Expedition 2008 - Turgay Discovery

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Expedition 2008

Our expeditions

One of the tasks of Expedition 2008 was to research the Ushtogai square with the help of gauges to detect any artifacts, which might shed light on its mysterious construction. The most optimal variant would be to scan the ground by geo-radar, but we did not have one at our disposal. Instead, we made a decision to search for metal artifacts using the deep-seated metal detector.

We acquired a Garrett GTI 2500 (PRO) metal detector with a TreasureHound Eagle Eye depth magnifier. Using a standard coil to search for metal objects up to 25-30m2 depths, the full scan of 283x283m2 took place. The gauge did not sound clearly at any time, but a round lead bullet of 13mm diameter was found at the edge. An iron core was immured inside the bullet. Searching with the deep-seated nozzle calibrated for the 3m depth, we heard some clear signals. We put a pit-hole at the location of the sound. We found continental clay after we dug 40m2, but the signal continued to beep.

The expedition investigated the of object "Turgai swastika". The construction discerned from the height of a bird's flight was hardly visible. Having the height of 20m2 and being too sagged, the object was of clear-cut form. The burrows, situated not far from there were also low, and sagged a little under a shallow ditch.
An analogous object of a three-beam swastika was found in the Ural mountains by Russian archeologists. The excavations showed the object belonging to the Sarmat culture. Maybe the Turgai swastika was also constructed by the Sarmats.

Expedition 2008 defined the necessity to use geo-radar everywhere on the site. Continuous blind holing destructed the objects without any results.
Fortunately, in November 2008, geologists from Kostanai city bought the geo-radar Loza-N and agreed to help scan the objects. But the Loza-N was a low frequency gauge and wasn't appropriate for archeological diggings. A high frequency antenna was necessary. Such methods of remote investigation were used in archeology in some cases only because of its expensive and confined fitness.
At present times thanks to new methods of decoding, high-powered computers and foolproof software, developing powerful and more compact gauges for geo-radar survey becomes more necessary than the usual methods of sparing archeological objects. Specialists consider this survey to be equal to the other prospective and informational types of archeological exploration.

The opportunities of the survey were great, because from the surface of the ground many objects could be brought to light and revealed. These objects were invisible before digging, and the survey allowed people to recognize its structure, depth of deposit and capacity.

Some new objects were discovered during the course of exploration with the help of Google Earth satellite pictures. Four constructions in the shape of a cross consisted of several burrow-formed objects analogical to Ushtogai square.

The length of the big cross was approximately 460 meters. One of the objects was constructed in the form of 25 burrow-shaped embankments. We were astonished to find the objects of the Tasmolinsk culture - 24 whiskered burrows situated close to each other.

Many remains of irrigational constructions were found along the rivers of the Turgai region. Nikolai Petrovich Rychkov (1746-1784) - a Russian officer and participant of an academic expedition from 1768 to 1744 - mentioned in his work that he had seen the remains of ancient tillage on the Karaturgai river. The tillage was deluged with water from water channels.

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