The Karakalpak State Museum of Art named after I.V. Savitskiy is acknowledged by experts to contain one of the top art collections in Asia and is the second biggest and most significant collection of Russian Avant-Garde in the world. The English newspaper "The Guardian" called the museum "one of the most outstanding museums of the world"; (Amelia Gentleman, "Saviysky's" secret Hoard ."The Guardian"; January 1, 2001). Other comments on the museum in Nukus state that "hellip";. It sheds light upon the history of Russian art and gives a genuine picture of artistic life of 1920-1930-s (Prof. Hansen-Leve, J-C. Marcade).
Leading art critics of the West such as C. Douglas, J. Bowlt, A. Flaker etc. have stated that it should form the basis on which any revision of Russian and Soviet art history should be made. The story of how the museum was established and developed is as unique as the collection. The museum is a treasury that illustrates cultural periods from the third century BC to the present day. There are items of the material and artistic culture of Ancient Khorezm, including the Folk and Applied Art of the Karakalpaks, a small, formerly semi-nomadic ethnic group living in north-west Uzbekistan with a primordial history and original culture. The Fine Arts section of the museum is the largest display of artwork. It not only houses the national art school of Karakalpakstan but also works by the founders of the pictorial culture of Uzbekistan, a multi-national group of artists working in Central Asia at the beginning of the 20th century. So, the significance and scale of the Nukus museum's collection of Russian Avant-Garde makes it, according to the experts, the second museum in the world after the world-wide known Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
In a remarkably short period of time, unprecedented in the history of museum collecting, the Nukus museum grew into a rich collection of approximately 90 thousand articles. This phenomenon was made possible by the genius of one man: Igor Vitalievich Savitskiy, founder of the Nukus museum.
Igor Savitskiy was born on August 4, 1915, in Kiev into a lawyer's family. His grandfather, Timofey Dmitrievich Florinskiy, was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and professor at Kiev University, a famous Slavicist and the author of numerous research articles who established his own scientific school. In childhood, Igor received a very good education; his family had a governess from France. There were many antiques in the family home and the children developed an understanding of art. The parents travelled to Europe and shared the latest news about cultural life in France, Austria, and Germany. The October Revolution and subsequent period when the move to destroy Russian culture ruined homes, and also personal tragedies linked to his family, left a painful impression on Savitsky. Later, he could not remain indifferent to the loss of national cultural treasures, and was destined to become the saviour first of Karakalpak treasures, then of the Uzbek, Russian and Soviet culture of the early 20th century.
At the start of the 1920th, the Savitskiys moved to Moscow. Here young Igor developed an interest in drawing. In accordance with the times, he combined his private art classes under artists R.Mazel and E.Sakhnovskaya with his studies at the "Sickle and Hammer" factory school, graduating with a degree in electrical fitting. From 1934, Savitskiy continued his studies first in the Graphic Department of the Institute of Polygraphy, then in the "Year 1905". Art school. In 1938-1941, he was a student of the Artists Advanced Training Institute in the studio of Lev Kramarenko, with whom he travelled to the Crimea and Caucasus to practice sketching. Savitskiy and the Kramarenkos found they shared similar interests and views and became good friends. Subsequently Kramarenko's wife Irina Zhdanko contributed a great deal to the Nukus collection: not only did she recommend artists but also introduced Savitskiy to many owners of art works as he visited their homes to add to his collection. Zhdanko donated a number of highly valuable exhibits to the museum, one of which is a series of compositions by Liubov Popova.
