PEEK Workshop notes

PEEK Workshop notes

Dear All,

find attached the notes to our project workshop in December.
Thank you again for your attendance and your valuable contributions!

Happy New Year and all best wishes,

VIENNA, 11.-13.11.2017
DAY 1 / Weltmuseum Wien, DG 41

Nina Lang & Tsetsee Baatarnaran & Lucia Mennel
Introduction of the PEEK project proposal & main research topics – Q&A (20min)
After the introduction of the main points of the project proposal following issues and concerns arose: Concerns about the broadness of the project topic in general – how to grasp it and which foci to concentrate on. The pros and cons of starting with a broad perspective and later in process of the project to narrow the range of topics to a more focused view were discussed. Concerning the project exhibition a frame and main topics have to be identified. What is the connector between the fragments? Can we find for example similar dispersed formal patterns or other similarities? The narrations themselves move…. A first rough draft idea for a possible exhibition concept should be elaborated until mid of January and then it should be further elaborated into a first draft for an exhibition concept until April 2018.
Erdenebold Lhagvasuren
Steppe and Silk ROADS in Mongolia: Introduction of the Map of Historical Roads – Q&A (20min)
Erdenebold elaborated on various maps of roads and routes traversing Mongolia.
His main focus became the historic Tea Road of the 17-18th century which had three main branches connecting China and Russia (Saint Petersburg) via Mongolia. Those branches were divided or lead along post relay stations (about every 25 km) – a system already established during the Mongol Empire in the 12-13th century. The post relay stations supplied water, grass for horses/animals, places to stay. The Manchu revived the post relay in order to distribute any decision made in Beijing to all over Mongolia. As soon as the Manchu Empire conquered Khalkh Mongols, they re-established relay stations in 140 directions for military purpose to enhance their dominance and to conquer the west Mongols. By the 18th century, about 2500 families, including 1700 families in 140 stations, policemen, and supplementary 700 families, served for the relay service. From 1720, additional stations such as suman urtuu to serve for provincial heads and navch urtuu (a leaf station) to serve subdivisions such as banners and administrative offices were established.
Main branches of the Tea Road:
1. China – Ikh Khüree (Urga/Ulaanbaatar)- Kiakhta
(this route is exactly the same as todays train trail from UB to the Siberian border; until now only inscriptions (noting their feelings, narrations etc.) of Chinese traders in caves in the South Gobi were found as archeological findings on the historic Tea Road; in Kiakhta there are still ruins of the tea market existing; material and good images can be found in the archive and museum of Kiakhta –CHECK!).
2. Beijing – Sair uus (Dorno Gobi)- Uliastai – further North
3. Beijing – Uliastai – Khovd – Koshoo mod
One main road lead through Uliastai where the headquarters of Manchu administratives were set.
Nina: The historic main Tea Road from Beijing to Kiakhta and further to Saint Petersburg had one major node in Urga (Ulaanbaatar). From there it lead further North to the Russian-Siberian border. It connected eastern China and western Russia, going through the Gobi, the Siberian Taiga leading through cosmopolitan centers of the Russian empire. This route became an artery of commerce far to the north of the Silk Road that earlier traversed Central Asia. It can be seen as a metaphor for how Russia and China came into contact. The Tea Road was officially started in 1689, formalised with the Treaty of Nerchinsk, signed between Manchu Empire and Russia. It became a major conduit for East-West trade in the 1700s and 1800s and declined by the early 1900s. In 1727 official trade ties and border definition by the Kiakhta Agreement. Kiakhta was seen as “Golden Gate” (Altan Khaalga) to the West. It remained the “Tea Capital” until the mid of the 19th century. 95% of tea trade to Russia went through this port. From Kiakhta to Ulan Ude a boat over the Selenge river was used until the opening of the TransSib in 1903. In 1638 the Russians were introduced to tea by Altan Khan, when the latter sent 200 packages with the Russian representative Starkov as a present to the Czar to Saint Petersburg (see Chuluuns dissertation)
Erdenebold: Originally Kiakhta was the winter place of a Russian man named Barsukov – the town was built near to his place. Before the official trade to Kiakhta started in 1729 already roads for trade between Russia and Qing existed. The important change was the transportation of tea in large quantities. Prshevalsky i.e. noted that Mongolians transported through Kiakhta 60 tons of tea a year and got paid 2 Mill. Rubles. 200 000 carts of tea were transported per year from (through?) Mongolia. The route went from Ikh Khüree to Kiakhta and from Huhhot to Kiakhta – small places to eat and stay were settled along the roads. Three types of tea were traded: thick tea (1 brick thick tea=100 bricks yellow tea) [zuzaan tsai], stone tea [chuluun tsai] and yellow tea [shar tsai] and brought from different parts of China, the names were given by Mongolians.
1 brick stone tea= 50 bricks yellow tea; 1 sheep=2 brick yellow tea; 1 horse= 14 brick yellow tea; 1 camel= 20 yellow tea. From the 18th to the early 20th century tea (and silk) were used as currency.
The first route to distribute tea as a cultural bearer/product to the world passed through Mongolia and the Tea Road also influenced the culture.
The mountain Wu Yi Shan of the Fujian province of Qing was the initial station of the Tea Road. Most of the tea transporters came from Xiangsi, Beijing and Hebei and they transported tea from South China to Jiujian in Chinghai on ferries. From Juijian they passed through Wu Hang to Hubei Shanyang. From there they loaded the tea on camels and donkeys to Huhhot and Khaalgan where they repacked the tea. From there they transported it through the Great Gobi, Ikh Khuree and reached Kiakhta. Tea and other products generally first were sent to and repacked in Huhhot and from there sent by caravan to Mongolia.
Tea cultivation began long before, mill. BC along the southeastern rim of the Tibetan Plateau, ca. 500 AD tea cultivation spread to coastal China and ca. 800 the Japanese monk Miyoye took tea seads to Japan (..) Tea trade and transfers thus started much earlier. In 1824 was the peak year of tea trade through Kiakhta, in 1905 the Siberian Railway was completed and the horse-drawn tea transport in Russia ended; in 1925 Dodge automobile transport started in the Gobi and ended the sole transport of tea by camels. In 1929 the Da Sheng Kui Company, the largest tea trading company between China and Mongolia was closed (see Avery). Close, parallel to the historic road the Mongolian branch of the Transsiberian Railway was built – the Ulaanbaatar Railway [Ulaanbaatar tumor zam] established by Russians and Mongolians in the 1950s.
The map relevant is the green one of: 17-20th Manchu administrated TRADE ROADS. Other maps represented the Russian and the Chinese perspective.

