Atyrau Archaeological Expedition to Gather Data, Launch Research Centre

ATYRAU – A research centre for historical and archaeological studies will be opened in Atyrau this fall, Deputy Governor (Akim) of Atyrau oblast Shyngys Mukan said during the opening ceremony of an expedition to historic sites of the region.

The historical and cultural expedition should shed light on a rich heritage that still remains unknown. Over the course of one month, journalists and academics will visit a number of historical sites to report on their condition and their historical significance. The first destinations on the map are the Donyztau plateau and 19th century burial ground of Kulsary Batyr, as well as the settlement of Taskeshu caravanserai. The Karabau mound was discovered in the distant Kyzylkogin area in 2006.

Marat Kassenov, archaeologist at the Dosmukhamedov Atyrau State University, says that only 20-30 percent of the territory of the region has been examined so far. Kassenov is a member of the expedition, organised by the regional branch of the Kazakhstan Broadcasting Company with the support of the oblast government. He hopes the expedition will raise public interest in archaeology and, of course, lead to the preservation of historical monuments. For instance, the ancient settlement of Sarayshyk is being flooded by the waters of the Ural, but no measures have been taken to protect this historic heritage. Another pressing preservation problem is a lack of scientists, young archaeologists and historians.

A series of thematic educational films will be produced with the results of the month-long expedition.

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