In 1941-1946, Savitskiy was a student at the Surikov Institute. Miraculously he was able to escape the war because of his ill health. In 1942, together with the Institute he was evacuated to Samarkand. Despite the starvation, disease and hardship brought on by the war, this was the period that determined the young Savitskiy's future. In Samarkand, Savitskiy made friends with the famous R.Falk and took classes from N.Ulyanov. The discovery of Central Asia helped him greatly in his search to understand the objectives of art. In 1950, Savitskiy gladly accepted the offer of a famous ethnographer, Tatyana Zhdanko (Irina Zhdanko's sister), to accompany an archaological and ethnographic expedition to Karakapakstan. In 1950-1957, he was the artist in the expedition led by the world famous scholar Professor Sergey Pavlovich Tolstov. The Khorezm expedition made one of the most significant discoveries of the century, uncovering an ancient civilization, on a par with the achievements of Tolstov's predecessors that had restored the civilizations of Greece, Egypt, Babylon and Mexico. In addition to his job duties, Savitskiy explored the larger area of Karakalpakstan, the many aul settlements, where he came across articles of Folk and Applied Arts, the collection of which he took great pleasure in. His findings were also sent to museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Savitskiy became fascinated with the history of an unknown art of the small population living amidst the deserts, in the lower course of the Amu-Darya River and he decided to take up residence in Nukus, giving up his apartment in central Moscow, on Arbat.
Initially he worked at the Karakalpak branch of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, headed by the young local scientist Marat Nurmukhamedov. Savitskiy considered him his friend and support in all his initiatives which allowed him ultimately to implement his many ideas. Savitskiy and his assistants travelled, often by foot, across the whole northern part of Karakalpakstan and built up a collection, which represents a sort of gene pool of Karakalpak culture. At that time very few understood the value of those findings. Jewellery, carpets, marvellous embroidered costumes, decorations for yurts and horse harnesses were no longer used because of political reasons and the dawning of a civilization that brought machine-made products, artificial dyes, European clothing style and other "blessings". The younger generation, whose culture was dying out, could not understand why an old man with shining eyes wanted their "rags". He was even called a junkman. He extracted things from cattle-pens or from aryk irrigation ditches, as old carpets were often used to block sluices. All his finds were carefully restored, displayed or archived.
Up to this point, Savitskiy continued painting and he produced amazing landscapes of the region that was to him what Polynesia was to Gaugin. He trained the first Karakalpak artists. He persuaded the authorities that Karakalpakstan needed an art museum and in 1966 he was appointed director of the Nukus Museum of Arts established under his initiative. During those years Savitskiy participated in, then independently led archaeological excavations on the historical cites of Ancient Khorezm. The findings and the material donated by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR form the most interesting collection of the museum. Unfortunately, upon becoming director, Savitskiy gave up painting, claiming that on should not combine the two. Through his understanding of unusual art and his perfect taste, Savitskiy was able to make his dream of a unique and unusual museum and not just a copy of the Tretyakov come true. He also wanted to show young Karakalpak artists in what direction painters in Moscow and Tashkent were heading in 1920-1930. From collecting works of artists linked to Central Asia (A.Isupov, L.Kramarenko, N.Ulyanov, R.Voloshin) and founders of the Central Asian Art School (R.Mazel), specifically, the Uzbek school (A.Volkov, M.Kurzin, Falk. R, N.Karakhan, U.Tansykbaev, V.Ufimtsev, etc) Savitskiy expanded the range of artists. Witnessing the changes occurring in cultural policy under Stalin, he could not stand by and watch the entire section of Russian culture perish, as almost no one in the USSR wanted anything to do with it at that time (1960s). Igor Savitskiy took from Moscow and other cities of the USSR hundreds, thousands even tens thousands of works by forgotten or forbidden artists branded as formalists to the safe haven of remote Nukus. Thanks to the trust of local authorities, Savitskiy was able to form a collection for the museum over a period of ten to fifteen years. He used state funds, spread over many years but funding to acquire paintings and drawings was a constant source of worry.
The Nukus collection grew in popularity, though it never received any official recognition. Then in 1968-1969, the collection was exhibited in Moscow, at the Museum of the Orient, followed by the showcase travel exhibition across the cities of the USSR: Tallinn, Lvov, Leningrad, Alma-Ata, Ufa, Kazan, Tashkent. Savitskiy came to be well regarded in Moscow. The Ministry of Culture of the USSR provided him with support, paying for his acquisitions. He gained access to the archives of art treasures. In 1975, Savitskiy was offered the chance to add part of the collection donated to the USSR Ministry of Culture by Fernand Leger's widow Nadia, to his museum. In 1981, the art critics of the Moscow Association of Artists organized a soiree honouring the Nukus museum in the hall on the Kuznetskiy Bridge. However Savitskiy's adult life had been branded by hardship and deprivation which had taken their toll. Savitskiy suffered a human baseness, especially of those who had been obliged to him. He worked hard without any holidays and absolutely neglected his health. He was in ill health and diagnosed with rare illnesses, what kept him alive were his remarkable willpower and the single minded devotion to the museum, his creation, not to mention the patience of his doctors who knew just how important their patient was. During his last years, Savitskiy was treated by Sergey Naumovich Efuni, at the Center of Hyperbaric Oxygenation, where in a study-like ward he continued his scientific research, article writing and administrative work. He received owners of artworks to discuss new acquisitions.
