‘MTSU On the Record’ guest discusses d...

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest discusses discovery of nomadic city in mountains of Uzbekistan

The discovery of an entire city that previously was unknown to modern researchers was the topic of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Michael Frachetti

Host Gina Logue’s interview with anthropologist Michael Frachetti first aired Jan. 30 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web

Frachetti, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, also will deliver a free public lecture on nomadic cities at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of MTSU’s Business and Aerospace Building.

As part of research funded by the National Science Foundation, Frachetti and his team discovered the ancient medieval city of Tashbulak in what is now Uzbekistan. The revelation of the civilization nestled high in the Malguzar mountain range exploded stereotypes of nomads as aimless wanderers.

“Archaeology is beginning to illustrate that nomadic civilizations … are much more dynamic and diverse than what we ever understood them to be,” said Frachetti.

“It appears that there were populations that … had an economy and a society organized in nomadic structures, but they also did things like build cities.”


This panoramic view of the central mound at the medieval “Silk Road” city Tashbulak shows test excavations underway by Dr. Michael Frachetti and his teams. Frachetti and Uzbek scientist Farhad Maksudov of the Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences in Uzbeistan were co-directors of n archeological team who discovered the city in 2011. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Frachetti)

The discovery of Tashbulak also led to a reassessment of trade along the so-called “Silk Road,” the ancient network of passages from the Far East to Europe that connected East and West through business and cultural interaction.

You can watch a video about the Tashbulak project below.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.