Kazakhstan’s must-see archaeological sites reveal the country’s rich history

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh landscape is famous not only for its picturesque nature and rich natural resources, but also for its various archaeological monuments, which help us to understand the country’s history and its place in the world.

An excerpt from the Khabar TV report on the tomb of the Saka tribes. Click to see full size map

Currently, 15 archaeological teams are working at different locations across the country, said Talgat Mamirov, deputy director for science at A. Kh. Margulan Institute of Archeology in a recent interview with Zakon.kz agency.

The Astana Times has compiled a list of some of the most interesting and unique artifacts found recently in different parts of the country.

1.The tomb of the Saka tribes

The tomb of the Saka tribes is located near Bozai village in Ayagoz district of Abai region

According to the report of the Khabar TV channel, scientists came across the tomb of the Saka people during one of their expeditions. One of their leaders is said to have been buried 3,000 years ago in the tomb.

Archaeologists have also found human remains and animal-patterned gold ornaments. The diameter of the tumulus, which was previously looted, is about 30 meters.

Archaeologists also found human remains and animal-patterned gold ornaments in the tomb.

“We found deer and leopard ornaments, but unfortunately they are not completely preserved. Our excavations will continue in the hope of finding something else of value. I can note that the tomb itself was made in an unusual way. This is the first time we have come across such a thing. Stone slabs are placed on the edge of a cemetery,” said archaeologist Baurzhan Besetayev.

2.Mausoleum site in the northern region of Kazakhstan

On August 12, Qazaqtv reported that several dams, irrigation ditches and more than 10 Stone Age mausoleums were discovered in the territory of Kyzyl-Oba, a unique archaeological monument.

According to Rakhat Mambetalinov, director of the center for the protection and use of historical and cultural heritage, the presence of such mausoleums allows scientists to postulate that high-ranking people lived in this region. Even an ordinary bai, that is, a rich owner of cattle in Kazakh, could not afford to erect such a mausoleum.

Scientists hope to find an entire city underground, as numerous artifacts indicate that the ancient population led a sedentary lifestyle.

Another find discovered during the excavations are late Eneolithic artifacts, which were found in the area of ​​medieval settlements.

“These are stone adzes, arrowheads, scrapers, slabs, chipped stones and serrated tools among other instruments of work. The findings show that this area was inhabited since ancient times, and people lived and hunted here 8,000 years ago,” said National Museum of Kazakhstan researcher Saule Rakhimzhanova.

A group of scientists from the UK are expected to join the archaeological digs next year, while local scientists plan to start collecting documents to include the area in UNESCO’s World Historical and Cultural Heritage List.

Earlier in 2020, coins from 1337 were found in the Kyzyl Oba cemetery area.

3.Historical and Archaeological Park of Taldi

The bronze cauldron was found in the mound of the Taldi Historical and Archaeological Park.

The unique artifacts dating back around 2,500 years were discovered during excavations in one of the mounds in the Shetsk district of the Karagandy region, Kazinform news agency reported in early August.

The bronze cauldron. Photo credit: inform.kz

One such find – a massive bronze cauldron filled with iron remains and insignia – was found near the Kyzylzhartas cemetery. In its morphological characteristics, the cauldron is similar to artifacts found at Semirechye. The weight of the cauldron is 25 kilograms, the diameter is 41 centimeters, and the height is 34 centimeters.

“The cauldron is heavily smoked, which means people used to cook food in it. Curiously, there were a lot of iron and bronze objects inside. Apparently, these are pieces of horse harness. Besides the plates and knobs, there are zoomorphic images: horse and predator figures, which we called tiggriff. Some scientists suggest that the iron remains were horse masks,” said Igor Kukushkin, a leading researcher at the Saryarka Archaeological Institute of Karaganda University, named after EA Buketov.

Iron and bronze objects found in the cauldron. Photo credit: inform.kz

To obtain more detailed information, scientists will undertake research in foreign laboratories. “We cooperate with colleagues from Poland, Lithuania, Ireland, Romania and Hungary. They have the necessary equipment and extensive experience. We will determine the date and then we will learn other details. All of this will take time,” Kukushkin added.

4.The cemetery of the Andronovo era near the village of Novoyilynovka in the Kostanai region

According to local archaeologists, the burial field contains nearly 30 visible constructions. During the excavations, the scientists came across historical findings and one of them was that the development of the horse as a vehicle of movement occurred in the Bronze Age. This has been proven by the fragments of the bridle found in the burial mounds.

The cemetery near the village of Novoyilynovka in the Kostanai region. Photo credit: qazaqtv.com

“A gold plate was found here and is now kept in the Lisakov Museum. I managed to find an exact analogy of this plate on figures from Serbia. These characters are goddesses who wear these pendants. In this case, this cemetery also has broad connections,” said Emma Usmanova, a researcher at the Saryarka Archaeological Institute, in an interview with the Khabar TV channel.

Artem Yakimov is one of the Russian scientists who worked with Kazakh researchers. He now studies the ground at the time of burial in the burial mounds.

“This cemetery is unique because there are different burial mounds from different eras. I mean, it’s a great chance for us, because we can at least ‘rebuild the chain’ for this neighborhood. That is, for example, Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age, and Middle Ages. I’m speaking vaguely. I mean we can identify the changes that happened here and monitor the dynamics to date “Yakimov said.

The findings will be showcased at the Third International Festival of Ancient Technology and Cultural Communication named after Thor Heyerdahl Desht-Thor in late August.