CHHU Public Lecture, July 20th: Naryn Archaeological Sites: Mountain Society Heritage
July 20th 2018, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
K. Anne Pyburn
Provost Professor, Department of Anthropology
Indiana University, Bloomington.
The Naryn archaeological project (NAP) supports the annual archaeological excavation of sites located on the territory of the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Naryn campus. NAP involves collaboration between UCA's Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit (CHHU), the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) and Indiana University (IU), and brings together an international team of researchers from Kyrgyzstan, Japan and the United States. The Naryn sites, located in a valley of the Tian Shan mountain range, is one of the most important in Central Asia and its study yields significant insights into human and environmental history.
Nestled in the heart of Tian Shan mountains at a baseline elevation of nearly 2000m, Kyrgyzstan’s high Naryn valley forms a huge travel corridor that has been used for the migration of people, goods, plants, animals and ideas in the past despite of harsh environment caused by high altitude conditions, a continental climate with high speed winds, and a high level of seismic activity. Recent archaeological research of the complex of Aigyrzhal sites, located along the Naryn River on the University of Central Asia’s Naryn campus, reveal over 10,000 years of human occupation of the Naryn valley from the Paleolithic Age through the middle ages. Understanding the complex formation and interaction of different cultures represented by the complex of Aigyrzhal sites is providing a clearer picture of the history of the Naryn valley and shedding new light on a previously understudied and unappreciated era of Kyrgyz cultural heritage.
Respect for and engagement with the heritage of local communities infuses the goals of the research, and it aims to engage with schools, historians, museums and avocational archaeologists in the area. The researchers hope the public will be interested in their findings, and are willing to contribute to their understandings and interpretations, and even pose questions that they can address through their research. A final dimension of contributions from Naryn residents is missing from their investigations so far.
Aida Abdykanova is a Kyrgyz Archaeologist. Her primary research interests focus on different issues of Archaeology of Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages of Kyrgyzstan. She has conducted archaeological research on Mesolithic sites of Naryn town since 2012. Abdykanova is a Lecturer in the Anthropology programme at AUCA since 2007. She graduated from the faculty of History and Regional Studies of Kyrgyz National University in 2003. Following work on her dissertation on the Paleolithic complexes of Mangyshlak peninsula in Western Kazakhstan from 2003-2006, she defended her research thesis at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.
K. Anne Pyburn is an American Anthropologist with specialisations in archaeology and research ethics. She has conducted anthropological research in Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Yemen, and India; and archaeology research in Peru, Belize, the United States, and Kazakhstan. She is currently collaborating with Professor Abdykanova on the investigations at the site of Aigyrzhal 2 in the Naryn Valley of Kyrgyzstan. She is Provost Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, and holds a PhD from the University of Arizona. She has over 100 publications, and has delivered over 100 professional presentations.
University of Central Asia
School of Professional and Continuing Education, Naryn
Room 103, 1st Floor
19 Seitaaly Jakypov Street
The presentation will be conducted in Kyrgyz.
* Ideas presented in this lecture reflect the personal opinion of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Central Asia and/or its employees.