Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Words and music: a brief interlude

It was Christmas in March here in Ulaanbaatar.

I received "Sarnii Ayalguu", a collection of the songs written by one of Mongolia's most renowned writers, lyricists, essayists, and poets, Professor Dolgoriin Tsendjav.  The title means "Lunar melody (or melodies, maybe)".  Professor Tsendjav presented me with the CD himself!

Professor Tsendjav (Цэнджав багш) on the cover of his latest CD
 The tracks were recorded by highly celebrated Mongolian singers, and include one of my personal favorites, "Bi jargaltai" (transl. roughly as "I'm lucky/delighted/over the moon").  I can't think of any prestigious professors, who also write novels and poetry, with best-selling CDs in America. That's not only hard to imagine, it's a true testament to the prodigious talents of Professor Tsendjav.

The rest of March 'Christmas' was a shopping spree at Internom, a major book store chain in Ulaanbaatar.  My haul was split between archaeology books, dictionaries, and books for learning the traditional Mongolian script, Mongol bichig (Монгол бичиг). 

The brown book below contains collected analyses of all of the finds from the long-term, multidisciplinary archaeological project at Baga Gazryn Chuluu (BGC), Middle Gobi, Mongolia.  

Finally, a copy of the BGC book!
  I worked in the field at BGC in 2007 and 2008, and in 2009, I worked with my colleague, Deegii (Delgermaa), on all of the zooarchaeological materials in the laboratories at the Institute of Archaeology at the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.  Our chapter in the BGC book is short but sweet.  Thanks for all your hard work, Deegii egch!  Congratulations to everyone on the BGC team who did such a great job over the years, especially to our fearless leaders, Bill and Amraa bagsh nar.

Julian is overwhelmed: so much collected knowledge and scholarship in one hefty stack of paper.

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