Bakyt AMANBAEVA

Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, KYRGYZSTAN, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT AND CAAL TEAM LEADER

Bakyt, a descendent of nomads, is primarily attracted to the constant movement and search for the unknown inherent in the archaeology discipline. Following completion of a graduate degree from the Leningrad Department of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences) she worked her way up from a lab technician to her current position as lead researcher, being awarded the title of Distinguished Cultural Figure for her research and work to preserve the cultural heritage of Kyrgyzstan. Her many expeditions to the medieval fortifications of the Chui Valley lead to further work at Safid-Bulan, Uzgen, Ayrymich-Too, Sulaiman-Too (resulting in the 2009 designation as a World Heritage Site). She has continued to work on other nominations, including the Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor. Since 2012 Bakyt has returned to the Chui Valley as part of an international team working at Ak-Beshim (historic Suyab). She continues to run training programmes for early career researchers on modern methods of documentation. Her favourites spots remain Sulaiman-Too and the surrounding areas of Ayrymich-Too and Kerme-Too but for pure pleasure she loves Issyk-Kul. It is quite clear from her adventurous spirit and by those of us who know and work with her that she is a formidable professional with a love of archaeology and educating future generations in the high standards necessary for scientific study of ancient peoples and places and respecting their ingenuity and human connections.

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