Dating tashkent geologist

16-Oct-2016 18:29

Later, with the 1990 fall of the Soviet Union, many Russian archaeologists withdrew from Central Asia.

Undeterred, Sarianidi and a handful of other archaeologists soldiered on, unearthing additional elaborate structures and artifacts.

Viktor Sarianidi, barefoot at dawn, surveys the treeless landscape from a battered lawn chair in the Kara-Kum desert of Turkmenistan.

"The mornings here are beautiful," he says, gesturing regally with his cane, his white hair wild from sleep.

In Sarianidi's view, this harsh land of desert, marsh, and steppe may instead have served as a center in a broad, early trading network, the hub of a wheel connecting goods, ideas, and technologies among the earliest of urban peoples.

These days Western archaeologists typically unearth sites with dental instruments and mesh screens, meticulously sifting soil for traces of pollen, seeds, and ceramics.

Sarianidi uses bulldozers to expose old foundations, largely ignores botanical finds, and publishes few details on layers, ceramics, and other mainstays of modern archaeology. As a Greek growing up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, under Stalinist rule, he was denied training in law and turned to history instead.

Sarianidi had long suspected that similar sites might be found beneath a collection of strange mounds he had glimpsed during a 1950s trip in the Kara-Kum desert, a barren region in the middle of eastern Turkmenistan.

Later, during a brief visit to a colleague's dig in that area in the mid-1970s, he commandeered a car and driver to investigate the site more closely.

In Sarianidi's view, this harsh land of desert, marsh, and steppe may instead have served as a center in a broad, early trading network, the hub of a wheel connecting goods, ideas, and technologies among the earliest of urban peoples.

These days Western archaeologists typically unearth sites with dental instruments and mesh screens, meticulously sifting soil for traces of pollen, seeds, and ceramics.

Sarianidi uses bulldozers to expose old foundations, largely ignores botanical finds, and publishes few details on layers, ceramics, and other mainstays of modern archaeology. As a Greek growing up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, under Stalinist rule, he was denied training in law and turned to history instead.

Sarianidi had long suspected that similar sites might be found beneath a collection of strange mounds he had glimpsed during a 1950s trip in the Kara-Kum desert, a barren region in the middle of eastern Turkmenistan.

Later, during a brief visit to a colleague's dig in that area in the mid-1970s, he commandeered a car and driver to investigate the site more closely.

Although unknown to most Western scholars, this ancient civilization dates back 4,000 years—to the time when the first great societies along the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Indus, and Yellow rivers were flourishing.