Location: Uvs, Mongolia
This collaborative project between Western Kentucky University and the National Museum of Mongolia aims to investigate human-environment relationships and understand the nature of the social and economic organization of Bronze and Iron Age societies in the Zuunkhangai region (Uvs province) of Mongolia through the use of regional survey and settlement archaeology. Located in the grasslands of northwestern Mongolia, the research area is dotted with impressive stone built burial and ritual sites dating at least to the Late Bronze Age (second and first millennia BCE) and continues to be inhabited by horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who have maintained much of their traditional lifeways.
Activities for the 2015 field season will include survey, excavation of habitation sites and ritual monuments, and ethnographic work. Participants will receive training in proper methods of unearthing and documenting materials, survey, and will have the opportunity to work with the artifactual material as well as with the zooarchaeologist and the cartographer and lithics specialist.
For a full description, please download the 'Project Overview' through the Project's website: http://people.wku.edu/jean-luc.houle/
It is also possible to apply online via the Project's website.
Period(s) of Occupation: Paleolithic, Bronze Age, Early Iron Age,Turkic
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Whole Session
Room and Board Arrangements
We will stay in a school in a local town surrounded by mobile pastoralist campsites. Participants on the project have many opportunities to meet local nomads and visit them in their gers. Participants must bring their own sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Hired cooks will be responsible for buying and preparing all of the food consumed and cleaning up following meals.
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered: none
Houle, Jean-Luc. 2009. ‘Socially Integrative Facilities’ and the Emergence of Societal Complexity on the Mongolian Steppe. In Monuments, Metals and Mobility: Trajectories of Complexity in the Late Prehistory of the Eurasian Steppe, edited by Bryan K. Hanks, and K. M. Linduff. Cambridge University Press.
Houle, Jean-Luc and Lee Broderick. 2011. Settlement Patterns and Domestic Economy of the Xiongnu in Khanuy Valley, Mongolia. In Ursula Brosseder and Bryan K. Miller (eds.). Xiongnu Archaeology: Multidisciplinary Perspectives of the First Steppe Empire of Inner Asia. Bonn Contributions to Asian Archaeology, vol.5. Bonn: Bonn University Press.
Broderick, Lee G. and Jean-Luc Houle. 2013. More than Just Horse: Dietary Breadth and Subsistence in Bronze Age Central Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of Archaeology, Anthropology and Ethnology.
Seitsonen, Oula, Jean-Luc Houle, and Lee G. Broderick. 2014. GIS Approaches to Past Mobility and Accessibility: An Example from the Bronze Age Khanuy Valley, Mongolia. In Past Mobilities: Archaeological Approaches to Movement and Mobility, edited by Jim Leary. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
Hanks, B. 2010. “Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia.” Annual Review of Anthropology 39 (1): 469–486.
Allard, F. and D. Erdenebaatar. 2005. Khirigsuurs, Ritual and Mobility in the Bronze Age of Mongolia, Antiquity, 79(305): 547-563.
Volkov, V., V., Early Nomads of Mongolia, In Nomads of the Eurasian Steppes in the Iron Age, edited by J. Davis-Kimball, V. A. Bashilov and L. T. Yablonski, 319-333, 1995, Berkeley, California