On the historic SILK ROAD (Torgonii zam- PLEASE check and add Mong.):
The sources on the branches of the Silk Road through Mongolia and the role of nomads are few. There are two Mongolian branches and roughly identified by: 1. Beijing – Tsamiin Uud – Kharkhorin – Khatanbulag (Dorno Govi)
2. From the West- Urumqi- Khovd-Kharkhorin
So it was a triangle of roads through Mongolia. Called by traders “Mongolian Road”.
The name “Silk Road” was given by Richthofen (see Lit.)-before it was a road from Turkestan-Uighur-Xinjiang Earlier, Silk Road was used for the trade road across East Turkestan (today’s Xinjian Uighur Autonomous Unit) from the east to the west. Later it became the general name for transnational trade roads starting from China. There were two main branches: 1 Northern (controlled by northern nomadic groups) and 2 Southern (across the desert and more difficult).
The northern road started from Chanan, the capital of Han dynasty, directed to west north through the streets of Ganxu and then split into three branches. The second road passed the mountain ranges in the front and behind the Taklamakan desert and joined the main road near Kashgar. The other road passed through Hami Turpan in the north of Tian Shan. Those three roads joined near the town Merv. The Southern branch followed the ranges of Karakorum and reached Iran and Iraqi passing today’s Pakistan.
Because of the taxes imposed by the nomadic people rather tried to avoid the northern route. The involvement of nomads in silk and trade roads started early (already during Xiognu in 200 BC); living from animal husbandry, for other products they had to involve with trade routes. It was a cooperation between nomads and settled. Traders had to rely on security and reliable partners, the nomads had needs for consumption, local administrations gained taxes. Products from GREEK, ITALY, EGYPT were transferred already during Xiongnu as grave findings show. In the 13th century the trade roads officially came across Mongolia (Pax Mongolica). First relay station system was established by Ögedei (son of Chinggis). One important source of that time is the travel account by the Daoist monk Chang chun / Qiu Chuji (1148-1227) who travelled through Mongolia by invitation of Chinggis Khan to meet him in Xinjiang (which never succeeded). In the account places are mentioned very clearly and some noted names exist until today – it means that the road existed already at that time. (see Travels to the West of Qiu Chang Chun by Li Chih-Ch´ang, 2013/ISBN 978-1-4465-4763-2; Bretschneider, E. 2013: Mediaval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources: Fragments towards the Knowledge of the Geography and History of Central and Western Asia from the 13th-17th century, Routledge)
The Altai region is very rich with archaeological findings, mainly of Bronze Age and full of rock paintings. Today Mongolians travel to Urumqi and buy goods there (border town: Yarant)

