Watch our 3-day trip to the site below!
The archaeological site of Soyo, in the Darkhad Depression of northern Mongolia, has the potential to contribute significantly to understanding questions about the interaction of hunting and herding adaptations in this region. Located at the intersection of the dense forest taiga and the grass steppe-land of the basin, Soyo is uniquely positioned to facilitate 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 artifacts with few preserved features. However, preliminary research at the Soyo site has revealed a unique depositional history where wind-blown sand has stratified thick artifact deposits creating a one of a kind, 7,000 year continuous record of human activity. No other similar domestic sites that have such a long, well preserved occupational sequence are known from Mongolia.
Participants will be instructed in a variety of archaeological field methods, including survey, drone photography, mapping, excavation, and ethnoarchaeological interviews. The 2017 field season will also involve a geophysical survey using specialized remote sensing equipment. Students/volunteers will also have the opportunity to gain some lab experience cleaning, sorting, cataloging and doing basic analysis on artifacts collected. All members of the team will be required to work in the field most days and in the lab occasionally. While many of the participants on past projects have been students of archaeology looking to gain skills in their field, others are simply interested in learning about archaeology. Participants usually range from 18-60 years of age, and are students, teachers, retirees, or any number of other professions. Mongolians make up approximately half of the project, while the other participants are typically from North America, Europe and Australia. There are no credits offered through this program, in part to keep costs down. However, if a student wishes to arrange independent study credits with their home institution, the project will work with his/her adviser to design a course of study.
Please let us know if you’d like more information on our project.