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Volunteers Needed For Central Asian Dig!

You could be.... somewhere in Central Asia

Detail of a doorway in the Tash Khouli Palace, Khiva Archaeology in Central Asia 24 days/23 nights - 2 September 2002

Join the USCAP field team on archaeological excavations in a long forgotten and fascinating corner of Asia, then take a trip through the colourful mysteries of the ancient Silk Road cities. The blue-tiled madrassehs, minarets and mausolea of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are among the most spectacular medieval monuments in the world and stand testimony to the culture and civilisation of these remote and ancient lands.

Beyond the oases of the Silk Road lie the remains of even older cities, fortresses whose walls were standing in the time of Alexander the Great, as his soldiers marched by on their way to India. These citadels, long lost under the desert sands, lie in the land once known as Chorasmia at the north-western end of Uzbekistan, where the Amu-Dariya river spreads out into a delta before draining into the Aral Sea. Here USCAP has established a field project in collaboration with the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography (IHAE), Karakalpak Academy of Sciences.

We invite you to join us to share in the excitement of archaeological discovery. No previous experience is needed. We live in purpose built excavation headquarters in scenic countryside next to the ancient walled city of Kazakl'i-yatkan. The house has dormitory style accommodation, mains water and electricity, hot showers and outside 'squat' toilets. A cook and cleaning lady look after the house.

After several seasons working to uncover the fortifications of Kazakl'iyatkan, we have now cleared a massive corner tower, long traces of walls and the main gate. The site was occupied from around the 4th century BC up to the 2nd century AD. In 2002 our focus will shift to a study of the religious architecture and monumental buildings both at Kazakl'i-yatkan and at the nearby temple complex of Tash-k'irman-tepe. The temple/palace at Kazakl'i-yatkan has produced painted plaster and moulded stucco decorated with gold leaf. Stone column bases inside and out give hints of the former splendour of the architecture. Tash-k'irman-tepe was a major religious centre of the same period dedicated to the veneration of fire.

Volunteers work alongside our trained excavation staff and help in the excavation of buildings and artefacts, cleaning and processing of finds and recording of evidence. Weekend trips are arranged to spectacular local monuments such as the Kushan city of Toprak-kala and the mountain citadel of Ayaz-kala. After two weeks on the excavations, the trip continues overland to Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand.

Price twin share Au$6350 per person ex. Sydney & Melbourne. Single supplement Au$350. Land only Au$4550

UK land only £1750 twin share. Single supplement £150

US land only US$2500 twin share. Single supplement US$190

For bookings, please contact Odyssey Travel> For all other inquiries, please contact USCAP HOME

The platform and main palace at Toprak-kala, the Kushan period capital of Chorasmia. Team member Holly Parton prepares a mudbrick pavement for photography

Volunteer Lyle Radford excavates a large storage vessel at Tash-k'irman-tepe.

Traditional Uzbek dancers and musicians

Detail of a decorative column in the Ark at Khiva

A yurt, home to Central Asian nomads
Preliminary Itinerary
* Kuala Lumpur 2 nights
* Tashent 1 night
* USCAP 13 nights
* Urgench (Khiva) 2 nights
* Bukhara 2 nights
* Samarkand 2 nights
* Tashkent 1 night

Programme includes
* Return economy class flights with Malaysian and Uzbekistan
* All Australian/Uzbek departure taxes
* 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur, B/B and return transfers
* 13 nights accommodation at USCAP
* 8 nights accommodation in 3-3.5 star hotels
* All meals in Uzbekistan
* Transport on tour
* Guided sight-seeing with national and local guides
* At USCAP site, visits to local monuments with field staff
* Gratuities to local guides and drivers

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