The Karakalpak-Australian Expedition is the result of a collaborative agreement between the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Nukus (Karakalpak branch of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences) and the University of Sydney Central Asian Programme. Discussions began in 1992, and in 1995 the Expedition was formally launched to investigate the Tash-k'irman Oasis, the last major archaeologically unstudied area of the Amu-Dar'ya delta. The team has been working at two sites, the massive fortified settlement of Akchakhan-kala and the Fire temple complex at Tash-k'irman-tepe. Both have yielded spectacular results. Work at present is focused on excavations at the Akchakhan-kala temple and the recovery of a magnificent corpus of wall paintings and painted sculpture.

Our excavations are funded by the Australian Research Council, National Geographic, the Uzbek Academy of Sciences, the Volunteer programme and private donors.