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One of the kurgans at Issyk

The Issyk kurgan, in south-eastern Kazakhstan, less than 20 km east from the Talgar alluvial fan, near Issyk, is a burial mound discovered in 1969. It has a height of six meters and a circumference of sixty meters. It is dated to the 4th or 3rd century BC (Hall 1997). A notable item is a silver cup bearing an inscription. The finds are on display in Astana.

"Golden man"[edit]

Situated in eastern Scythia just north of Sogdiana, the kurgan contained a skeleton, warrior's equipment, and assorted funerary goods, including 4,000 gold ornaments. Although the sex of the skeleton is uncertain, it may have been an 18-year-old Saka (Scythian) prince or princess.

The richness of the burial items led the skeleton to be dubbed the "golden man" or "golden princess", with the "golden man" subsequently being adopted as one of the symbols of modern Kazakhstan. A likeness crowns the Independence Monument on the central square of Almaty. Its depiction may also be found on the Presidential Standard[disambiguation needed] of Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Issyk inscription[edit]

Drawing of the Issyk inscription

The Issyk inscription is not yet certainly deciphered, and is probably in a Scythian dialect, constituting one of very few autochthonous epigraphic traces of that language. Harmatta (1999), using the Kharoṣṭhī script, identifies the language as Khotanese Saka dialect spoken by the Kushans, tentatively translating:[1]

(Compare Nestor's Cup and Duenos inscription for other ancient inscriptions on vessels that concern the vessel itself).

Photos of the inscription[edit]

Inscription close up 1 (click to enlarge)
Inscription close up 2 (click to enlarge)

Golden treasures in the kurgan[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ahmet Kanlidere, in: M. Ocak, H. C. Güzel, C. Oğuz, O. Karatay: The Turks: Early ages. Yeni Türkiye 2002, p.417:
    • "Harmatta [Harmatta 1999, p.411-412] appears as he has accomplished to solve the mystery of this "unknown language and alphabet" which covers a wide are from Alma-Ata to Merv, to Dest-i Navur and to Ay Hanum. According to Harmatta and Fussman, the alphabet can be traced back to the Karoshti alphabet; and the language written with this alphabet could have been a Saka dialect spoken by the Kushans. Harmatta who remarks on the resemblance of the letters to those in Orkhon-Yenisey states that due to some letters [...]. [...]. Fussman states that this Inscription is based on syllables, and notes its similarity to the Kharosthi alphabet, but he could not read it. Livsits asks whether this alphabet he calls as the "third official alphabet of the Kushan State" is the Saka alphabet or not. [...]. Livsits, on the other hand says that, further to the Issyk-kol alphabet, this alphabet is related not with the Kharosthi alphabet, but rather with the Aramaic alphabet [...]."

References[edit]

  • Hall, Mark E. Towards an absolute chronology for the Iron Age of Inner Asia. Antiquity 71 (1997): 863-874.
  • Harmatta, Janos. History of Civilization of Central Asia. Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass (1999), ISBN 81-208-1408-8, p. 421 [1][2]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issyk_kurgan — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

4 news items

AzerNews

AzerNews
Fri, 02 May 2014 14:56:15 -0700

In addition to the inscriptions of the Issyk kurgan, two inscriptions of the Scythian period were discovered in Kazakhstan, the scientist said. Found by prominent Kazakh scientist Zholdasbek Kurmankulov as a result of some excavations in 2005 in the ...
 
UFODigest
Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:11:02 -0700

After the 7.8 Pakistan earthquakes on Tuesday 9/24/13, a new island rose up from the sea witnessed by a large crowd of onlookers. The island is mountainous rose up approximately 100 feet. It was seen near the Gwadar coastline. Edgar Cayce predicted ...
 
Dallas Morning News
Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:36:37 -0700

The most famous mound in Kazakhstan is the Issyk kurgan, where the skeleton of a Scythian in full warrior regalia, including a suit of golden mail and a wizard's hat, was discovered during the Soviet era. Known as the Golden Man, this noble's funerary ...

교수신문

교수신문
Tue, 19 May 2015 04:03:42 -0700

카자흐스탄 동남부, 알마타(Almata)에서 그리 멀지 않은 곳에 위치한 이시크 지역에 역사적으로 유명한 이시크 쿠르간(Issyk Kurgan)이 있다. 쿠르간이라니? 고고학자들에게는 친숙한 이 용어는 원래 투르크어였으며, 이 말이 러시아를 거쳐 영어에도 차용돼 쓰이고 ...
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