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Archaeological Geophysics in Northern Mongolia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:56 am
by Newsman
One of the best things about my job as an archaeological scientist is that my research isn’t tied to a particular geographic region or period and so I get to work with fantastic colleagues from all around the world. This is well illustrated by the comparison between my Day of Archaeology post from last year (co-authored with colleagues from IMS-FORTH) where I spent the day testing electromagnetic induction equipment on a Cretan beach and this year where I have been conducting a ground penetrating radar (GPR) and geomatic survey of the Neolithic/Bronze Age Soyo site in Northern Mongolia. This site is being studied as part of the Northern Mongolia Archaeology Project headed by Dr Julia Clark from the American Center for Mongolian Studies and Dr Bayarsaikhan Jamsranjav from the National Museum of Mongolia. This project is using a range of multidisciplinary techniques to examine the archaeology of the Darkhad Depression region in Northern Mongolia. Over the last few years it has particularly focused on the site of Soyo which is located at the intersection of the dense forest taiga and the grass steppe-land of the basin and so is uniquely positioned to examine interaction between hunting and herding practices. Previous research on prehistoric domestic sites in Mongolia has been frustrated by the prevalence of thin, jumbled deposits of artefacts with few preserved features. However, Soyo contains a ~ 2m thick stratified archaeological record that covers more than 7000 years.