Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) announces Nomads and Networks. The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan

. February 16, 2012 . 0 Comments

The first U.S. exhibition to provide a comprehensive overview of the nomadic culture of ancient Kazakhstan opens on March 7, 2012, at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University (ISAW).

Plaque of Standing Argali Gold, Turquoise. H. 4.1; W. 3.97; D. 0.55 cm Shilikty 3, Kurgan 82, 8th–7th century BCE Central State Museum, Almaty: KP 26860 Photography © The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty

Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan focuses on the people of the Altai and Tianshan Mountain regions, located in the eastern part of the country, from roughly the eighth to first centuries BCE. With nearly 250 objects, the exhibition dispels the notion that nomadic societies were less developed than sedentary ones. Rather, they are revealed to have been highly sophisticated, with strategic migratory routes and active networks of communication and cultural exchange with their neighbors. The exhibition remains on view through June 3, 2012.

The objects in Nomads and Networks are all on loan from Kazakhstan’s four national museums, and most of them are on view in this country for the first time. They range from bronze openwork stands, superbly decorated with animal and human figures; to petroglyphs that marked important places in the landscape; to dazzling gold adornments that signified the social status of those who wore them. A highlight is recently excavated, never-displayed material from a fourth–third century elite burial-site in Berel, near the Russian/Chinese border, where permafrost conditions enabled the preservation of organic materials. The exhibition contains some 120 artifacts from this rich site.

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is located at 15 East 84th Street, New York, NY 10028. +1-212-992-7800;

Category: Exhibition News

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