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named A. Kh. Margulan

44 Avenue Dostyk, st. Shevchenko 28, Almaty




Археология институтының журналы. А.Х.Марғұлан



Department of archaeology of the age of stone and paleometal


Specialists of the Department of Archaeology of the Stone and Paleometal Era with their research cover a wide range of problems from the Paleolithic to the New Age.

The group under the leadership of the Candidate of Historical Sciences, Leading Researcher of the Institute O.A. Artyukhova studies Paleolithic monuments in Kazakhstan. Special attention is paid to the study of Stone Age monuments with fossil cultural remains in Central Kazakhstan and Mangyshlak (Toktaul, Ulken Zhezdy, Shakpak ata) in order to identify paleoecological and paleoeconomic living conditions of people in various periods of the Stone Age. Interdisciplinary research methods are used, trasological analysis of Paleolithic artifacts, dating of sediments on monuments by the radiocarbon method and the method of optically stimulated luminescent dating are carried out. For monuments with a surface cultural horizon, methodological foundations for the study of flint tools of Paleolithic monuments have been compiled, which include petrographic, morpho-typological, archaeometric, technological, technoeconomic and trasological analyses. As a result of the studies, it was possible to clarify the age of a number of sites, to carry out a theoretical reconstruction of the paleogeographic and paleoecological living conditions of people in the Paleolithic era in Central Kazakhstan. A project is being implemented to introduce into scientific circulation collections gathered by A.G. Medoev and his fellow geologists over the years of research on the monuments of Kazakhstan.

Studies of Bronze Age monuments (supervisor Leading Resercher A.S. Yermolaeva) are focused on solving the problem of the genesis of metal production in Zhezkazgan-Ulytau and North Betpakdala mining and metallurgical centers of Kazakhstan mining and metallurgical region. Expeditions carried out as part of program-targeted and grant funding are mainly aimed at studying the settlement of ancient metallurgists Taldysay, Myrzhyk. As a result of technological research of metal and slag, the origins and traditions of smelting, casting and blacksmith technologies have been clarified. As a result of analysis of slag products the peculiarities of technology of Kazakhstan mining and metallurgical region were revealed.

The culture of the early nomads is also in the field of view of the department. Such issues as funerary rite, the art of animal style are studied.

Within the framework of grant financing, a comprehensive study of the monuments of Turgay is carried out from the Bronze Age to the present (supervisor Candidate of Historical Sciences, Leading Researcher G.A. Bazarbayeva), a characteristic of the culture of the nomads of Turgai from the early Iron Age to the New Age according to archaeological and ethnographic data is being developed. The tasks of the project are to obtain new data on the appearance of Synthashty culture; identification of the genesis of objects of decorative and applied art of Kazakh culture, characterization of the elements of the female costume according to the eras: early Iron, the Middle Ages, New and partially modern times. The implementation of the project provides for solving the current problems of the ancient history of Turgai on the basis of a comprehensive study of archaeological and ethnographic monuments of the region.

Media appearances:

Sunny mounds of Ashutasty. URL:

Scientific discoveries, especially in archaeology, are unthinkable without searching in toponymy: URL:

The ancient burial ground of the Saka nobility was discovered by Kazakhstani archaeologists near Arkalyk: URL:

The archaeological season has been opened in the region. URL:

Pokrovsky idol (about the find of the sculpture of ancient Turkic times). URL:

Idol changes its name. URL:

The Department of Archaeology of the Era of Stone and Paleometal conducts research in the valley of the Byzhy River in Jetysu Alatau. As a result of the work carried out, search signs for settlements of the early nomadic era, patterns of localization of archaeological monuments of different periods and the New Age were developed, over 300 objects were identified and mapped.

In 2004, specialists of the department began a new stage of archaeological research on monuments located in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya. Research is carried out by the Chirik-rabat archaeological expedition under the leadership of Candidate of Historical Sciences, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Archaeology named after A.Kh. Margulan Zh. Kurmankulov. To date, the Chirik-rabat archaeological expedition on the territory of the Eastern Aral Sea has identified more than 200 archaeological sites.

The tasks of the group are to study the processes of formation and development of settled agriculture in the Eastern Aral Sea region in the second half of the first millennium BC based on archaeological research using an integrated approach and taking into account the characteristics of the natural environment of the region. The study of archaeological sites in the lower Syr Darya allows a more detailed study of the process of urbanization and the formation of a settled agriculture in the Aral Sea region.

One of the areas of research of the department "Archaeology of the era of stone and paleometal" is the study of monumental sites of nomads of different times: menhirs, sculptures of the Saka, Turkic and Cuman eras. A research group led by the Candidate of Historical Sciences Zh. K. Kurmankulov mainly carries out the identification and documentation of medieval stone sculptures of Saryarka. To date, Zh. K. Kurmankulov, L.N. Yermolenko (KemSU) and A.D. Kasenova studied more than 300 medieval sculptures, of which 111 were recorded for the first time. The researchers established GPS coordinates of the monuments, made dimensional drawings of sculptures, shot mica paper copies of some sculptures or their details, created schematic plans of the structures with which the sculptures are associated, photofixed.

The systematization of sculptures and structures was carried out by A.D. Kasenova also in a Candidate dissertation defended in 2019. Based on the classification of L.N. Yermolenko, the researcher developed a register and systematization of ancient and medieval stone sculptures of Saryarka.

There is an active study of archaeological sites and historical sources associated with the emergence and development of the practice of using nomadic societies of symbolic images such as tamga as special markers of individual and collective identity (Candidate of Historical Sciences, Leading Researcher A.E. Rogozhinsky). Thanks to targeted field searches, a database of Tamga-use monuments of Kazakhstan is replenished in various historical eras from the end of the Bronze Age to the New Age inclusive: a significant share of them are immovable objects - Tamga-petroglyphs, epigraphics and monuments marked by Tamgas of ancient nomads, Turkic tribes, Kazakhs, Oirats and other peoples. In addition to field searches, archival surveys are carried out to expand the range of reliably identified signs of ethnosocial identity, to reveal, on the example of Kazakh ethnography, the functional diversity and specificity of tamga-use traditions, recorded in documentary materials of the XVIII-XIX centuries. New finds and consolidated thematic reviews are regularly published, regional maps of the ranges of various groups of signs are created, on the basis of which the areas of settlement and movement of nomadic peoples in ancient and Middle Ages are reconstructed.

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