Historical-cultural monuments

Museum under the open air



Burial ground (Necropolis) Issyk

The Issyk burial ground in ancient times consisted of more than 300 different sized burial mounds — burials of the Saki kings of the VI-IV centuries B.C., the area of the necropolis at that time was 1.5 thousand hectares. Today more than 80 burial mounds are included in the conservation zone of the reserve-museum.

Archaeological excavations on the monument were conducted since 1968 and had an irregular scheduling. The burial ground became famous in 1970 when, as a result of excavations at the site of the motor depot under construction, the Saki prince’s untouched burial was discovered — the burial place of the «Golden Man». In 1999, under the leadership of archaeologist Beken Nurmukhanbetov, three burial mounds of the burial ground were investigated, one of which is now museumified and is an exposition object of the reserve museum. Visitors to the museum have a rare opportunity to see the «steppe pyramid» in a section in real scale. Barrows of the cemetery create a unique landscape scenery of the reserve museum.



Rakhat settlement

Located at the foot of the mountains, 5 km south of the city of Yssik, directly adjacent to the village of Rakhat, which is located on the highway Esik-Talgar. The constituent parts of the site were lined up along the mountains from east to west. Ditches, fortress walls with towers are clearly read. The central part of the settlement is a trapezoidal hill, rising 10 meters above the level of the first mountain terrace and 50 meters above the flat steppe adjoining the north. The central part is surrounded by gullies with traces of artificial cutting of slopes and trees, where traces of excavations are visible, which turned them into a system of effective fortification structures. There is a hypothesis that the ancient settlement of Rakhat was the residence of the Saki kings and it was from there that they carried the body of the «Golden Man» to the place of his burial.dji_0019-1024x683 img_2656-1024x683

In 2004, employees of the Institute of Archeology A.H. Margulan conducted preliminary excavations of the ancient settlement of Rakhat, which revealed a cultural layer corresponding to the burial mounds of the Issyk burial ground. In May 2017, the complex archaeological expedition of the Issyk reserve museum began exploratory archaeological research on the site of the ancient settlement, these works should determine the course of future large-scale excavations at the site.








Orikti Settlement

It is located on the south-western outskirts of the village of the same name (the former village of «Krasny Vostok»). The main parts of the site are a vicious circle. From the eastern, northern and western sides the site of the settlement is fortified by an earthen rampart — a wall. The south side is protected by a moat. On the territory of the eastern part there now is a modern cemetery. The northern part is also partially covered with graves.

Research work on the Orikti site was started by the museum reserve in 2012 by laying the excavation of two small burial mounds of the Turkic period and an exploratory stratigraphic trench, which, together with fragments of pottery, bone and stone handicrafts found in cemeteries, date the lower layer of the monument III-I centuries BC. It is assumed that at this place there was a settlement that once served the residence of the Saki nobility — the Rakhat settlement.

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