Kazakh monument studies research center

Brief information about the center

Ch.Ch. Valikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology  CS MSHE RK on September 27, 2022 officially created the “Kazakh Monument StudiesResearch Center” (the presentation took place on April 27, 2023). The creation of the Center is a reflection of the important role of the current scientific and practical direction of monument studies for modern Kazakhstan; a consequence of major purposeful developments of academic scholars – ethnoarchaeologists, ethnologists, etc. – in the field research, scientific generalizations and institutionalization of this discipline; as well as the traditions of monument studies in the system of the National Academy of Sciences (post-war Institute of Architecture and Construction).

In Kazakhstan, there are at least 150 thousand monuments of historical, cultural, artistic significance, which are an inexhaustible source of knowledge of the past of our country, its diverse culture; they have serious ideological, propagandistic, economic significance; they play an important role in the life of modern Kazakhstani society. The significance of ancient structures and complexes, settlements and hillforts scattered over a vast territory increases many times over in this difficult geopolitical period, since they are a historical and cultural outpost of the territorial integrity and independence of the state. A special role is played by the “monuments of the steppe zone” in the main territory of the country (Saryarka, Aral-Caspian, Zhetysu), which are directly involved in Kazakh history and culture: memorial and cult complexes, the remains of pastoral settlements, epigraphic monuments, ancient wells, etc. Comprehensive study, attribution, protection, restoration, conservation and further use of these unique monuments (now intensively destroyed, disappearing) is the most important task of national importance.

In the last period, the most important for our culture and science direction/discipline of monument studies has received special development, one of the core branches of which is “Kazakh (ethnographic) monument studies”, focused on the comprehensive study, protection and use of  recent centuries monuments.

The creation of the “Kazakh Monument Studies Research Center” at the academic  History and Ethnology Institute aims to develop both research, scientific and theoretical, as well as methodological, scientific-organizational foundations in this area,   and, first of all, based on the integration of the activities of specialists: ethnoarchaeologists, ethnologists, architects, restorers, archaeologists, art historians, etc.

The core areas of activity of academic monument studies scholars remain:

– field research;

– preparation of generalizing works;

– development of research projects;

– as well as archiving materials of expeditionary research;

– the integrative activity for the development of monument studies discipline/science in Kazakhstan is very important: the systematic holding of Symposiums on Kazakh monumental studies, the publication of collective intersectoral works, the journal on monumental studies of Kazakhstan, the creation of the Association of monument studies scholars, etc.

Head of the Center:

Azhigali Serik Eskendirulyis an ethnologist, archaeologist, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, corresponding member of the International Academy of Architecture of the East, Honorary Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, “Honorary Head of the Department of Ethnology of the Institute of History and Ethnology named after Ch.Ch. Valikhanov”.