MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. The Russian Geographical Society (RGS) will carry out a second archaeological expedition to the Tunnug Mound that is located in the Tuva Valley of the Kings, this year, President of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) Sergei Shoigu said in an interview with TASS, Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Komsomolskaya Pravda.
"We are getting ready for a second archaeological expedition to the Tunnug Mound in Tuva. Member of the RGS Board of Trustees Frederik Paulsen spearheaded this initiative. He is not a Russian citizen, but a person who loves our country and who is doing much for it," Shoigu stressed.
"I hope that he won’t be sanctioned after my statements. There has to be something good left in our relations with the West," he noted.
The mound is part of the Valley of the Kings, where a great number of "tsar" mounds from the Scythian era are located, said the geographical society’s president. Based on preliminary data, it dates back to the 9th-8th centuries BC. Shoigu said that the archaeologists hope to unearth artefacts belonging to the Pazyryk culture, inherent to the Altai Mountains, where an "Altai princess" mummy was found. "Here we hope to find something of that kind. And, possibly, something else, as there are fragments of permafrost in the mound, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, it is located in swampy terrain," he noted. The scientists also hope to find organic matter in the mound due to the permafrost.
The first international archaeological-geographical expedition to the Tunnug Mound was held in 2018. The excavation was carried out along the perimeter of the site. The archaeologists discovered arrowheads, a bronze object dating back to the early Scythian period, stone circles, crocks and fragments of ceramics, along with three human skeletons and animal bones. Many findings were in good condition. Volunteers from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Ecuador, France, Canada and India took part in the expedition.
Volunteers will also be able to take part in the second expedition. The RGS has already announced the opening of a competition to take part in the mound’s exploration. It will be possible to send in an application until April 10, after which 270 people will be selected to participate in the expedition’s four seasons.