Koksu River Valley Rock Art Survey

Rock art is widely distributed in the Koksu River Valley and the surrounding mountains and canyons. It is found in all elevation ranges, either in proximity to other feature classes such as burials or settlements, and sometimes without associated contexts. Naturally, the occurrence of rock-art is dependent on the existence of suitable rock surfaces, which means that rock-art is also found on the cliffs and crags of steep ravines, which are difficult to access. Though over 30 new rock-art groups were recorded within the survey, a detailed study of the imagery of these panels has not yet been completed. However, rock-art in the Koksu River Valley has been extensively studied in terms of chronological associations, and stylistic taxonomy so that we can make some conclusions about the role of rock-art in social life during the Bronze Age and later periods.

Ush-Kara Survey

The survey of the Ush-Kara plateau in the Semirech’ye region entailed locating and categorizing historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, accurately recording these sites using Global Positioning Systems and constructing a database that contained relevant information for each site. The Ush-Kara survey region consists of a major upland plateau with a north-south oriented ridgeline on the eastern boundary.  The survey was localized along this ridgeline because it exhibits seasonal springs and narrow ravines that provide ecologically diverse and productive micro-climates in the otherwise arid territory.  In addition, this ridgeline runs along a series of brackish lakes that are historically known to have fish and other aquatic resources such as waterfowl, which may have made them attractive to early human communities.

Zaamin Mountains Survey

Recent archaeology within the borders of former Soviet Republics such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, has sparked considerable changes to our understanding of prehistoric economies and regional interaction among agricultural and nomadic civilizations of the remote deserts, mountains, and grasslands of Central Asia.  Building on this progress, we started the Zaamin Archaeological Pilot Project (ZAPP), which consists of two field-seasons of archaeological survey and test excavations in the Zaamin territory of eastern Uzbekistan. 

Jerba Archaeological Survey

The archaeological survey of the Island of Jerba, Tunisia was the first systematic study of the historical landscape of the island.  The goal of the project was to reconstruct the island’s settlement history role in trade and political formation from the earliest archaeological evidence for settlement in the Punic era to Early Historical times. The field survey was directed by Professor Renata Holod (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Elizabeth Fentress from 1996 to 2001.  Michael Frachetti was the project cartographer and GIS specialist.  One of the primary aims was to estimate the density of occupation over the whole of the island's history. To do this, we needed to establish reliable figures on which to base such an estimate.

Koksu River Valley Survey

The Dzhungar Mountains Archaeology Project (DMAP) began in 1999, designed to address the question of emerging pastoralism and social interaction in the Eastern Eurasian Steppe Zone in the Bronze and Iron Ages. The survey component of the 2002 season was focused within the Koksu River Valley. The main objective of the land survey was to make a detailed database record and digital map of the archaeological monuments (cist burials, kurgans, settlements, rock-art, megaliths, etc.) located in the river valley. The archaeological survey was a collaborative effort with Kazakh archaeologists (Dr. Alexei Mar’yashev) from the Institute of Archaeology in Almaty (Kazakhstan), and with geologists (Dr. Bulat Aubekerov) and botanists (Dr. Saida Nigmatova) from the Kazakh National Academy of Science (also in Almaty). In addition, a number of other specialists are working to provide a variety of additional data.