On 27 July 1984, Savitskiy died at a hospital in Moscow. His Moscow friends, artists and art critics bade him farewell in the State Museum of Art of the Peoples of the Orient; heartfelt words were spoken. His body was buried in the Nukus Russian cemetery.
Real official recognition of Savitskiy's activity and his collection came with the changes in the country. The museum began to gain in popularity from 1991 when Nukus became freely accessible to journalists and experts, foreign embassies and international organizations. Correspondents from leading broadcasting corporations, newspapers and magazines began to publicize the paradoxical facts of the museum. The name of the museum entered numerous prestigious reference books of the world.
Rapid development in Karakalpakstan is pushing the museum to adapt to an ever changing environment. The transitional period since independence and the adoption of the market economy have required the managerial staff of the museum to take steps which have no precedent ni museums of our country.
The restructuring process has left the basic principles of the museum’s activities relating to storage, conservation and restoration, and cataloguing of the collections virtually intact. The principal changes occurred in the area of technology. Efforts are being made to replace the old equipment and to establish climatic control systems. The museum is also planning to establish a computerized database of the collection.
The museum staff has added to their conservation experience over the past decade thanks to increased contacts with previously inaccessible specialists from abroad. At present, the museum is applying techniques of textile conservation used in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the studio of Pierre Chevalier in Aubusson near Paris. No harmful substances were used in the museum conservation work.
In 2003, a joint project was launched with the international organization, Restorers without Frontiers. As a result, some fifty two artworks (on canvas and paper) of 1920-1930s from the museum stores were restored. An exhibition of the restored paintings will allow previously unseen masterpieces to be displayed to the public.
Thanks to the active work of the museum and its international popularity, funds were allocated from the state budget for the construction of a new building, the opening ceremony of which was attended in September 2003 by the President of the republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.
The area under fundamental review at present is the museum’s finances. The Museum, like all state organizations, used to be fully financed by the government. The museum enjoys all the rights and benefits provided by the museums in the Republic of Uzbekistan by governmental documents.
Having been granted legal status, we looked carefully at the experience of museums in Europe and USA and a number of measures were taken to strengthen our financial independence. As our state developed and new structures appeared such as non-governmental and non-profit making organizations, we decided to use more flexible possibilities of this public sector. Having found supporters, we established “Cultural Heritage” association under the museum. The implemented projects not only helped the museum but also many residents of Nukus city and even districts of Karakalpakstan. The museum has extended the range of its activities not only in the area of spirituality and enlightenment but also in gender development, and the revival and promotion of old forgotten handicrafts. Today Karakalpak embroidery and yurts have been introduced into fashion thanks mainly to the museum’s efforts. Unfortunately, at present, this activity is temporarily suspended.
It is recognized that the museum improves the welfare of the craftsmen, the service sector of Karakalpakstan and neighboring Khiva, not to mention travel agencies from Bukhara, Samarkand and even Tashkent. Year in, year out, more and more visitors from all over the world are interested in the museum.
The museum has attempted to introduce a Western model of selling membership through a “Friends of the Nukus Museum” society, which helps to maintain museum budgets very efficiently throughout the world. We are also introducing a system of bonuses for our patrons that includes invitations to events, the addition of their names to a special board of honor displayed at the entrance to the exhibition, discounts in the museum shop and, of course, free admission to the museum. A lot has been done and strategies are being developed to establish a museum industry.
