The 2019 archaeological season is underway with over 50 archaeologists and 80 volunteers from the Russian Geographic Society excavating the Royal Tomb, Tunnug 1. They conducted a geophysics survey on the tomb to show structures and burials underneath the soil including geomagnetics, resistivity, electro resistivity tomography and ground penetrating radar.
For the archaeological campaign of 2018 an international team was assembled for a full excavation of the site. Over 2,000 square meters were opened around the tomb area, revealing it to be not just one single tomb but a whole burial complex with dozens of graves and artifacts dating from 1,700 BCE to 1,000 CE.
In the summer of 2017 Gino led his first expedition to Siberia alongside Russian colleagues Timur Sadykov and Jegor Blochin from the Russian Academy of Sciences. They did a preliminary survey expedition to the Uyuk Valley in Southern Siberia, known as the ‘Valley of the Tsars’ for the high concentration of royal burial mounds called kurgans. They surveyed the kurgan ‘Tunnug 1’ and retrieved wood samples for radiocarbon dates that established the tomb as the oldest Scythian kurgan found to date. Their findings were published in Archaeological Research Asia and reported on by Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, Livescience and other international media.
In the fall of 2016, Trevor Wallace and Gino Caspari travelled to far Western China to begin their search for Scythian tombs. They located over 100 graves in the militarized border zones near Russia and Kazakhstan. They followed the trail of stolen grave goods, escaped the military border guards, and spent time in traditional Kazakh villages wrestling and riding horses.