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A.Ochir: The Shoroon Bumbagar Tomb is under the state protection

By M.ZOLJARGAL

An Exploration and Research Team has discovered an Ancient Turkic find in Bayannuur Soum in the Bulgan District. Below is an interview from Unuudur Newspaper with A.Ochir, the Consulting Professor from the Institute of History at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) on the find which embodies traditions, customs, and many artifacts.

-I heard that the Shoroon Bumbagar Tomb has been found. How old is this tomb?

-The joint exploration team from the Institute of History of the MAS and the Centre for Turkic and Altaic Studies of the National Eurasia University at Astana in Kazakhstan, has conducted an excavation for archaeological purposes. They discovered a complete tomb of an aristocrat from an ancient nomadic tribe at Shoroon Bumbagar of Bayannuur Soum in Bulgan Province in 2011. We are assuming the tomb dates back to the 7th Century AD. As no finds have been discovered from this area, the tomb is drawing special attention from experts and scientists.
-Where are you storing the finds?
-We have taken over 550 finds from the tomb. Out of those finds, 150 were gold, 80 were earthenware and the rest were wooden, bronze and iron finds. The aristocrat, buried in the tomb, was a man. His body was cremated and was stored inside a silk bag. It is almost certain that he was a king or prince as there was a gold crown which was intentionally broken next to the silk bag. This tomb clearly represents foreign relations of 7th Century Nomads. We know this because there were over 150 gold, silver and bronze coins under the silk bag, wrapped in silk. Most of the coins were made Constantinople. Some of the coins had handles for hanging and depicted various things.
Some coins portrayed Visanti State aristocrats and others depicted ritual fire offerings which is the main rite of Manichaeism. This religion spread amongst the Turkic nomads back then.
-I assume that some of the finds will be restored. Is it right?
-We have formulated a project to restore the finds and submitted it to the Sumimoto Foundation in Japan in 2011. We received a positive reply from the foundation last April in 2012. Currently, all the finds are being stored in the Kharkhorum Museum. We are conducting the restoration work at this museum. I think the finds will be shown at the museums in the future. As for the pictures on the walls, it hasn’t been decided what actions are to be taken.
-The scientists from UNESCO have come and conducted research on the tomb. Can you talk about the details?
-They worked at Shoroon Bumbagar Tomb for five days upon the invitation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia (MECS). They agreed to send us a reply after determining the proper methods to protect and exhibit the finds. We haven’t received that reply yet. As the finds are of great significance for historical and archaeological purposes, they have advised us to keep the finds as safe as possible. There are over 40 wall pictures in the tomb. These pictures are unprecedented artifacts from Mongolia so the working group will start its research work after taking guidance from UNESCO scientists. Experts from the Cultural Heritage Centre of the MECS is in charge of the tomb right now. The experts have found out that the Western Turkic Nomads had a relationship with Middle Asian countries and the Visanti then. Now, we can see from the finds of Shoroon Bumbagar that the Eastern Turkic Nomads were also in contact with Middle Asia and other parts of Asia in the 6th and 7th Centuries.
-How did you find this tomb?
-I saw the tomb when I was doing research work there in 2001. There was a four meter tall circle. To find out what kind of artifact it might be, I did some investigation and visited various finds of Khitan and Zurchid era ruins in Korea and Russia. I met scientists who conducted excavations and I studied their methods and researches. In 2009, I finally finished the formulation of my method to excavate the circle. I determined the find was a tomb and named it accordingly. After studying international models on this kind of find, I decided to excavate the soil where the vestibule can be found. The vestibule of the tomb was 42 meters long and 180 cm tall.
Now the archaeological excavation work must start after so much detailed research. We don’t just dig soil wherever we want.
-Are there any other finds you have discovered? How many years have you been working in this sector?
-I have been doing archaeological excavations and conducting researches since the 1990s. I have served as an administrator from the Mongolian side in a joint excavation to discover the Bilge King Monument with Turkish scientists at Khashaat Soum of Arkhangai Province in 2001. We have found over 3000 artifacts from the Monument. Since then, I took part in excavations at Zaamar and found significant finds, which are now being kept at the Fine Arts Museum of Mongolia. The archaeological sector of our country has already reached an international level. The only reason we’re cooperating with foreign countries is due to the lack of funding.
–How does the state of Mongolia support this sector?
-The Government supported us a lot in detecting the Shoroon Bumbagar Tomb. The former Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Yo.Otgonbayar, visited the excavation work of Shoroon Bumbagar three times and resolved the problems we were facing. He submitted the Shoroon Bumbagar issue to the Government of Mongolia. Now over 700 hectares of land around the spot is state protected area.
The Government is set to provide 80 million MNT for the find and that area will soon be a designated tourist area.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=771

Posted by on Aug 29 2012. Filed under Топ мэдээ. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “A.Ochir: The Shoroon Bumbagar Tomb is under the state protection”

  1. “The only reason we’re cooperating with foreign countries is due to the lack of funding” – why not say foreign countries, such as Turkey and Kazakhstan are among the proud decendants of the heritage and they are also entitled to see and research the finds, and that is why we are inviting them. One could have said it more proudly than “we are short of cash”.

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