Idea of the rescue archaeological expedition leaped because of the railway Elegest – Kyzyl – Kuragino construction. The railroad-under-construction will be 400 km long and connect the capital of Tuva, Kyzyl and large Elegest carbonize coal deposit with Kuragino transport hub in Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Mission of the rescue archaeological works is to provide preservation of the cultural and historical heritage sites in the railway construction area.
Tasks of the expedition:
- Carry out rescue archaeological excavations of the historical and cultural sites;
- Conduct comprehensive research of the archaeological monuments.
More than 70 archaeological sites that have been discovered along the railroad route are to be studied. Monuments of different eras – from ancient sites to medieval settlements are located on the territory of Tuva. Tuvan soil is well known to specialists-archaeologists and historians from all over the world. Unique multi-layer sites of the Neolithic and the Bronze ages, monuments of the earliest Stone Age dated 200-100 thousand years B.C. have been found in Tuva. Scythian chiefs’ burials “Arzhan” and “Arzhan-2” are world famous. Thus, more than 20 kg of gold household and cult animal-style pieces of the highest quality have been found during the archaeological excavations of “Arzhan-2” in 2000-2004. But archaeological potential of Tuva and Krasnoyarsk Krai goes far beyond these findings. These soils’ interior hides numerous mysteries, puzzles and treasures of past eras, waiting to be discovered. Tuva is considered to be the key place for understanding of many cultural, historical and ethnic factors of the region development.
Findings of the archeological expedition are handovered to the state museums’ and that fact will allow holding a series of static and mobile exhibitions. Studied ancient constructions can be used as part of specialized expositions and reconstructions both at the research area and within museum complexes.
Since 2011, the Russian Geographical Society with the financial support of EVRAZ Company and Tuva Energy and Industrial Corporation LLC has been organizing volunteer camps to help professional archaeologists of the Institute for the history of material culture of the Russian academy of sciences. Volunteers are selected through the international contest “Unveil mysteries of Valley of Kings”. The project is supervised by the President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoigu personally.