A Careless Destruction of Artifacts


Diyora Temirova

On September 6 in Qurquldak Qo’rg’on, near the Yangiyo’l region by Uzbekistan’s capital, artifacts
were destroyed in excavation attempts by the local fire department.
Near the historic site, the banks of a small canal had become exposed, and locals noticed visible sections
of artifacts sticking out of the wall of the canal. They contacted the mayor’s office to ask that climbers be sent
to retrieve them, but firefighters were sent in their place. The firefighters then unsuccessfully attempted to
extract the artifacts by exposing the canal around it using water power from their hose, which ultimately
shattered the pottery, later found to have been filled with human remains.
The issue ignited on social media after a blogger named Lilia Nikolenko, who posted the story,
disdainedly claimed that she was disappointed in “the level of culture…education, and attitude to our own
history” (via Facebook). She also stated that other nearby spectators had expressed disappointment with the
poor execution of the fire department. The Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan supposedly stated that an investigation was to be opened into the
miscommunication with the project, but they have yet to publicly address the issue online.