However, some degree of misunderstanding of our new ventures has been observed. People continue to think that museums are institutions where people are engaged only to dust exhibits and that museums should exist appropriately charging for their services, a view often propagated among foreign residents of working in Uzbekistan. On a daily basis we are challenged to find ways to strengthen the dignity of museums and their staff in Uzbekistan.
As a regard to public relations, it should be noted that changes in ideology and the democratization of society, coupled with the transitional phase toward a market economy has necessitated a completely new principle of working with our audience.
Experience shows that the level of understanding of art of the presenters and the spectators can differ considerably. The museum is exploring new approaches. But the aim is not simply to cater to the lowest common denominator. The museum studies the opinion of its city residents, learns about the preferences of the public, and surveys people to find out what novelties they would like to see in our museum. All remarks and recommendations are taken into consideration, based on which new approaches for work with visitors are developed. A network of clubs operates under the museum to cover various categories (from schoolchildren to housewives) and interests (from embroidery to computer literacy). Regular activities and quiz sessions have been implemented for example, as well as fashion shows and contests for the best dish made from low-cost products. Some activities and charity projects have a social nature and aimed at supporting the low-income strata of the society.
Over the last decade the museum has come to be at the heart not only of the culture but also the active life of the republic. As visitors have noted, the Nukus Museum of Art is not a dead museum. Many politicians have paid tribute to the efforts of the museum to save and promote the variety of cultures presented in the collection of the Savitskiy State Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. These include former vice-president of the USA Al Gore, President of France Jacques Chirac, the Prince of Wales, former state secretary M. Albright and many others.
The honor of presenting Uzbek culture at the conference “Culture and Diplomacy” in November 2000 at the White House fell to the director of the Nukus Museum. The experience of the Nukus Museum in saving a variety of cultures in a transient society in the era of globalization is of interest to the whole world.
The Folk Applied Art
The Folk Art of Karakalpaks became the object o? scientific study due to the comprehensive research work of the prominent scholars such as S.P.Tolstov, N.A.Baskakov, A.L.Melkov, T.A.Zhdanko, A.S.Morozova, and others. Before that few people knew about the Karakalpak Folk art and fragmentary information concerning it in the press was not reliable.
It became possible to know more about the Karakalpak Folk Art when the first collections of their items were formed, initially in the Karakalpak branch of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences in 1959, and later, later in the state museum of Art named after I.V.Savitskiy. Nowadays, these collections are considered to be the most complete of their kind.
Till the 20th century Karakalpaks had only the applied art, especially such kinds of it like pile rugs, flat weaves, embroidery, appliqué work, printed and stitched leather, carved and inlaid wood, hand-made textiles. Approximately all kinds of Karakalpak folk art can be used in a modern interior and to match its decoration originally. But among them the most popular are pile rugs whose weavers as if to leave their time behind and became able to solve the problems which excite the modern artists. The producers used traditional ornamental composition, but at the same time they varied colors and their shades preserving intact the common color range of the rug. This method made the rug to be very close to the painting.
The small pile rugs often had a relief pattern were the background was deeper than the pattern itself. The large carpets were rarely woven.
A yurt furnishing and a national costume were the major kinds of the Karakalpak folk art. While a set of the Karakalpak costume had a strict color range, the yurt furnishings also avoided bright colors and large decorative surfaces. The weaving was done using pile and flat weaving techniques in soft colors that combined browns and dark reds delicate touches of blue, green and orange, creating an astonishingly harmonious rhythm. In the twilights of the yurts interior the people in their national costumes successfully stood out against the background of its decoration and blended with it.
The major role in the yurt furnishing belonged to relief and flat weaves. The designed bands were always woven using cotton warp, but relief woven pile bands had usually wool weft, while flat woven ones-silk, wool and cotton wefts.
Woven bands, especially small ones, were made thoroughly and affected by their refinement, clearness and harmony of work. They had different sizes: from the 16 meters long bands to the small rugs. Embroidery was used mainly for decorating the costumes young girls, brides and old women. These three kinds of the female costume were of special importance. They symbolized the purity of youth, strength of a new mature life and wisdom of an old age. Each of them had their own colors which were complemented by a strict set of traditional jewelry. A dark blue color of a dress softened by a crimson embroidery with touches of white and yellow, a red stitched robe with thin stripes, and gold of the gumis-taqya and tobelik head-dresses, silver of numerous jewelry-all of them created the colorful image of the maidens beauty.
