Flies, flies the steppe mare...
The Museum of Natural History of Kazakhstan is preparing for the opening; the museum will replenish the fund with some significant exhibits of Karaganda, the gold finds from the burial mounds of"Taldi-2", which is about 200 items, some of which are performed in the animal style, and many thousands with a small beads.
It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the probability of the historical information: those who find an artifact, who gives a description and makes technical processing, who takes it on the photo – so says the founder of the “Taldi-2”, the head of the department of prehistoric archeology of the Institute of Archaeology named after A. Margulan, Ph.D. Arman Beisenov.
A unique discovery was made because of the financial support from the Karaganda regional administration and the management of culture. In fact, the project was developed by Serik Akhmetov when he was the Governor of the region. I thing that the Karaganda region will take the right place in the Museum of Natural History – commented on the upcoming event A. Beisenov.
The researchers of the Sary-Arka Institute of Archaeology KSU made their contribution to the formation of the Museum of National History. They have wonderful collections of Bronze Age pottery. It should be remembered that the unique collection was collected over the years. The excavations are being carried out across the country, and only then the discoveries become available to the public, changing the stereotypes of the perception of the past.
If you imagine the study of the ancient history of our country in the form of the river, then every drop of this river is a demonstrative evidence of what was obtained by the archaeologists. The drop creates the flow. It means that every researcher, from the academician to the executant and the technical performer of laboratory work, should have the complete discipline of excellence – said A. Beisenov.
The current field season is already thirty-first for him. With a group of scientists from the Institute of Archaeology, A.Margulan engaged into two projects (grant "The Sources of the Steppe civilization", "Cultural Heritage") and plans the excavations in the country, including the Karaganda region.
The large group of the leading experts works in accordance with the triennial grant of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which was issued in order to study the topic "The origins of the steppe civilization: a comprehensive study of monuments of the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in Kazakhstan". The excavations of the encampment of the Stone Age in Ylytau are being held under the leadership of Olga Artyuhova, a famous archaeologist of Kazakhstan and Eurasia; she has already opened a lot of monuments.
The Bronze Age – «in the hands» of the other prominent scientist, a representative of the older generation, Antonina Ermolayeva. The excavations are being held in the Taldysai settlement in Ulitau, which was studied long enough. Taldysai is not just a simple settlement. It is the residence of the ancient metallurgists, which are not very common.
The latest news came from the archaeologists of the KSU, who worked in the Alat settlement in the suburbs of the ancient Kent in the Karkarala area. On the place where the furnaces of the Bronze Age were found before, the remains of the iron productions were discovered.
It turns out a kind of paradox: In Central Kazakhstan, the iron and copper were melted by the people who lived in the late Bronze Age, long before the Iron Age – says the Doctor of Historical Sciences, archaeologist Valery Evdokimov. It happened at the turn of the first and second millennia BC, during the transition period. Thus we make a conclusion that in the center of Kazakhstan, the iron was obtained on two or three centuries earlier than it was so during the Sakas period, which lived later in the Iron Age.
Arman Beisenov agrees with the colleagues from the University:
- Iron - it's unique! I am glad that the discovery was made by scientists of the University where I began to engage in archeology about 30 years ago. The presence of the remains of the iron productions in Kent proves them right. In the rich culture of the Saka, the iron knives and other sharp objects could be found only from the VII century BC, and iron appears only as privilege of the rich people and military elite as it is very expensive material. The iron was not obtained with the use of molding, but with the use of more complex production method.
The study of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age by scientists from the Institute of Archaeology named after A. Margulan, coupled with the findings of the Karaganda archaeologists at Altai, fulfilled the task of identifying the origins of the steppe civilization, which reveals itself in the early Iron Age as the monument of the Sakas period in Eurasia. This theory was announced by the Siberian archaeologists, including the prominent modern scientist Anatoly Martynov. So what are the origins of the steppe civilization: it came from somewhere or it has been here all this time? – wonder the researchers who will need to explain the phenomenon of high culture of the Saks, which appeared suddenly, like a flash.
Why do we combine such monuments as Taldysai and other metallurgical settlements within the scale of this grant and cherish the secrets of Kent? Why do we want to gather all the scientific results regarding the Begazy Dandybay culture, the direct predecessor of the Saks? Because every detail is important for us, every item for the exact recreation of that time – says the archaeologist. - But we already have some suggestions and this could be considered as the source of steppe civilization. For example, everyone was convinced that Kazakhstan is the oldest country of the steppe pastoralists. But now we can say that: «Kazakhstan is an ancient country of the steppe metallurgists».
Here they are the two whales of the steppe civilization. On the one hand is a pastoral, the nomadic way of life, on the other, the developed metallurgical industry, domiciled settlements and artisans. The scientists claim that one complements the other. Steppe civilization is a bubbling flow of the centuries, which goes across the plains of the Central Kazakhstan, leaves its mark, and denudates the hidden layers, mixes the incompatible, throws the obvious on the surface, which sometimes do not require the proof. And the task of archaeologists is to show how this stream gorge could be formed.
The objects performed in the animal style or the excavations of settlements are represented in the regional historical museum of the achievements of the great culture of Saks. The history of the mounds is taking a special place in the room. Manmade structures are one of the signs of the steppe civilization. They can be used to determine the cost of labor: how many resource days will be required for the construction of the burial hill as how many stone will it need, all of this is important in order to learn about the time during which the mound was born.
The civilization of the steppe people, who lived under the specific climatic conditions, was formed with a powerful architecture. The grandiose monuments were built for the top of society. Each large mound has its own history, a specific message from the society, which is divided by the classes.
The delivery of materials – the cover, a large-tonnage slabs and the construction of the repository, require a division of labor. Thus the following ancient artisans were supposed to work on this question: the stonemasons, the makers of the wooden parts, and the whole process were controlled by the led experts, who had clear actions, which were transmitted or acquired during the trainings. Indeed, any five-meter mound, regardless of the fact of what could inside, is a monument to the people and the development of relations in society. In Taldysai, the archaeologists seek new materials from the early Iron Age and once again, they focus on the origins of steppe civilization.
I’m not talking about the metallurgy of the Bronze Age for nothing - continues Arman Beisenov. The Saks craftsmen, the jewelers, had to have traditions. They received the knowledge from someone and they were supposed to share it with someone? Or let’s talk about pastoralists. In what place they were pasture the cattle during the winter and summer? They had share their skills and knowledge. And I'm always interested to reveal these sources.Archaeology is an interesting profession, and there are also optimists and pessimists among the researchers. But all of them, as meticulous investigators in the most intricate detectives, study and disclose the facts, find the evidences, delve into cause-and –effect connections, and replenish the inexhaustible flow of the historical knowledge.
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