New discoveries from Genghis Khan era found in North Kazakhstan

New scientific discoveries were made recently in the Ualikhanov District of the North Kazakhstan Region. The project that made the discoveries is part of the national Rukhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity) programme.

L-R: Scholars at M. Kozybayev North Kazakhstan State University Irina Olkova and Lyaili Ismagambetova.

On Sept. 12, students and teachers of M. Kozybayev North Kazakhstan State University (NKSU) together with the representatives of the Margulan Centre of Pavlodar State Pedagogical University went on an archaeological expedition to the Ualikhanov District of the North Kazakhstan Region. There, in the lower reaches of the Seleta River, during the excavations, the ruins of ancient mausoleums with the rulers’ burial places and the remains of workshops and kilns where brick and architectural decor was made, were found. Bricks of various sizes, gold jewellery, ceramic dishes and household items were found in the mazar (burial mound). In total, during half a month, they managed to examine 100 square metres of the territory.

According to the scientists, the representatives of the ruling house of Genghisides from the dynasty of Jochi Khan (Zhoshi Khan) were buried in the tomb of the medieval mausoleum, dating back to the middle of the second half of the 14th century. In addition to the monuments of cult-memorial architecture during the archaeological exploration of the area and the conducted analysis of satellite images and aerial photographs, numerous traces of ancient irrigation in the form of dams and irrigation ditches were revealed as well as the fragments of ceramic wheels- vessels of water-lifting mechanisms.

According to the head of the archaeological expedition Timur Smagulov, the presence of seven mausoleums of medieval rulers indicate the location of nomadic hordes in the area and the previously unknown cultural, political and sacred centre of the nomads who inhabited the steppes of North Kazakhstan.

The evidence of developed sedentary farming may indicate the location of settlements and hill forts here, being one of the arguments in favour of academician Alkei Margulan’s hypothesis about the existence of monuments of medieval urban culture in ancient times on the territory of North Kazakhstan.

Among the discoverers is NKSU Professor Anatoly Pleshakov, candidate of historical sciences, who called this discovery grandiose.

The archaeological expedition, seeking to study the nomadic heritage of the Golden Horde, with the support of the akimats of the North Kazakhstan Region and Ualikhanov District, will continue its work in 2020. The exploration is to cover the entire valley of the lower reaches of the Seleta River, which is located in the administrative borders of the North Kazakhstan, Pavlodar and Akmola regions.

The project is aimed at developing the body of knowledge on the history and culture of Kazakhstan, forming historical consciousness and patriotism of schoolchildren, students, as well as their labour skills, and improving the scientific, methodological and cultural-educational level of specialists.

In modern conditions, the role and importance of national history has grown immeasurably. The main tasks of the latter are the preservation of historical memory, the knowledge of the laws of social development and consolidation of society in the framework of the Rukhani Zhangyru programme.


Lyaili Ismagambetova and Irina Olkova are scholars at M. Kozybayev North Kazakhstan State University.

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