The same dark blue dress and others were included in the bride’s costume, complemented by the head-dresses-kiymeshek and sawkele as well as by a mantled jipec-jegde and a set of jewelry.
The particular solemnity was reached by combination of red and black cloth of the kiymeshek, crimson silk of the robe, dark blue embroidered dress, gold, silver, turquoise and carnelians of sawkele and jewelry. The costume of an old woman was of light color, made of cotton fabric and consisted of the white dress ak koylec, head-dress-ak kiymeshek and robe-ak-jegde. They were covered with a fine red embroidery in half-cross stitch.
The Karakalpak embroidery has many ornamental motifs. But within the traditional limits of the motifs the artisans could reveal their creative and individual characters.
Jewelry was made mostly for girls and brides. The women wore much less jewelry after a birth of the first child, and so did the old Karakalpak women. The artisans also produced amulets for children, plates for men’s belts and a rich horse harness.
The jewelry items were mainly made of silver combined with carnelian. They were slightly gilded to stress the pattern. Sometimes they were decorated with turquoise and pink coral.
The girl’s head-dress gumis-taqya, tobelik and wedding head-dress saukele were richly gilded. Gumis takhya and tobelik consist of figured plates, covered by chasing and is decorated with high casing including torquoise and pink coral. The pink coral is prominent in the saukele and in combination with the figured plates in the form of sheep heads, and lines of high casing makes a unique ornamental and original pattern. The tobelik is equally original in its form, a high gilded tiara with the top turned towards the front, and a skull-cup-gumis takhya. All these kinds of Karakalpak folk art are very traditional and testify to the links with ancient art.
Applique work was usually used in making shanash-a long trapezium-shaped bags made of leather and used for keeping flour, cereals and millet. The artisans also used for making bags a black and white cloth. The ornament was geometrical or horn-shaped one. Printed leather had an expressive effect in the tebengi-the insulation plates for preventing stirrups to touch the body of horse. They were printed in the forms or engraved and stamped.
Carved and inlaid wood was widely used in the yurt doors ergenek, in small trunks, chests and stands for meal-sandyk and sabayak. Producing inlaid wood, the artisans used a red cloth and bone which made articles more festive and colourful. Bone was covered with geometrical engraving, while wood was painted in dark brown and dark colours.
Painting on wood came into use in the late 19th early 20th centuries and their depicted figurative objects originally blend with the ornament, receiving its flatness and decorative character.
Saukele-a helmet-shaped wedding head-dress richly decorated with silver, coral, turqoise, beds, broacloth and silk embroidery. Tobelik-a high gilded tiara with top turned towards the front. The Karakalpak girls girls wore it above their skullcaps. Kok-koylek-wedding ceremonial dress with silk embroidery made of the home-made dark blue cloth. Kyzyl-kiymeshek-wedding shawl in cotton, silk and wool with an opening for the face. Shynykap-embroidered leather case for keeping cups, bowls and similar utensils. Khaykel-women’s silver breast ornament (amuletic charm) decorated with carnelian, filigree and chasing. Arebek-golden nose-ring decorated with coral and torquoise. The Karakalpak women wore it in the nostril. Ongirmonshak-women’s belt ornament made of stamped silver and decorated with granulation. It was used as amuletic charm to protect motherhood. Yurt-the traditional movable dwelling of Karakalpaks made of woood, leather, wool, felt and reed. Karakalpak bride in her wedding costume consisting of wedding dress kok-koylek, shawl-kyzyl-kiymeshek, mantled-jipek jegde, arebek nose-ring, belt-pendant-giltshalgysh, khaykel-breast ornament, ongirmonshak- belt amulet for protecting metherhood. Set of jewllery including brooch-ayshyk, brest ornament-khaykel, belt pendant for keys-giltshalgysh, belt ornament-ongirmonshak and bracelets-bilezik. Ancient and Medieval Art of Khoresm
The Archaeological department of the Karakalpak State Art Museum of Art has an extraordinary interesting collection of exhibits produced by the local masters who lived in the territory of Karakalpakstan (which was called then Khoresm) thousands years ago.
