John Olsen becomes an Honorary Doctor of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, Novosibirsk

University of Arizona Regents’ Professor Emeritus John W. Olsen has worked with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS since 1995. The Joint Mongolian-Russian-American Archaeological Expedition that he co-directs celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. The Expedition investigated Tsagaan Agui Cave and Chikhen Agui Rockshelter, the Chikhen-2 site, and discovered the Tolbor Valley’s high concentration of Initial & Early Upper Paleolithic sites and numerous localities with surface material. Currently this Expedition works in the Orkhon Valley and the Gobi Desert.

John is not only the co-director of our trilateral expedition, he also has long-established relationships with the Novosibirsk scientific community in general. He taught two courses at Novosibirsk State University during the spring semester of 2018: “Principles of Archaeology” (a lecture course) for post-baccalaureate students and “Reading Archaeology” (a seminar) for undergraduates.


John’s career has emphasized the establishment of enduring scientific collaborations between Mongolia, China, Russia and the USA. He consciously involves early-career researchers in his international projects and expeditions.

Inner Mongolia, 2017

Ge Junyi in Mongolia, 2019 Rongbuk, Tibet, 2018

Our team congratulates John on this richly deserved Honorary Degree and collectively thank him for all his help with fieldwork, international collaboration, ideas and articles!

John (left) with Robin Dennell. China, December 2019

Read more about the event here Ученый совет Института принял решение о присуждении звания «Почетный доктор Института археологии и этнографии Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук» (

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