Stone giants Ustyurt

April 13, 2012 10:27

Sensation 1983 — to the west in the Ustyurt Beat wells were discovered ancient stone sculptures of an unknown civilization. This set of sculptures was absolutely unique — nothing like it in the Eurasian steppes had not met.

Ustyurt edge.  Photo:

Ustyurt edge. Photo:

Over the centuries, the Ustyurt preserved traces of many civilizations, according to him the Great Silk Road, the ancient caravan route — the road Khorezm Shahs, connecting the ancient city of Khiva, with the lower reaches of the Volga, it affected the Great Migration, the Mongol conquests, hiking Scythians. Many old cemeteries, mausoleums, with minarets and underground temples scattered across the plateau, discovered 60 sites of prehistoric man of the Neolithic, the ruins of ancient cities and Shahir-Wazir and Allan fortress and the remains of ancient settlements even more unknown civilizations. But discovered in 1983 civilization had all this irrelevant.

Sanctuary on the mound.  Ustyurt.  Photo:

Sanctuary on the mound. Ustyurt. Photo:

In 1983, geologists Ustyurt Gusev and E. Farah, about 50 km from the village of Sai-Utes in wells Beat found in a small area of about 70 sculptures of male warriors, as many as there were only Scythian stone stelae found in the steppes of the Black Sea 100 years of research. By next year, there went the Volga-Ural archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences.

On the mound.  Photo:

On the mound. Photo:

Here's what he wrote about the discovery in the Ustyurt expedition head Lev Leonidovich Galkin, "near two high mounds on a relatively small area lay many broken stone sculptures. Some wreckage was so massive, that move them to one person is not possible. The statues were different — some reaching almost four-meter, the other — a little more than two meters, and the smallest — about one meter. Here lay the stone heads, broad male torso with a narrow waist, semi limestone slabs. Dominated by large and medium-sized sculpture. Despite the fact that they had once thrown to the ground and broke, it was obvious that the statue stood in a particular order — in the form of the letter "P". Probably, the impressive spectacle of this gallery in the sun. There, in the sunset, in the "land of the dead" were turned their faces … "

Stella on the mound with mysterious signs.  Photo:

Stella on the mound with mysterious signs. Photo:

All ancient monuments at the wells Beat placed on a platform with a good all-round visibility from a distance of 1 to 4 km from each other, and with a religious complex can be seen as follows. In Beit found three sets of hillocks votoka north-south-west. Beat complex-1 consists of a single "king" of the mound height of 4 meters and two smaller mounds, and near a large mound of old established order of 25 sculptures. "King's mound" plundered in antiquity, so archaeologists have found only one coracoid stone altar.

On the mound in the abandoned village of Ustyurt.  Photo:

On the mound in the abandoned village of Ustyurt. Photo:

At a distance of 1 km from the Beat-1 is a complex of Beat-2, but there was not found a single sculpture, but not far from it was discovered quarry, which was mined white and pink limestone, served as material for making sculptures.

Stella with runes on Ustyurt.  Photo:

Stella with runes on Ustyurt. Photo:

To the south-east of Beit-2, about 4 km away, there is a group of mounds complex Beat 3. Its layout resembles the layout of the complex Beat-1, but to the west of the central compact mound with the letter "P" lay 50 broken statues, but the mouth of the square was drawn to the northwest. On a set of byte-3 was found two stone sacrificial table, indicating that these complexes are the sanctuary.

The head of a warrior from the sanctuary Bailey.  Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990.  Photo:

The head of a warrior from the sanctuary Bailey. Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990. Photo:

LL Galkin wrote about it: "They (the tables), is located only 15 meters from each other. A large table was almost rectangular more than a meter in length, and four small tapered legs were a little less than a meter. To the south-east of the "Char mound" and found a stone dish (80 cm in diameter). Now everything fell into place. Such items are usually found at shrines. On stone tables sacrifice animals and then cut up their carcasses … "

So, the sanctuary comprising one to five mounds, a key element was a circular design sanctuaries of large stone blocks, which took the form of an annular wall, which led into a narrow passage. Beside the altar, it was discovered many memorial buildings, built of stone.

Part of the shape of the sanctuary Bailey.  Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990.  Photo:

Part of the shape of the sanctuary Bailey. Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990. Photo:

All the statues were knocked down at the sanctuary and damaged, owing to fear and hatred of the later-to-pay to the idols of an unknown civilization, yet archaeologists were able to determine their original position — they have a team of 2-4 idol in about two meters away from each other, forming stone army up to 4 meters. Sculptures, mostly reproducing the figure was a man with a lowered right hand pressed against his thigh, and the left arm is bent at the elbow and pressed against her stomach. Prominent cheekbones their faces and in some cases the lack of beards suggests their Mongoloid origin, although some of them are present and European features. Mystery …

The torso of a warrior from the sanctuary Bailey.  Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990.  Photo:

The torso of a warrior from the sanctuary Bailey. Photo L.Galkina and Glazunov, magazine "Around the World" for 1990. Photo:

On some broken statues clearly see the relief images of swords, bows and daggers. By depicted in carvings and jewelry weapons scientists thought that these structures belong Massagets living in IV — III centuries BC. e. About Massaget archaeologists still do not really know. They are believed to have been one of the Indo-European group.

About nomadic tribes Massagetae Herodotus wrote, his works — the main source of information about them. It was a warlike and powerful nation. Massagets worshiped the sun and brought him to sacrifice horses, dressed almost like the Scythians, and were similar lifestyle. They believed in life after death, faith made them build the sanctuary of their ancestors and preserve them. Perhaps they worshiped their ancestors and seek their protection, and here Massagetae much in common with the Scythians.

According to Herodotus, Massagets fought on horseback and on foot, their weapons consisted of bows, spears, daggers and battle axes. Their manners were simple and unpretentious — if Massaget like women, he just hung a quiver of arrows on her tent, so that no one went in, and remained with his chosen.

Where exactly located land Massagetae currently unknown, but clearly they bordered with Central Asian countries, which were part of the Achaemenid Empire. In the IV century BC. e. nomadic Massagetae halt the east army of Persian King Cyrus the Achaemenid dynasty. Queen Massagetae Tomiris rejected the proposal of Cyrus to marry him, and Cyrus started the war. First battle massagets thoughtlessly lost in captivity was the son of Queen Sargapis, but the second battle completely decided the outcome of the war.

Herodotus wrote: "The battle, I think the most brutal battles of those who were among the barbarians … It is said that at first, at a distance, they are shooting at each other with bows and arrows, and then when they reach out, they rushed at each another, fought hand to hand with spears and daggers. Fighting, they stood firm for a long time, and neither they nor the other did not want to flee, but in the end massagets prevailed. Most of the Persian army was destroyed on the spot, and Cyrus himself was killed … "

When the IV century BC. e. Alexander the Great came to the lands of Central Asia, among the most implacable enemies of the new invaders again stood warlike tribes Massagetae. It is believed that part Massaget and Sarmatian tribes, not succumbing to the invaders, went north, presumably on the Ustyurt plateau and Mangyshlak and one of the tribes became part and disappeared in the population of Central Asia: stone sculptures, Massaget sacrificial meals and Khorezm coins engraved image of the same sign.

And what has gone stone army now? The best way to keep the findings — it will give them to the ground again. Just remember you about them sometime later …

Olga Sudnikovich

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