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Por-Bazhyn Archeological Expedition in Tuva Prepared

A large archeological camp in the Tere-Khol district of Tuva is getting ready to host over 1000 people this summer. Preparation works are under way. The camp will be based on the former fish-storage place 8 km away from the Kungurtuk village, administrative center of the Tere-Khol district. A bridge 1250 mtr long made up of 167 chains on the wooden carcasse will link the island with the ancient uyghur fortress to the district territory. Students' recrutement into the summer expedition from universities in Moscow, Saint-Petersbourg, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk and Kyzyl is also under way. The idea to restore an ancient fortress belongs to Sergei Shoigu, federal minister for Emergencies, native Tuvan. He used to work in archeological expeditions in his school years in Tuva. 'I remember quite well that the acheologists were always very concerned about the future of their outstanding finds" - Sergei Shoigu said to journalists - "They dreamed of the excavations to turn into museums in the open air. It was in regard of the ancient Uyguhr town near Shagonar (Ulug-Khem district) and Arzhaan-1 (1960-ties, Pii-Khem district) with a huge tsar burial mound 160 m in diametres. And their dreams never came true. We know about their unque findings now only by pictures and descriptions in scientific works.
We want it to be other way in case of Por-Bazhyn which I first saw on an aero film of the forest fires in Tuva, minister said. I got interested and now this project is far in process. A cultural fund has been set with its web-site.
We shall build there a Russian Shaolin and invite everybody to come there. And our youth will come I am sure. They will learn philosophy, Tibetan medicine, horseracing, and oriental martial arts in there,' Shoigu says.
In Tuva itself an attitude to these great plans is not unanimously positive. Tuvan scientists are afraid of the improper restoration works substituted by new construction. Ordinary people think that the fortress become a visit place of only rich people as not any would be able to afford an air flight to the place.
The Uyghur town on a Tere-Khol island dates back to approximately the 8th century. It was ruined by fire. Little is known about its inhabitants. There were found rests of the only warrior who had been an extremely tall man with Europeid features.
Nowadays the ruins of the Por-Bazhyn fortress, which is located on a Lake Tereh-Khol island in Tuva near Russian-Mongolian border, look like a rectangular labyrinth of structures similar to a Buddhist or Hindu mandala.
The scientists suggest that the fortress might be a palace or a temple complex, which could be destroyed in a war action over one thousand years ago.

Dina Oyun
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