Turkic Kurgan Found at Naryn Campus
The discovery of a Turkic kurgan or burial site, complete with the skeletons of a human and a horse, created excitement at the archaeological site on UCA’s Naryn campus.
|Archaeologist Dr Kubat Tabaldyev speaks to the media about the Naryn findings.
The site has long been of interest to archaeologists. In 1953, archaeologist Ahmad Kabirov discovered over 100 artefacts there, many of which were destroyed. UCA was aware of the sites based on studies by archaeologist Dr Kubat Tabaldyev. In 2012, the sites were carefully relocated under the supervision of community leaders. During a seismic study, older remains and petroglyphic drawings were found. UCA approached Tabaldyev, now at Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, to lead an archaeological survey of the area.
Over three years of exploration, Tabaldyev’s team discovered internment sites, memorial fencing, petroglyph drawings and artefacts spanning the Stone, Bronze, early Iron and Middles Ages, indicating continuous settlement by various communities, including the Saka and the Mongols and communities representing Andronovo, Chust and Kulsai cultures.
In August 2014, with funding from the Omsk Radio Factory and Novosibirsk State University, Russian archaeologist Yuriy Sergeevich Khudyakov and his team joined Tabaldyev’s team to study the site and develop a scientific report.
Khudyakov and colleagues found the kurgan, which dates back to the 7th century. In addition to the skeletons, a saddle, ornaments and iron artefacts were found. The horse was carefully placed on the southern side at the bottom of the pit, separated from the person by a row of vertical wooden bars and stones.
Other findings included graves and artefacts dating to the Stone Age and organic residues from the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras. Findings point to settlement and wheat cultivation near the Naryn River, indicating that the region used to be warmer.
On 15 August 2014, Khudyakov, who is an honorary foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, presented his findings in the UCA Public Lecture Series in Naryn. He highlighted the historical significance of archaeology and benefits for regional tourism.
“There are significant archaeological findings directly related to the work at UCA. Countries such as Italy, Spain and Turkey have had great success using ancient monuments for scientific tourism,” noted Khudyakov, “Kyrgyzstan attracts tourists with its majestic landscapes, but it also has valuable monuments reflecting the migration routes of ancient peoples.”