Recent archaeological discoveries
Claudia Chang (Claudia Chang), an archeologist at Sweet Briar College of Virginia, does research and conducts excavations in the seven rivers, geographic region, most of which is located on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She deals with this issue for two decades and says the results of the latest research disproves the existing opinion about the representatives of the steppe civilization as cruel and backward people.
Ms. Chang, along with colleagues published the results of years of work in the monograph “the Ancient art and culture of Kazakhstan”. The book was published in the publishing house of the University pristanische in parallel with the opening of the exhibition about the archaeology of the Iron age in the Museum of the Institute of the Ancient world at new York University. The exhibition presents artifacts of the nomadic tribes of the first Millennium BC, was found not only in Central Asia but in Persia and China. It is a product of the Iranian-speaking Saka tribes close to the Scythians; presumably Turkic wusun, who lived in those days in the North of uyguriya; items Pazyryk culture. The exhibition features inlaid turquoise and coral gold diadem made wusun the master and a few dozen Golden statuettes leopards and ibex. The geography of finds includes a large part of the territory of sovremennostyu from Shilikty near the Aral sea to the mountains of Tarbagatai ridge on the Eastern border with China. The exhibits have been selected to better show the interpenetration of steppe culture with ancient Chinese and Persian traditions.
Soren stark (Soeren Stark), co-curator of the exhibition and author of one of the sections of the book, talks about the community symbolism of ancient Persia and Central Asia. For example, the mythological winged creature, the Chimera with the body of a deer and wings of an eagle was revered in both regions, can be traced in China. The exhibited items indicate a high level of skill of the ancient craftsmen.
“The opinion of the nomads of ancient times, how about the barbaric tribes who had no culture of their own, incorrect” — says Mr. stark. — “These people had developed the art and applied crafts. Steppe civilization thanks to trade relations has worked closely with neighbors, the nomads were employed in the Persian army.”
Ancient chroniclers are not as generous as the American scientists. Chinese Chronicles describe the peoples of the Saka and wusun as “blue-eyed and red-haired barbarians”. By the way, the archaeological research confirms the identity of the Central Asian nomads one-dvuhsistemnaya limitations to the Caucasoid type. Herodotus described in detail the human sacrifices and ritual killings among the Scythian tribes. Unfortunately, most of the steppe peoples, without writing, did not leave written evidence.
“Archaeology can help us to go beyond the stereotypes imposed by the chroniclers of the neighbouring States,” notes sören stark.
The successful holding of the exhibition, creating an impressive exhibition has become possible largely thanks to the active support of the state structures of Kazakhstan, including the Embassy in Washington, the Central State Museum and Presidential center of culture. The Republic’s authorities strive to improve the country’s international image, create the image of a modern and dynamic economic and cultural center of Central Asia.
After new York the exhibition was presented in the Metropolitan Gallery of Asian art Sackler (Arthur M. Sackler Gallery), which is part of the Museum complex of the Smithsonian institution. At the opening of the exposition made by the Ambassador, now foreign Minister, Erlan Idrissov. In his speech he noted the undervaluation of the contribution of the ancestors of modern Kazakhs in the development of world civilization.
Two sections of the published scientific work of American archaeologists is devoted mainly to recent findings in the area of the river White Berel in the Altai mountains. This is the place, where the borders of four countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and China. Scientists have studied several dozen burial mounds in which were found gold-plated objects with a characteristic ornament, and a number of other artifacts. Together with people were buried horses, also decorated with Golden trappings. Cold dry mountain climate preserved for posterity samples of organic matter: wool, wood, pieces of tissue. Managed to explore DNA buried in one of the mounds men and women, they were relatives.
According to Mrs. Chang, Berel findings — the most significant archaeological discovery in a short while the history of independent Kazakhstan. They demonstrate a high level of development of the Saka tribes, this gives the people of Kazakhstan should be proud of the achievements of their ancestors. However, Mrs. Chang emphasized that the mounds allow the study of material culture available to the upper classes of the ancient nomadic society and do not tell about the life of commoners. Is like to explore the lives of modern American society only on the sample of top managers on wall street. Ordinary people were not buried together with the horses and jewels.
Claudia Chang sets out his theory of the lifestyle of Saka and uysyn tribes, based on the study of the ancient agricultural settlements of the region. She came to the conclusion that a significant portion of society does not led a nomadic life and lived a settled, providing economic interests of the ruling class and supplying the army. Thus, the now commonly accepted term “nomadic civilization” does not fully correspond to reality.