Growing potatoes, I found a valuable artifact. How a 7th century statue fell into the hands of a farmer

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Growing potatoes, I found a valuable artifact. How a statue of the 7th century fell into the hands of a farmer

Farmer Erkin Turbaev discovered a valuable artifact by accident.

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Many valuable artifacts usually found by chance during construction projects. Sometimes, important historical items fall into the hands of farmers. A similar case was repeated in Kyrgyzstan.

On October 15, 2022, a farmer named Erkin Turbaev was plowing his land in the Issyk-Kul Lake region of the Northern Tien Shan. And during this, he unearthed a huge statue of Balbal of the 6th century, writes Ancient Origins.

At first he thought it was an ordinary stone, so he dug into the ground to remove it. Digging deeper, he realized that in fact his plow hit a large stone statue. She depicted the face and upper part of a person. Subsequently, Turbaev realized that he had discovered Balbal – a type of memorial statue, meaning a tombstone or grave marker. It was used by the inhabitants of Central Asia of the first millennium, mainly nomadic Turks.

Balbal had a length of 3 meters. The figure was carved with a headdress and armor, so it was assumed that it was a man. In his left hand he held a sword. This indicated the status of a warrior. There was nothing on the bottom of the statue. She was probably just buried in the ground. Historian Zhanbolot Abdikerimov carefully studied the inscriptions on the statue, noting that this man had an important title at the time of his death.

Growing potatoes, I found a valuable artifact. How a 7th-century statue fell into the hands of a farmer

Growing potatoes, I found a valuable artifact. How a 7th-century statue fell into the hands of a farmer

This is not the first such find in Kyrgyzstan. There are two theories of their origin. One of them says that in the VI and VII Art. the Turks adopted other burial practices that differed from the usual. According to another version, the statues represent the losers in the battle during the war. They were supposed to become the servants of the hero in that world, so they were placed at the burial place. Perhaps the statues are a reflection of the most daring warriors from the enemy camp.

However, today the nomadic Turkish tribes known as the Göktürks are considered the authors. Even in pre-Islamic times, they organized a vast confederation of peoples in Central Asia. At the same time, the presence of Balbals on their controlled lands helped historians to determine the boundaries of this proto-state.

Historian Zhanbolot Abdikerimov noted that the lands near Issyk-Kul had been occupied for more than 2000 years. But mounds are found in the region, which date back even to the 3rd century. BC e. In addition, there are many open balbals in Kyrgyzstan today. Although they spread in the pre-Islamic era, many stone sculptures have survived to this day. And this gives archaeologists and historians a valuable understanding of the culture that produced them.