Известные имена

Samashev Z.

Samashev Z. Zeinolla Samashev (1947), archeologist

The discoverer of the famous Berel kurgans, which today are known worldwide, the senior research associate in A.Margulan Institute of Archeology of MES RK Zeinolla Samashev was born on November 17, 1947 in Bessterek village in East Kazakhstan region. In 1970 he graduated from the department of history of Ust Kamenogorsk Teacher's Training Institute. In 1970-1980 he worked as a teacher.

Since 1980 he worked in Ch.Ch. Valikhanov Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography. In 1988-1991 he was the Head of the Primitive Archeology Department in Ch.Ch. Valikhanov Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography. Since 1991 he has been the Head of the Antique Study Department in A.Margulan Institute of Archeology of the Ministry of Science, Kazakh Academy of Sciences.
His main research interests are: archeology, history, culture and art of Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the ancient times and middle ages. He is the author of over 100 research works published in Kazakhstan, Russia, PRC, France, the USA and other countries.

His becoming an archeologist was quite traditional. As history was his favourite discipline at school he entered the history department of Ust Kamenogorsk Teacher Training Institute in 1966. Having internship after the first course of studying he decided to participate in the diggings of the Bronze and Iron Age monuments on the bank of the Irtysh River. Since that he has been keen on archeology.

Although Zeinolla Samashev found his calling when he was a young man, due to objective reasons he wasn't able to engage in archeology. In those days there was the archeology department except for the one in MSU (Moscow State University) and only few of alumni of the history department studied there. And that was also naturally determined: in order to study archeology you had to organize your own expedition and naturally there was no money to do it.

That is why after graduating from the institute he worked as a teacher and spent his summer vocations doing what he really liked to do - studying cave drawings, and, when possible, taking part in archeological expeditions of Teachers Training Institute and Academy of Sciences. In 1977-1980 he taught the fundamentals of archeology in his Alma Mater. In the early 80-s he moved to Almaty. Zeinolla Samashev started his research career in the Institute of archeology as a laboratory assistant. What concerns archeology, his entire life relates mainly to East Kazakhstan.

In 1980-1983 he took part in the expedition to Shulbinsk led by professor Maksimova and after that he started working independently. In 1997 when he was already a successful archeologist he began the research of his life - the exploration of Berel kurgans situated in Katon-Karagay district of the East Kazakhstan region. He is still working there.

Zeinolla Samashev lectured in the homeland of Pharaohs and Pyramids - in the Cairo University. He told about ancient cities which are 500-600 years older than Troy and are the contemporaries of Babylon and the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. But most gladly, of course, he spoke of Berel – a real treasury of the unique nomad culture. In Cairo Zeinolla Samashev also spoke of the fact that ancient nomads in Altai knew how to mummify and embalm.

"I came up with the idea to start Berel kurgans diggings after mummified remains were discovered in ever-frost territories of the Russian Altai and in the Takla Makan desert in China" - says Samashev, "and then it hit me that there are the same type of kurgans in the Kazakh Altai! In 1997 I went on a recce, chose one of the biggest kurgans and next year we began to dig. Soon the whole world was dazed by the abundance and variety of the information those kurgans revealed for the reconstruction of cultural and historical processes".

The diggings of Berel kurgans in East Kazakhstan initiated a multidisciplinary approach to archeological investigations. Today geneticists, anthropologists, chemists, physicists, botanists, veterinarians and agrologists are studying the materials of Berel. According to Z.Samashev an integrated approach to the investigation of one archeological monument gives much more information than dozens of archaeological sources analyzed with traditional techniques.

Studies of kurgans give rise to various myths and mystic explanations but archeologists according to Samashev are used to it and don't pay attention. More by token, after being explored, sepultures seem to recover the second life.

It is obvious that archaeological findings in East Kazakhstan which are known around the world improved the status of Kazakh science. But the research of Berel kurgans is still in its initial stage and professor Samashev believes that for a deep study ten more years are needed. Starting with the next year a group of scientists working under his supervision is about to move on the next level. All the dug kurgans are to be restored. They will regain their original look i. e. they will look as they did 2.5 thousands of years ago. At the present time they are building up the State reserve museum of history and culture "Berel" on the location of kurgans.

One more goal of the archeological expedition headed by professor Samashev is to investigate the city of Golden Horde - Saraychyk which is situated in Atyrau region. We remind that at first Saraychyqk was one of the important empire cities of Golden Horde and then the centre of Nogai Horde and Kazakh Khanat during the reign of Kassym Khan.

Meanwhile the scientists of the archeological expedition headed by Zeinolla Samashev research the city of Golden Horde - Saraychyk. They learn the secrets of the ancient cities - the contemporaries of Babylon - on the Ustyurt Plateau between the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea. They studied the tsar's kurgans in the Borolday district near Almaty, where an archaeological park will be created. The studying of ancient Turkic monument in Mongolia is coming.

Most of the time Zeinolla Samashev spends in expeditions. Many archeological discoveries are quite likely to be made.