Ancient Khorezm is one of the most enigmatic lands of the Indo-Iranian border regions of norhtern Central Asia that was known from Persian, chinese and Greek texts. It emerged in the junktion of sedentary and nomadic peoples with their different cultures and was located south of the Aral Sea, in the delta of the Amu-Darya River, in the oasis surrounded by the large deserts – the Karakum, the Kyzylkum and the Usturt plateau. This ancient kingdom occupied a vast territory including not only the northern Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan, but also the northern Turkmenistan and partly the Southern Kazakhstan.
The remarkable historical and artistic monuments were preserved from thoes epochs and similar monuments can hardly be found anywhere else in Central Asia.
In the early stages of its history Khorezm was a part of Achaemenid Persian Empire, but by the time of Alexander the Great Khorezm became independent and its king visited Alexander at his camp had talks with him to conclude a military allience. Khorezm has also been regarded the place where one of the most ancient religions Zoroastrianism appeared, because was the first and the best land created by Ahura-Mazda (God), according to the holy books of the Zoroastrians, the Avesta.
Before archaelogical explorations in 1930s led by outstanding Russian scholar S.P.Tolstov nobody knew about the ancient state. However results of his excavations exceeded the most ambitious expectations. Tolstov made a real scientific discovery which is considered now as one of the brightest achievements of the world archaeology. He discovered and explored completely unknown and unique ancient civilization. The importance of his discovery can be compared only with the discoveries of troy by G.schilimann or the Crete civilization by A.Evans. among the significant archaelogical sites found by tolstov there was Koy-Krilgan-Kala (4th centuty B.C) where the earliest observatory of Central Asia was located, whose priests accumulated a rich knowledge in astronomy, including all planets of the Solar system and other selestial bodies and constellations. Another remarkable discovery was the fact that the population of Ancient Khorezm since the 1st millenium B.C. had a water-supply and sewage systems where they used ceramic pipes.
The second important archaeological discovery was a residence place of the Khorezmian kings Toprak-kala (II-IV centuries A.D.). The royal palace had more than 100 rooms where rich alues were found, including a great number of works of art such as round and relief sculptures, decorative and thematical wll paintings, ets.
It was the Khoresm of the Kushan epoch where the original art of the local people flourished influenced not only by the Saka-Massagetae nomadic cultures but also by Hellinistic and Indian cultures.
Even during the subsequent centuries when Khoresm saw a number of foreign invasions, including Arabs and Turkik tribes, the Khorezmian people could preserve their rich cultural traditons and develop them later in the 12th-early 13th centuries when a powerful Khorezmshakhs’ kingdom emerged in Central Asia including Transcaucasian region, Iran and Afghanistan. Khorezm reached its cultural peak at that time when its artisans produced many works of art whose originality is greatly fascinating everybody even nowadays. But all these cultural achievements were relentlessly stamped out by the Mongolian hordes who devastated the country in the early 13th century. Only after several decades the Khorezmian civilization revived and continued to develop its ancient culture.
Inspite of all violet historical events Khorezm did not perish and existed untill the 1st quarter of the 20th century when it became a part of the modern Uzbekistan.
The exhibits of the archaeological section of the Karakalpak State Museum of Art named after Savitskiy.
Antiquity period (4th century B.C.-4th century A.D.)
Hair-pin (2nd-1st centuries B.C.). Made of bronze in the 4 shape of female hand holding a fruit (an apple or pome-granate). A snake-shaped bracelet on the wrist is successfully completed the whole composition. Refinement and beauty of the hair-pin make it a masterpiece of small-sized art.
Female figurine (5th century B.C). Made of clay in the form. It depicts a sitting woman whose right hand is clasped to her breast and her left hand-to her belly. The human’s dress is hanging down in parallel pleats covering her knees. The woman is crossing with crossed legs, and her almond-shaped eyes are looking staright forward. She has a rather high hair-do and is holding beads in her left hand.
Anthropomorphic ossuary (2nd century B.C.).Hand-made ceramic. It is made in the shape of a sitting man with his hands clasped to his belly. Supposedly the man is dressed in a long garment and he has the soft boots on his feet. His face with the large almond-shaped eyes has a straight nose and there is a kind of scull-cap on his head.
