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Archaeologist Kazuya Yamauchi returns to Kyrgyzstan for new discoveries

Kazuya Yamauchi, an archaeologist from Japan, does not even remember when he first came to Kyrgyzstan. Scientific research, travels and unique discoveries link him to Central Asia.

The last of them was a floor mosaic with a flower ornament, found by a Kyrgyz-Japanese expedition as part of the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic and Teike University. The discovery dates back to 7-8 centuries AD. The mosaic was discovered near Ak-Beshim village.

Kazuya Yamauchi plans to return to Kyrgyzstan again in the spring and continue the excavations.

— What surprises you in Kyrgyzstan?

— Projects began in the country in 2011, before that I have already been in Kyrgyzstan. We excavated Suyab site, where we found the unique mosaic. Kyrgyzstan is a small republic, but it is very important in the history of the Great Silk Road. I worked in all the countries of Central Asia. After Tajikistan, I realized that Kyrgyzstan is better. There are many interesting places to see and explore.

Bishkek was different a few years ago. There were no big shops, it had bad roads, there were problems with electricity. Big changes have occurred there, life has improved.

— What in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?

— I have visited Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. I think Kyrgyzstanis are very similar in appearance to the Japanese. We have different cultures; the way of life is different. But the people remind me of my homeland.

— Where do you like to have a rest?

— Historical places in Kyrgyzstan do not have infrastructure. There are mountains, Issyk-Kul Lake, Krasnaya Rechka, but none can find a way there. There are no guides. No one can tell about the sights. People want to know, but there is no information. I really like Uzbekistan in this regard, especially Samarkand and Bukhara. I rest there more often.

— What national dishes do you like and what are you afraid to try?

— I can not eat as much lamb meat as the Kyrgyz eat. I do not like it because of lots of oil and fat. I prefer plov, shorpo. I did not like the national drinks also. I prefer beer or airan.

There are delicious watermelons, apples, peaches, apricots in Kyrgyzstan, especially from Issyk-Kul region.

— What has fascinated and disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?

— Local people helped us during the excavations. They are well aware; no difficulties have arisen. The work of archaeologists is laborious, time-consuming. Kyrgyz people understand this.

— What would you change in Kyrgyzstan?

-There is no system. Everything is systemically in Japan. In Kyrgyzstan, just take tourism, there are many monuments, but no one knows anything about them. Kyrgyzstanis themselves have heard about Ak-Beshim, but they cannot tell where it is and what importance it has. First of all, you need to work out a system. This is where the development begins.