptualizing Cultural and Environmental Change in Central Asia: An Historical Perspective on the Future. Proceedings of the International Workshop (Kyoto, Japan 1-2 February 2009), Kyoto-Research Institute for Humanity and Nature,  Ili Project: http://www.ilipro.com/page/18-publication/workshop-book/workshop-book_individual%20files/2-1_Aubekerov.pdf.

Deom J.-M., Aubekerov B., Sala R., Nigmatova S. 'Quaternary Evolution of the Human Habitats in the Ili-Balkhash Region from Paleolithic to Modern Times'. In: Toward a Sustainable Society in Central Asia: An Historical Perspective on the Future. Proceedings of the International Workshop, Almaty, 9-10 January 2012, Kyoto, 2012, p.49-58: http://www.lgakz.org/Texts/LiveTexts/Deom,%20Aubekerov%20et%20alt%20%202012_Quaternary%20history%20nature-man%20IBB_%20RHIN.pdf

 

Contact:   Jean-Marc Deom, Laboratory of Geoarchaeology (Faculty of History, Archeology and Ethnology, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University), av.al-Farabi,  71, 4th Floor, room 4-8, 050060 Almaty, KAZAKHSTAN

 

Tel-GSM:   +7 701 760 92 89 

Fax: 

Email:  ispkz@yahoo.com

 

 

 

     

3. COMPLETE GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL DOCUMENTATION OF A PIEDMONT VALLEY IN SEMIRECHIE (ASCHYBULAK)

Director:

Renato Sala & Jean-Marc Deom

Site/Period:

All periods

Volunteers:

5-10

Experience required:

No previous experience necessary

Excavation dates:

 1-7 July; 1-7 September 2014

Application deadline:

ASAP

Minimum stay:

Two weeks

Cost: 

USD300 per week

Fare: 

Not included

Accommodation:

Provided

Food: 

Provided (vegetarian and non-vegetarian)

Vaccination:

Anti-tetanus recommended

Passport/visa: 

Valid passport; for visa contact organiser 6 weeks in advance.

The Tienshan foothills at the west of Almaty consist of several important river valleys (Talgar, Issyk, Chilik) that constituted the core of the Saka (East Scythians) confederations during the Iron Age. Here are found extended kurgan (tumulus) complexes including big and smaller barrows. Among the most famous Saka cemeteries of the region are those of Issyk (tomb of a golden man), Turgen and Chilik. As a rule, these kurgan complexes are located along the main branches of the alluvial fan. Among other monuments found in the same area are ancient and medieval irrigation channels, mixed agro-pastoralist farms and small forts.

The more arid valleys located between the river Turgen (at West) and Chilik (at East), fed by smaller streams, haven’t yet been researched till nowadays. Even if they represent a poorer habitat, they are located at the north and at the closest distance of the biggest summer pasture of the Almaty region (jailau of Asy, 2500 m asl) that played an important role among the stockbreeding communities of Semirechie from the Bronze Age till the Ethnographic period.

The fieldwork will focus on the valleys of Aschybulak and Kiikbai and consist in a complete geoarchaeological documentation of the two valleys starting from the irrigated fields and habitats in the piedmont plain till the alpine pastures in the mountains. Volunteers will be introduced to modern techniques of preliminary geographical study using satellite, aerial photography and detailed maps. Documentation will be provided by traditional and new advanced methods (GIS, digital-video). The ecological features of the landscape (summer-winter camps, tracks etc.) will be studied.

Geological and trial trenches will be excavated to collect paleosoils for dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

 

Useful reading   

Deom J.-M., Sala R. 2012. ‘Geographical, paleoecological and sociopolitical factors of the areal distribution of the Saka kurgans of Semirechie’ in  Historic cultural heritage and modern culture. Proceedings of the International seminary 30 November 2012, Almaty, p. 28-34.

 Rosen A., Chang C., Grigoriev F. 2000. ‘Palaeoenvironments and economy of Iron Age Saka-Wusun agro-pastoralists in southeastern Kazakhstan’ in : Antiquity, 74, p.611-623.

 

 

Contact:   Jean-Marc Deom, Laboratory of Geoarchaeology (Faculty of History, Archeology and Ethnology, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University), av.al-Farabi,  71, 4th Floor, room 4-8, 050060 Almaty, KAZAKHSTAN

 

Tel-GSM:   +7 701 760 92 89 

Fax: 

Email:  ispkz@yahoo.com