The Russian-Japanese "Pazyryk" Programme the First Year of Joint Studies

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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Abstract

The early Iron Age tumuli of the Altai mountains are unique in preserving largely intact frozen corpses, horses, textiles, leather and wood of the Scythian period. Further such burials exist: in 1991 a reconnaissance excavation of a frozen tumulus at Ak-Alakh again yielded a fabulous inventory. However the conditions of their preservation require their rapid rescue and conservation and adequate funding to do so. In 1991 the USSR and Japan signed an agreement for the joint study of the tumuli of the Pazyryk culture, which included provisions for the conduct of field research on the Ukok plateau, the restoration and conservation of materials from the tumuli (Japan has made Yens 100 m available for this purpose), and the transport of the excavated tumuli to musea. A large tumulus of the 5th-3rd c. B.C. at Kurtuguntas has since been excavated, the unique material recovered was conserved on site and the burial construction transported to the museum at Akademgorodok. In the Bertok valley 60 sites were surveyed and 15 excavated (only one tulumus had been disturbed in antiquity). A monograph is in preparation.

The Russian-Japanese "Pazyryk" Programme the First Year of Joint Studies

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

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