A group of Russian and Kyrghyz archaeologists and ethnographers is in Tuva, eastern Siberia, looking for traces of the Kyrghyzs, who inhabited the area more than 2,000 years ago.
Ablabek Asankanov, a corresponding member of Kyrghyzstan's Academy of Sciences who is leading the expedition, said the archaeologists would be working in the area of the Alash river for a few days.
The expedition aims to trace the ethnogeny of the Kyrghyz people, its roots and ethnic links to the peoples of Siberia and Sayan-Altai highland.
Ancient Chinese manuscripts dating back to 2,200 years ago make mention of a state of Yenisei Kyrghyzs in Central Asia, said Mr Asankanov.
Fleeing the Huns the Kyrghyz tribes must have migrated to the Minusin Basin (now Khakasia, eastern Siberia) approximately in the 3d century BC. Experts have already examined the grave-mounds, steles, fortifications and remnants of ancient towns on Khakasian territory. Now they are starting work in Tuva.
Scientists say similar job has to be done in Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan, territory of modern-day China.