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Overview of east side of town with glory hole in the background

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Kazakhstan

When I was working in Russia with my colleague and close friend, Zhenya Giria, we had the opportunity to visit an excavation in Kazakhstan.  Although not a Palaeolithic project, it was of interest.  The site was Botai and the research was directed by Victor Zaibert.  Zhenya and I took the Trans-Siberian Express to the city of Petropavlovsk; a three day and two night train ride from Moscow.  Botai is a well-known Eneolithic (terminal Neolithic) village based on horse exploitation.  At that time it was unclear in what way horses were being exploited ranging from hunting to a mixed economy to fully domesticated horse pastoralism.  The visit was interesting and resulted in a number of stories, some amusing and some not so.  This didn't result in my becoming involved in the archaeology there but was a prelude to another project in which I was co-PI.