Anthropomorphic ossuary (head of sculpture) (1st-2nd centuries A.D.). Fragment. The head is made of clay in life size scale, and has pink slip. The young woman with round face is depicted. She has almond-shaped eyes with relief eye-lids but without iris and eye-pupils. Her nose is broken. She also has a small mouth and large ears with holes for ear-rings. Her hair is brushed back over her ears and drops on her neck in two wide curles. Her hair-do is rather high. Found in the environs of Kyrk-kyz-kala (the Kushan period).
Male figurine (2nd-3rd centuries A.d.). Made of clay in the form and depicts a naked man holding a knife in his right hand and a grape in his left hand. The backside is flat while its front side is a low relief. Judging by the things in his hands, the figurine symbolises the god of Bacchic cult. Found in the environs of Ayaz-kala.
Female figurine (1st-3rd centuries A.D.). Made of Ivory. It is a sculpture in the round shape, although its backside is slightly flattened. Her head is lost. The figurine depicts a standing woman dressed in a long robe with a belt. Her fluid drapery is conveyed by several furrows. Her hands are hanging down in the direction of her belly. Supposedly it is the goddes of fertility Anakhita. Found at Toprakh-kala.
Aset of golden jewellery from the sarcophagus found in necropolis of Mizdahkan.
A golden ring (3rd century A.D.). There is a shallow horizontal furrow on the surface of its circle. It is decorated with granulation and precious stone almandin.
The golden ring (3rd century A.D.). absolutely similar to the ring describedabove.
The golden ear-rings (3rd century A.D.). They have a shape of a pyramid with four flar sides and remind a lantern. Their top is round-shaped and adorned with granulation and precious stone almandin.
The golden pendant (3rd century A.D.). It has a semi-spherical shape and its external surface is divided into several portions inserted with almandin and decorated with granulation. The pendant has four smaller pyramidal oendants under its dome, resembling the bells.
Early Middle Ages. (6-8 centuries A.D.)
Box-shaped ossuary (6th century A.D.). Found on the necropolis of ancient mizdahkan. There is a relief scene on its walls depicting a lion between two stylized pome-granate trees, symmetrically located on both sides of composition. The realistically depicted lion is succesfully completed by ornamental details of composition.
Censer (8th century A.D). Found at Tok-kala. Hand-made of clay. It has a shape of semi-spherical bowl (or vase) with a long stem on the flat base, with round handle. Its rolled rim and stem junkcion are decorated with raised bands. The censer’s surface has red slip and traces of uneven firing.
Horse sculpture (7-8 century A.D.). Terracotta. The round and hollow horse sculpture was made of clay and covered with whitish slip. The front arch of its saddle survived. There are traces of the rider’s legs on the horse body and of a plume onits head. It has a decoration onits breast consisting of three large medallions. Found during construction of the Tuya-Muyun water reservoir.
Late Middle Ages.(9-10 centuries.)
Round decorative vessel (9-10 centuries). Fuond at Tok-kala. The vessel has a globe-shaped body and a straight low neck without rim. Its surface has a red slip. An ornament decorating the upper portion of the vessel consists of a number of through triangles.
Epoch of Khorezmshakhs and the Golden Horde (12-13 centuries)
Wall painting inserted in gypsum (12 century, Kyzyl-Kala). The survived painting is represented by the floral motif. There is a branch with long pointed leaves of green, black and red colours against the yellowish background. The points of green leaves are directed toward upside, while the red ones are curvedto both sides of the stem. There are two curving black petals in the downside portion.
Bronze lamp (12-13 centuries, Kavat-kala). The figured lamp consists of a vertical stem, a disk-shaped middle portion and a semi-sphrical base with three curved legs. The lamp surface and its base are richly decorated with floral and geometrical designs.
Glazed jug ( 12-13 centuries, Big Guldirsin). It has an elongated shape, narrow in the upper side, and wide neck with vertical handle in the shape of question mark. The jug’s surface is glazed and adorned with multy-coloured floral design, where dark green and light brown colours prevail.