Simulated archaeological site development for education and outreach: A case study from Kazakhstan

Reed Coil, Paula Dupuy, Katherine Erdman, Madina Makulbekova

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Formal training in archaeological field methods for undergraduate students in Kazakhstan is currently not widely available or well-funded. This reality often turns students away from archaeology. Over the past year, we planned, developed, and implemented the creation of a simulated archaeological site on the Nazarbayev University campus in Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan). The primary goal for the creation of this space revolves around training students in a controlled environment, where mistakes can be made without jeopardizing the archaeological record. Students can translate this experience to working on ongoing archaeological projects without the need to spend precious field time building core skills. Students in this simulation learn to excavate, record data, map archaeological finds, draw profiles, curate artifacts, and reconstruct the site using GIS and photogrammetry. As an ancillary goal, the excavations conducted on our campus provide a novel avenue into capacity building and public community outreach. Our ultimate aim is to foster interest and accessibility to professional and volunteer opportunities for archaeology in Kazakhstan, in turn leading to a development in research infrastructure and homegrown specialists; eliminating the dependency on foreign researchers for research practice and scholarly output.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventSociety for American Archaeology Meetings - Portland, United States
Duration: Mar 29 2023Apr 2 2023


ConferenceSociety for American Archaeology Meetings
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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