Scientists of the Ural Region to Create a “Tool” for Determining the Degree of Population Mobility in the Past

Early this April, the results of the Russian Science Foundation contest on Basic Scientific Research and Exploratory Scientific Research Conducted by International Research Teams were summarized. One of the applications by South Ural State University was supported by the foundation. This is the result of long systematic work of a large group of historians and archaeologists on the study of migration in our region. Andrey Epimakhov, Doctor of Sciences (History) and Principal Research Fellow of the Eurasian Studies Research and Education Centre is the head of the project. His works are well-known in our country and abroad and were published in such journals as Nature and Science.

The new project on Migration of Human Groups and Individual Mobility as Part of a Multidisciplinary Analysis of Archaeological Information (the Bronze Age of the South Ural Region) is designed for three years, during which a “tool” for determining the degree of population mobility in the past should be created. To fulfil this ambitious idea, a number of specialists in the field of archaeology, mineralogy and geochemistry, working in various scientific and educational organisations of the Ural region, came together. The research team can be seen as an alloy of experience and youth. The best international practices in this field of study will be used; however, they cannot be simply transferred into the local realia since the adaptation of the methods of selection and data analysis is required.

According to the participants of the project, the Ural region is a perfect training ground for elaborating new approaches to the study of mobility and migration. This region was chosen because it has an extremely complex geological structure, which allows to determine the movements of individuals and team groups based on the analysis of stable isotopes. Such work has just begun in Russia, but seeing the European and South American examples, it has some very serious prospects and can sharply strengthen the evidence base in the study of population mobility. The migration topic is one of the priority themes for SUSU, where, within the framework of Program 5-100, the International Laboratory for Migration Studies was organized.

Contact person: 
Elena Potoroko, tel.:267-92-86
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