Skip to main content

Gold of the Great Steppe

Gold of The Great Steppe (28 September 2021 – 30 January 2022)
Exhibition tickets are FREE

Five years ago, a large-scale and unique archaeological research programme was launched in the East Kazakhstan Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Identifying and excavating dozens of new archaeological sites to be studied. In 2019, the East Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Local History and the University of Cambridge began working together to arrange joint research projects and an exhibition drawing on material and studies from this important research programme.

This exhibition will bring to the UK Kazakhstani archaeological finds and research from three different burial complexes in East Kazakhstan: Berel, Shilikti and Eleke Sazy. It will allow visitors to discover the life and legacy of the Saka people, revealing their history like never before, and exploring points of resonance with Kazakh culture today.

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the independent Republic of Kazakhstan, and this partnership between the East Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Local History and the University of Cambridge represents the growing application of archaeological science that is being driven by Kazakhstani researchers. Unlocking clues to the ancient past of this young country, new results from the collaboration will be included in the exhibition and digitally as an ongoing research exhibition legacy.

This exhibition will place archaeological finds discovered in the last three years by Kazakh archaeologists on a global stage for the first time, amplifying voices that often go unheard in museums in the west and giving UK audiences a unique opportunity to discover the rich cultural history of this part of the world.

These recent excavations and analyses led by archaeologists from Kazakhstan have revealed a new narrative of the Saka people as a distinctive, advanced society, with immense technological skill which is still being uncovered as modern archaeological methods enable scientists at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, to uncover new secrets held by these wonderful artefacts using the latest non-invasive technology.

With thanks to the East Kazakhstan Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Regional Museum of History
and Local Studies of the Department of Culture, Archives and Documentation of East Kazakhstan.

Logo for McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Logo for McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
University of Cambridge Museums logo