Erdenebold Lhagvasuren
New Steppe and Silk ROADS: Introduction of the Map – Q&A
Concerning roads, routes and rails of the Steppe Corridor and Roads/Rails through Mongolia it still seems to be a situation of plans or dreams.
13:00-14:30 LUNCH
Nina Lang, Tsetsentsolmon Baatarnaran
Report Field Research Mongolia July 2017 – Discussion
Selenge Province 01-04.July
“It is true, the development comes along the roads”
Begin of July 2017 we made our first short exploratory field trip to the North, to Selenge Province. The aim was to visit and document a new road project, which is situated close to major historic trading roads, especially the so-called Tea Road. Along a newly car road and train route – both build to reach a major Mongolian iron deposit – we conducted our first interviews to collect narrations of individual locals, in the short time of three days given.
The artefact as Link: The TEA BRICK collected by Hans Leder. Use and meaning of tea bricks: milk tea –suutai tsai; placed under the head of death; loads of tea bricks as fences seen at the ritual place close to the Siberian border in summer 2017 etc.
Discussion on various maps including historic travel maps and routes
Resumé, Ideas, Theoretical approaches
DAY 2 / Weltmuseum Wien, DG 41
Wrap up DAY 1
Erdenebold Lhagvasuren
Steppe and Silk ROADS: Map/Topography of archaeological sites
Latest archeological projects and excavations in Mongolia – Q&A
About 20 expeditions in Mongolia per year take place. Erdenebold gave an overview of PPP from other expeditions and their preliminary findings.
Those included Mongolian-Russian Expeditions (on Stone Age, a cooperation already started in 1949); Mong.-Monaco Joint Expedition (Stone and Bropnze Age); Mongol-German Expedition (Ursula Brosseder, Orkhon Valley with a focus on bioarcheaology); Mongol-Korean Expedition together with the Institute of Cultural Heritage Center (Xiognu Grave; Xiognu graves are mostly found robbed – in comparison this one was rich in findings); Mongol-Japan expedition (Turcic Period, 645-745 in Sukhbaatar Aimag, 14 inscribed monuments); Mong-Japan (Kovd, bayan Uulgii); Mongol-France (Altai, frozen graves in mountains, grave of Xianbei-followers of Xiognu); Mongol-Korean (Bayan Ulgii, registering monuments, esp. rock paintings); Cultural Heritage Center (Digitisation of Temples, 3D Images, Monastery Uuld Beijsin, tsam Temple); Mong-American (“North-Mongol”, 10 years in Xövsgul); Mong-American/Pittsburgh (Bayan nuur); Mong-Japan (Khentii, Turcic and later); Mong-Korean (Xiognu, Tuuv Aimag); Chinese-Mong (Arkhangai, Xiognu); Mong-Russian (Tuuv aimag, Xiognuu); Mong-Russian (Tuuv, Xiognu); Mong-German (Erdenebat&Franke; Graves in Khara Balgas, Uighur); 3 Mong-korean Expeditions looking for ancestors.
NUM (Sukhbaatar, Bronze Age); National museum (near Erdenet, maybe Xianbei, red laquer objects, wooden doll ..); Khovd university (Khovd Aimag, Bronze-along newly built road); Inst. of Archeaology ( Xiognu Settlements, 1960s found by Perlee in Bulgan); Inst. of Archeaology (Ethnic Origins of Mongolians,DNA, graves, 100 researchers involved, 17 books, from 3rd century BC); Erdenebold (Cultural heritage of Tuul Valley, near Nailakh, 5 years, many Xiognu graves); University of Technology (Western Mongolia, rock paintings); Inst. of Archeaology (Sardagiin khiid, Tuv Aimag, 17th cent., Khogno Khan); Erdenebold (Tuuv aimag, bronze); MUST (runic inscriptions); Cult. Heritage Center (11th cent.)
LAYERS of the project & exhibition
Discussing and proposing concrete main topics for the project
Nina Lang
ARTEFACTS as LINKS: OBJECTS at the Weltmuseum Wien & Discussion
Possible Objects for exhibition: Tang Grave Figures (exhibited), coins, Yuan bowls and vases, tea bricks, silver ingots, silk raw, Ikat fabrics and coats, hats, historic photographs etc.
Walk through the Weltmuseum to specificic objects
13:00-14:00 LUNCH Cook Bistro
Objects& Meeting Bettina Zorn (Curator China, Japan)
15:00 -16:00
ARTEFACTS as LINKS: OBJECTS from Mongolia for project exhibition & Discussion

Which findings may be connected best to the silk and steppe roads?
Findings from Shoron Bombugar as a complex together with objects housed at the Fine Arts Museum
Noin Uul Findings (Erdenebat): such as Italian glass, unicorn plates etc.

Discussion on Archeology & Anthropology, basic texts ?

DAY 3 / Institute for Social Anthropology (ISA), Seminar Room (Hollandstrasse 11-13, 2nd floor)
Dr. Dan Mahoney (archeologist and anthropologist)
Archeology-Anthropology. Introduction and discussion of main issues
Field research planning: Mongolia & Siberia 2018
14.June-14th July
UB (6 days)
Old Silk Road and New Roads: UB-GOBI-KHARKHORIN-UB (10-14 days)
UB-SELENGE-Kiakhta-Ulan Ude-Country Side-CHITA (14-18 days)

Discussions, Resumee

NEW MAPS (Johannes) with Mongolia as the center

Different Layers visualized by various maps which can be overlaid:

Empty Map Model
Historic Silk Roads
Tea Roads
Old steppe road
Traveller´s Routes (Qiu Chuji , Marco Polo, Rubruck, Troll, Leder etc.)
New Silk and Steppe Roads (realized, planned, dreams)
Border Crossings
Topography of Archeaological Findings
Plants and entomologica transfers/collections

Erdenebold to do:
contact Siberian scientists for archive and musuems in Siberia (Khiakta, Ulan Ude, Chita)
Topography of Archeaological Findings