By order of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the film crew of the documentary "Sacral Kazakhstan" witnessed the excavation of the city of merchants and the opening of a new page of history. Excavations are conducted by employees of the research center "KazArcheology" from 2015. During the filming we managed to talk to the head of the archaeological expedition, archaeologist Askar Abildin.
The history of Taraz is rooted in the past. Arabic, Chinese, Persian records say that in the Middle Ages the city was considered the largest center on the banks of the Talas River. The first archaeological excavations on the site of the city of Taraz were conducted in the 30s of the 20th century. The excavations that have been made before this have shown that Taraz is two thousand years old. It is worth noting that in connection with the small number of finds, the two thousandth year was taken approximately. And since then much time has passed, but the age of 2000 years is still up. According to some scientists, the name "Taraz" is found in Chinese sources dating from 40-50 years BC. And this means that the history of Taraz has more than 2 thousand years. In this no one doubts.
And if we talk about the place where we are, here, during the Second World War, a bazaar was built, popularly known as the "Green Bazaar." Excavations of this place were started in 2009-2010, and do not stop to this day. For the excavations, a competition was announced, in which 4 companies participated. LLP “KazArcheology” became the winner and received permission to excavate. Our company started its work in 2015 and currently works here. We do not hide Taraz and do not seek to make any discovery; on the contrary, we want to prove that ancient Taraz is a city of merchants, the heart of the Great Silk Road. Of course, no one doubts the history and antiquity of Taraz, in 2015 we received an instruction from the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the RK to reveal and show the ancient place of Taraz, the goal is to show tourists the ancient city so that the person could see with his own eyes and feel its great thousand-year history. Prior to this, archaeological excavations were conducted in different parts of the city, there were some finds, but there is no general picture. We need integrity. Therefore, we were given the task to fully reveal the place of the ancient city. Only then can you see the results of the work and learn the depth of the history of the city.
Excavations, begun in 2015, are already bearing fruit. We excavated 10 square meters of the southeastern part of the city - Shahristan, found a large caravan-shed, in addition, the city's central road became known, it became known that the city consisted of blocks; it became known how the water-pipe was built in the city. There was a special feature of water delivery to the city. Water in the city came through clay pipes from Talas, and inside the city was conducted through irrigation ditches. It was also found out that in the Х-ХІІ centuries a lot of stone was used in the construction of the city. It was found a lot of artifacts, namely, ceramic dishes, coins, bronze ornaments, and household items.
If we talk about the results of 2016, on the spot where we now stand, there were streets and houses of that time. Here you can see what kind of streets there were, how many rooms there were in the houses. The main discovery is Shahristan of ancient Taraz. In this part, clearly visible are the location of the houses, what size were the streets, how many rooms were in houses.
And the achievements of this year are the features of the construction of the city, the features of architecture. To show that Taraz was not only a shopping center, but it was also a political center. As you know, the Ambassador of Byzantium came here, and this is an event of political importance.
In addition, Byzantine coins were found, therefore, already at that time trade and political ties were established between the two cities. In 2015, during the excavations, a gold Byzantine coin (VII century) was found. The coin depicts the image of Faka; it is now kept in the Museum of ancient Taraz. We work together with the "KazRestavratsiya". That is, our task is to find, we find relics and transfer them to "KazRestavratsiya", and then they carry out restoration work and put them to the museum. Speaking about specific figures, in 2015 more than 1000 artifacts were found, in 2016 - more than 1200, in 2017 - about 700 artifacts were found, and ready for delivery.
In addition, we closely cooperate with our colleagues from neighboring Russia, the scientists and archaeologists from Hermitage visited us, shared their experience, expressed their will and offered to conduct joint excavations.
After a while we will collect all the results of the last years' works, we will study, we will open the medieval image of ancient Taraz, for this we have a special historical and cultural center "Ancient Taraz". We plan to turn this center into a full-fledged complex and for this we are working. I am sure that in the near future excavation will please us with new discoveries.
Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA