International Workshop “Biosphere Origin and Evolution”
June 26-29, 2005
POST-Workshop ALTAI TOUR
TO THE CRADDLE OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION
In 1998, Altai was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List of cultural and natural properties (http://whc.unesco.org/heritage.htm) as representing an important and original centre of biodiversity of montane plant and animal species in northern Asia, a number of which are rare and endemic (http://whc.unesco.org/sites/768.htm).
"The Gray-Haired Altai", "Khan Altai ", or "Altai the Hero"-all these epithets and metaphors that are used for description of this great mountain country are connected with symbolism of power, manliness, and antiquity.
Organizer: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Altai tour is paid in cash when registering at the Workshop.
Price of the tour for one person is $270.
The tour starts on June 30 and ends on July 04, 2005
Total Duration: 5 days/ 4 nights
The Republic of Altai is a whole world that is unexplored and free of smog, haste, and business rhythm of the big city.
Full of mystery and inscrutability, the mountain country Altai since olden times is surrounded with legends, myths, heroic legends, and folk songs. Altai is majestic, mighty, and just. It may open its amenities, memorials, and secluded nooks to an attentive guest.
Altai is many-sided: among its landscapes are mountains, rocks, coniferous woods, meadows full of wildflowers, semi-desert intermountain plains, calm lakes, and rapid torrents. Altai nature amazes the guests with its primeval character and cleanness never touched by a man.
Altai is so multifarious: Athanasiuses*, Scythians, Huns, Djungar khans, and Telenguit dukes*, Ural industrialists and enterprising merchants visited its territory at different times. Owing to its central location between Europe and Asia, Altai was considerably affected by both major cultures as well as paths of nomadic tribes and trade caravans were going through it.
*Athanasiuses (Afanasievtsy in Russian): tribes that did not leave any written information about them and were named by the archeologist who did the excavations.
* Djungar khans and Telenguit dukes: heads of local Siberian tribes
Altai is multinational: in addition to Russian population of the plain part of Altai, Altai citizens, Kazakhs, and Germans are living and cooperate successfully with each other on a small enough territory. Each nation and population preserves their culture, history, and ancient traditions for the generations to come.
Welcome to Altai, see these mountains, listen to the sounds of water, stop for a minute near ancient burial mounds, have a sensation of joint times-you will feel yourself as a part of this beautiful grandeur and all troubles will be left behind!
Day 1: Transfer from Novosibirsk to the International Science and Tourist Complex Denisova Cave (10-12 hours by bus) with a packed lunch. Dinner at the Complex and a free time in the evening.
Day 2: Breakfast. Trip by car and foot to the valley of the River Karakol. Visit to the Razboinichiya (Robber's) Cave (with a rather steep rise by approximately 300 m into the mountains). The Cave contains stalactites and stalagmites; the temperature inside is about 2-5°C. The trip takes about 40 min. The descent into this cave is of no danger at all. Visit to the Kaminnaya (Fireplace) Cave. Way back to Denisova Cave Complex. Lunch. Tour to the archaeological site Denisova Cave (100 m by foot). Description of excavator techniques (researchers are working on the site from June through September), collection of historical findings. Dinner at the Complex and free time in the evening.
Day 3: Breakfast. Trip by car and foot to a cascade of waterfalls on the Shinok River. Packed lunch. Dinner at the Complex and free time in the evening.
Day 4:Breakfast. Car trip to Maiden's River Reaches. Lunch. Late dinner at the Complex Denisova Cave and free time.
Day 5: Breakfast. Departure to Novosibirsk. Packed lunch. Arrival to Novosibirsk.
In the case of bad or changing weather, the trip schedule may be changed; if a trip is impossible due to the weather, it will be substituted with an equivalent variant.
Price of the tour for one person is $270.
The price of tour does not include:
Accommodation conditions: single or double rooms in two-room cottages with every comfort (WC, shower, and hot water). Bar is available.
Specific features: the tour is intended for people with various sporting skills, as long trips are made by cars whereas trips by foot are not longer than 2-3 hours.
Meals: three meals a day in a restaurant served by waitresses; vegetarian meals are available on request.
Equipment: no specialized equipment is necessary. Warm waterproof garments and boots are required.
Weather: day temperature is +18-30°C; night temperature, +10-20°C. Some days during the tour may be rainy.
Medical aid is provided by a general practitioner at the Denisova Cave Complex.
Note: no pets are permitted at the Denisova Cave Complex.
Some details of the touring site
Denisova Cave: a unique archaeological site of North Asia, a type-site of the ancient man from Paleolithic Epoch (300 thousand years BC) until the Middle Ages. In addition, the Denisova Cave is a unique natural site located in a picturesque place, visited by Nikolai Rerikh, a prominent Russian artist and philosopher, in his trip to Altai.
Valley of the Shinok River: a natural site with a cascade of waterfalls, while the river itself is known for healing power of its water. Rare plants and interesting fossils are met on the banks.
Valley of the Karakol River: most scenic landscapes with most interesting caves (for example, Kaminnaya and Razboinichiya, mentioned above). A country road comes along the river from a village of Chernyi Anui to another village naked Karakol after the river. We are closing the river short of this village to visit the Muzeinaya (Museum) Cave, located on the right bank at an altitude of 300 m at a foot of rocks (cave length, 850 m; depth, 33 m). It has two horizontal entrance galleries, which end after several meters with wells. These wells lead to the main part of the cave, which is branched and have several tiers. The cave was named this way due to a large number of dripstones (stalactites and stalagmites) especially plentiful at the lower tier. The Kaminnaya Cave is known for a long time; archaeological findings suggest that its pre-entrance part in ancient times was a sanctuary. The Razboinichiya Cave is located in the mountains and is concealed from a trespasser's eye. It is a paleontologic site.
Maiden's River Reaches: a landscape site on the Kumir River, going between rocks covered with forest, with its emerald backwaters. You may not only watch the beauty of nature, but also have a swim.