In 2022, in cooperation with the Samarkand Archaeological Institute named after Ya. Gulyamov and with the financial support of the Society for the Exploration of EurAsia(Switzerland), an international team of researchers resumed work on the medieval Christian monument Suleiman Tepa, located in the picturesque foothill area of the city of Urgut(Uzbekistan).
This monument is a large monastery complex partially explored earlier.
The purpose of the comprehensive research in the 2022 field season was to continue studying the structural features of the monastery, as well as to search for the monastery necropolis.
To achieve this goal, various modern technologies were used: remote sensing, surveying with high-precision geodetic instruments, geomagnetic research; radiocarbon dating was also carried out.
The research yielded excellent results – a large necropolis was discovered 240 meters south of the monastery, dated with the help of radiocarbon analysis to the 9th century, which corresponds to the time of the monastery's functioning. 17 burials were excavated. The burials consist of an "entrance" vertical pit connected through a narrow passage with a burial chamber hollowed out in the loess layer. The burial chambers have a spherical vault. The passage between the "entrance pit" and the burial chamber was blocked with mud bricks. The whole structure is oriented from west to east.
Archaeological excavations on the territory of the monastery revealed in its southern part a stone pavement delineating the southern boundaries of the architectural structure.
The expedition work included 3D scanning of caves-cells with inscriptions located in relative proximity to the monastery.
Further work will be aimed at continuing the study of the necropolis and the monastery, conducting laboratory studies of anthropological material, DNA analysis and various natural scientific analyses in order to obtain a clearer picture of the monument and its inhabitants.