The Sacred Landscape of the Saryarka Region (Kazakhstan): Genesis, Typology and Semantic

The Sacred Landscape of the Saryarka Region (Kazakhstan): Genesis, Typology and Semantic

This historical and archaeological research project dedicated to the study of the SacredGeography of Saryarka, the main region of central Kazakhstan comprising the area of the new capital Astana, is conductedin close collaboration with the AstanaInstitute of Archaeology “K.A. Akishev”  (director Maral K. Khabdulina) and withtechnical and logisticalassistance fromthe AstanaNational Eurasian University “L.N. Gumilev”.It has been funded for three years(2018 – 2020) bytheKazakhstan Ministry of Education and Scientific Research. The project aims to study the evolution of human settlement in the Saryarka region, from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age until the 19thcentury – when the Saryarka region was annexed to the Russian Empire, later becoming an integral part of the Soviet Union. Particular attention is given to the Iron Age (1stmillennium BC), when Saka nomad communities began to exploit the grassy pastures along the RiverIshim, andto the final centuries of the first millennium AD, whenIslam first spread tothe area. The project’s main purpose is to analyse how over the centuries the mobile communities of prehistoric and medieval animal herdersand breeders have changed the steppe landscape of central Kazakhstan by building towns, villages, cemeteriesand sanctuaries,roadsand fortresses, mosques and minarets. The exploitation of natural resources and the social and cultural interactions between different Eurasiansocieties are alsofields investigated bythe project.

Director: Gianluca Bonora (ISMEO)
Nation: Kazakhstan
Period: 2018 – in course
Olletta in ceramica grezza con decorazione geometrica incisa di tipologia Alakul’ (prima metà del II millennio a.C. - Shagalaly II). 
Small jar in rough ware with a typical Alakul’ incised geometric decoration (first half of the 2nd millennium BC - Shagalaly II).
Small coarse ware jar wittypical Alakul’ incised geometric decoration (first half of the 2nd millennium BC – Shagalaly II).
Recipiente in ceramica grezza con decorazione incisa di tipologia Andronovo (II millennio a.C. - Shagalaly II). Vessel in rough ware decorated with an Andronovo incised pattern (2nd millennium BC - Shagalaly II).
Coarse ware vessel decorated with an Andronovo-typeincised pattern (2nd millennium BC – Shagalaly II).
Supporto ceramico in ceramica fine con marchi da vasaio incisi. Si tratta di un tipico manufatto dell’Età del Bronzo proveniente da un sito della civiltà dell’Oxus in Asia Media (fine del III millennio o prima metà del II millennio a.C. - Shagalaly II). 
Pot-stand in fine ware with three potter marks incised. This is a typical artefact of the Bronze Age, coming from an Oxus Civilisation site in Middle Asia (end of the 3rd or first half of the 2nd millennium BC - Shagalaly II)
Pot-stand in fine ware with three incised potter‘s marks. This is a typical Bronze Age artefacfrom an Oxus Civilisation site in Central Asia (end of the 3rd or first half of the 2nd millennium BC – Shagalaly II).
Olla di grandi dimensioni in ceramica fine di produzione medio asiatica (fine del III millennio o prima metà del II millennio a.C. - Shagalaly II). 
Large jar in fine ware of Middle Asia production (end of the 3rd or first half of the 2nd millennium BC - Shagalaly II)
Large fine ware jar produced in Central Asia (end of the 3rdor first half of the 2ndmillennium BC – Shagalaly II).
Due momenti dello scavo del tumulo funerario dell’età del Ferro di Kyugenzhar. Nel riempimento del tumulo sono state portate in luce sette sepolture musulmane di epoca medievale (I millennio a.C. - Kuygenzhar). 
Two moments of the excavation of the Iron Age funerary barrow located near Kuygenzhar. In the filling of the kurgan, seven Muslim burials have been found (1st millennium BC - Kuygenzhar).
View of the excavation of an Iron Age funerary barrow located near Kuygenzhar. In the fill of the kurgaseven Muslim burials were found (1st millennium BC – Kuygenzhar).
Due momenti dello scavo del tumulo funerario dell’età del Ferro di Kyugenzhar. Nel riempimento del tumulo sono state portate in luce sette sepolture musulmane di epoca medievale (I millennio a.C. - Kuygenzhar). 
Two moments of the excavation of the Iron Age funerary barrow located near Kuygenzhar. In the filling of the kurgan, seven Muslim burials have been found (1st millennium BC - Kuygenzhar).
View of the excavation of an Iron Age funerary barrow located near Kuygenzhar. In the fill of the kurgaseven Muslim burials were found (1stmillennium BC – Kuygenzhar).
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