Research Expedition in Southern Kyrgyzstan (Ak-Jar Site, 2021)

The Department of Archeology, Faculty of Arts, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen carries out research expedition in southern Kyrgyzstan (18th-28th October). In cooperation with natural scientists from the Czech Academy of Sciences, colleagues from the Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Osh State University and the National Historical and Archaeological Museum Complex Suleyman-Too we focus on the Ak-Jar site in the foothills of the Pamirs, where one of the main branches of the ancient and medieval Silk Road passed. Traces of a large settlement area dated from the 1st millennium BC to the post-medieval period were discovered at an altitude of 1,300 m in the area where the road left the fertile Fergana Valley and approached the Alai Mountains. Research of settlement mounds (so-called “tepe” or “tells”) produces extensive evidence of life along the Silk Road and reveals data regarding complicated coexistence of sedentary populations and nomads in the contact zone between the agricultural landscape and sub-mountain steppes. Interdisciplinary research also shed new light on subsistence of local communities and the changing natural environment during more than two thousand years. Pilsen students of archaeology and students of history of the local Osh State University are involved in survey, excavations and finds processing.

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