Archaeologists Discover Bronze Age Step Pyramid in the Abai Region

ASTANA — In a groundbreaking discovery, archaeologists have unearthed a substantial step pyramid from the Bronze Age in the Abai Region, as reported by the Kazakh Ministry of Science on Aug. 8, 2023.

Photo credit: Kazakh Ministry of Science press service. Click to see the map in full size. The map is designed by The Astana Times.

The remarkable discovery is unique in the vast Eurasian steppes. It was made by researchers from the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology at L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU).

The archaeological excavations have been ongoing at the site of Kyrykungir near the settlement of Toktamys in the Abai district of the Abai Region since 2014. The involvement of university students and graduates has been instrumental in this endeavor.

“The step pyramid is meticulously constructed with a hexagonal base. Each side measures 13 meters and is built from eight rows of stones. At its center are concentric circles. This complex construction is a testament to the advanced skills of the ancient builders. The exterior walls of the structure are adorned with depictions of various animals, particularly horses. Images of camels are also present. The discoveries from the excavations, including ceramics, gold earrings, and other ornaments, indicate that the Bronze Age was a period of cultural significance. This underscores the high reverence for horses in that era,” Ulan Umitkaliyev, a historian and head of the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology at ENU, said.

In a related archaeological development, during a recent discovery in the East Kazakhstan region, the remains of a woman, a bronze frog figurine and 180 asyks, a knee bone in the joint of sheep or large cattle such as cows or camels, were unearthed at an ancient burial mound. This finding adds to the growing body of evidence about the rich historical and cultural heritage of Kazakhstan. 

The ongoing research is being conducted in collaboration with international experts.

As researchers continue to delve into the mysteries of this unique structure, the world awaits further insights into the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the heart of Eurasia.

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