2007/12/27

Scythian city?

The divers of the 2007 International Expedition of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic Institute to lake Issyk-Kul' (Kyrgyzstan) have found the traces of an earlier unknown civilization, dated approximately by 2,500 years ago. The heads of the expedition were Vladimir Ploskih (Kyrgyzstan) and Svetlana and Nikolay Lukashovs (Russia).

This civilization was comparable to the civilizations of the Northern Black Sea or the Mediterranean Egypt, said Nikolay Lukashov (link in Russian). The divers worked at the depth of 5 to 10 meters at the northern coast of the lake and found large walls, up to 500 meters long. The area encircled by the walls was some square kilometers. Near the walls, there were Scythian burial mounds with bronze axes, spear heads, knives, remainders of a bronze production and a golden rod — the ancient money.

Some finds are really intriguing. So, the bronze cauldron raised from the lake bottom is made of some separate parts welded together with the quality which is only possible to achieve using modern inert gas welding. The quality of the bronze mirrors and the ornamented harness is also astonishing.

Large ritual and living buildings were found nearby. In the next year, these buildings will be studied in details.

The uniqueness of Issyk-Kul' is that it is located at the crossroads of the human migrations, including Indo-Aryan tribes. Also, the water level in the lake is known to oscillate irregularly. Currently, the water level is relatively high and the lake may contain many more interesting archaeological sites, including the legendary fortress built by Timur, who kept noble prisoners and treasures in this fortress. Another secret of the lake is the monastery which is found in the Catalan Atlas (1375). The monastery is marked on the map with the words: "The place is named Isikol. Here is the monastery of the Armenian brothers where the remains of St.Matthew the Apostle are kept." Famous Russian geographer P. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky found this inscription in the atlas and tried to find the ruins of the monastery, but failed. Probably, it is lying now below the surface of Issyk-Kul'.

Update @ 23:38 2007-12-27: Here's a link to the same article in English: Remains of ancient civilisation discovered on the bottom of a lake

3 comments:

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

The article you linked to was interesting. Am I understanding correctly that the lake has such a wide level difference over hundreds of years, that what they built 400 years ago could be under water now.

Strange Lake. Well drain the lake and dig out the old cities. :) (just kidding)

I like your article, It was interesting!

Kyle

Dmitri Minaev said...

Yes, the water level in Issyk Kul' rises and falls often (well, "often" in the geological terms :):

Lake terraces stretch along the shores, indicating a higher water level in the past, and the presence of underwater ruins of buildings at depths of up to 23 feet testifies to the past that in the Middle Ages the level of the lake was lower that it now is. In the 20th century the lake has dropped more than three meters. Seasonal fluctuations of the level, caused by summer floods in the rivers of the Issyk-Kul Basin, range from 12 to 20 inches.

The water level has been rising, and rising quickly, at Issyk Kul for the last 7 years. The general consensus is that the level of the lake had actually dropped quite a bit in the last several hundred years (fueling speculation that [more] drowned cities might be found from other level changes in the last few millennia). But now it has been rising, at a rate of about 12 cm a year, or 5 inches.

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Thanks, that is a neat! No telling what is buried in the bottom of the lake?

Kyle & Svet