The Denisova Cave and 11 other stories teach us to carefully preserve the past

The Denisova Cave

The Russian Science Foundation has launched the multimedia project “Keepers of the Cultural Heritage”. As the project’s media release states, it is about Russian archeologists, historians, linguists, folklore researchers, and other scientists who are supported by the Foundation and take all efforts to save the shards of our past, i.e. ourselves.

The project website offers 12 stories, which, by means of photos/videos, audio records, and 3D graphics demonstrate challenges associated with preserving the richest Russian culture, ways to solve them, troubles in the scientific process, personal experience and a sincere delight of scientists and other people caused by the results of this enormous work. A story of the Denisova Cave is a tale about a unique site with the world significance.

The Denisova Cave section is based upon an interview with Mikhail Shunkov, the expedition leader, Head of the Stone Age Archeology Department at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The researcher told, “the Denisova Cave contains abundant traces of the most diverse Paleolithic tools: from stone scrapers used for currying and handling other materials to bone retouchers for pointing stone knives. Supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation, the scholars gather a collection of such artifacts and reproduce their production technologies. They must prove that this tool belonged to a Paleolithic human rather than is simply some random piece. Mikhail emphasized that the “Stone Age archeology is a fundamental science that does not yield immediate results. However, it gives new knowledge that affects our world view and relationship with the world. The archeology allows restoring the historical past of the human society. This is why it is that important to treat carefully even those finds that one may consider insignificant.”

Learn all of 12 stories under the project and find out more about studying and preserving the cultural heritage of the Russian people.

The illustrations are provided by the Russian Science Foundation.

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