SUSU Professor Andrey Epimakhov Represented Russia at the Forum for the World’s Top Archaeologists

The 5th Shanghai Archaeology Forum dedicated to the issues of climate change and social sustainability brought together more than one hundred of the top archaeologists from 43 countries of the world. Doctor of Sciences (History) from South Ural State University, archaeologist Andrey Epimakhov, became the only speaker representing the Russian Federation at the event on the campus of Shanghai University.

To participate in this congress, a scientist must have significant achievements in archaeological science and a high assessment of his merits from reputable researchers. For Andrey, such a "ticket" to the chamber forum in China was a letter of recommendation from a Russian archaeologist, a specialist in primitive archaeology of the Urals and Western Siberia, Lyudmila Koryakova.

The scientific forum lasted December 15th through 17th. The highlight of the first two days of the congress was the competitive presentation of selected archaeological projects from world-famous scientists. On day three, participants listened to sectional reports. An expert on the Bronze Age in the Urals, Andrey Epimakhov, presented at the forum his scientific work on the "From Nomadism to Sedentism and Back." This research work is being carried out within the framework of the Russian Science Foundation grant on "Migrations of Human Groups and Individual Mobility within the Framework of a Multidisciplinary Analysis of Archaeological Information (Bronze Age of the South Ural Region)." The report dealt with the movements of tribes in the steppe zone of Eurasia from the Black Sea to the Dzungarian Gate in the 3rd-2nd millennia BC.

The Russian archaeologist presented to the public a general vision of the migration trends of ancient Indo-Europeans, in which he outlined the climatic and environmental reasons for mass migrations, studied the mechanisms of adaptation of ancestors to changing environmental conditions, explored the phenomenon of why mobile tribes had become sedentary, and sedentary ones had left their stationary objects for the sake of long-term wanderings. As experts noted, the report was an important step towards a common understanding of the key events and processes that had taken place during the Bronze Age in the Eurasian steppes.

After the forum, the event participants went on an excursion to a five-story museum of Shanghai University, where archaeologists were able to get acquainted with the exhibition of the latest large-scale finds of their Asian colleagues. A specially organized musical concert by the university symphony orchestra was a pleasant bonus for guests of China’s largest university. The high-ranking guests of the forum were the Mayor of Shanghai Gong Zheng and the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Gao Xiang.

"I am very impressed with the approach to the organization of the forum. You could feel that the selection of researchers and the level of their projects was approached very carefully, the information from foreign colleagues was of high-quality, interesting, and sometimes amazing," says Andrey Epimakhov, Professor at the SUSU Department of Russian and Foreign History. "Breakthrough archaeological discoveries from colleagues from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe were presented. The works presented absolutely amazing finds in territories from the very south of Latin America to the Arctic zone in the period from a million years ago to the 19th century. Of course, this forum is completely special in my conference experience. Firstly, this is my first trip to China, and secondly, this is a completely unusual, but very interesting chamber format of the event, and, of course, an amazing selection of participants. I was really pleasantly shocked! To see in one place such large figures in the history of India, China, Africa, South America and the whole world in general... It was a great happiness for me to communicate with them."

Even before the start of the forum, reports by the world's leading archaeologists were published in presentation publications. The proceedings of the 5th Shanghai Archaeology Forum will soon be published in the form of articles and monographs.

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