Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Archaelogical Studies at the Karatau Tumulus Burial Grounds

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Archaelogical Studies at the Karatau Tumulus Burial Grounds

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Karatau team of the Syganak archaeological expedition of the Research Centre of Archaeology of the International Kazakh-Turkish University named Khoja Ahmed Yasawi hold the exploration works along the lower and middle reaches of Kyzylata and Biresek rivers in 2012 field season. In the course of the study the burial grounds Kyzylata I, Kyzylata II, Biresek I and a single tumulus Biresek II were excavated. The aim of the study is to obtain new data on early medieval cultures, identifying features of the evolution and trends in the overall development of culture and the reconstruction of obsequies and philosophical foundations of ancient tribes. The study was funded by the Committee of Science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the framework of the budget program 055 "Research and / or scientific and technical activities", sub-programme 101 "Grant funding for research studies" by priority: "The intellectual potential of the country."

Keywords: Tumulus, burial mound, burial chamber, dromos, burial ground

1. Introduction

The Karatau team of Syganak archaeological expedition of the Research Centre of Archaeology of the International Kazakh-Turkish University named Khoja Ahmed Yasawi hold the exploration works on 4 tumuluses of the burial ground Kyzylata I (tumulus no. 4-7) on one tumulus of the burial ground Kyzylata II (tumulus no. 1), on two tumuluses of the burial ground Biresek I (tumulus no. 5, 12) and on a single tumulus Biresek II in 2012 field season.

2. Techniques

The study of tumuluses was carried out taking into account the methodological experience gained in studying similar monuments. Only the inner part of the burial chamber and dromos structures were exposed to clearing. The external shell of the structure, including the collapse of the structure, as well as the structure breakdown and the walling of inner surfaces of the burial chamber walls and dromos were subjected to the drawing. Most often the highest point of the tumulus structure was taken as a conditional "0". Given the fact that most tumuluses are located on slopes with a significant incline, the height of the tumulus was measured from the lowest point of the burial chamber, corresponding to the level of the bed rock of the tumulus structure.

3. Results

Kyzylata I burial ground is situated in the Turkestan, region of the South Kazakhstan, 17 km north-northwest of the Kentau city, in the valley of Kyzylata mountain stream. The burial ground was discovered in 2004 by the Turan archaeological expedition of the Research Centre of Archaeology of the International Kazakh-Turkish University named Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Report, 2005).

In the course of studies on the monument in 2004 the tumuluses and burial mounds located on both banks of the Kyzylata River were included in the burial ground. In the study of 2012 we divided the tumulus burial ground into two separate monuments - the tumulus burial ground Kyzylata I located on the left bank of the river and the burial ground Kyzylata II located on the right bank of the river (Report, 2012).

The tumuluses of the burial ground Kyzylata I are chained from north to south, stretching along the left bank of the Kyzylata River. The beginning of the tumulus chain is located 60 m north of the Balakorgan fortress, and it ends 2.5 km to the north of it. The majority of tulumuses are located on the top of the ridge, delimiting from east a narrow valley of the Kyzylata River that lies at the highest point of the pass and only tumulus 1 is located in the bottomland on the bank of the river. The average distance between tumuluses is 150 m. A total number of 17 tulumuses of different diameter and height are recorded in the burial ground.

Tumulus 4 is located on the top of the ridge bounding from east the Valley of the Kyzylata River, at a distance of 460 m north of the Balakorgan fortress. The tumulus consists of two parts: the tumulus structure itself, i. …

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