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Balandy (Bulandy), fortress, settlement

Ancient fortresses of the Kyzylorda region -

Ancient architecture of the Kyzylorda region -

Balandy is an ancient complex, settlement, fortress, which is the remains of a circular structure in the steppe of the Kyzylorda region in a desert area. The whole complex is divided into three parts: Bulandy 1-fortress, Bulandy 2-settlement, Bulandy 3-burial structures. The entire complex dates back to ancient times, and is presumably dated to the IV century BC. This complex is incredibly interesting for archaeologists of our time, as the complex may date back to the heyday of the Roman Empire, which suggests that Roman culture in ancient times was partially present on the territory of present-day Kazakhstan.

How to get there, visit -

The Balanda complex is located in the desert area of the Balanda tract in Karmakchi district, Kyzylorda region, 15 kilometers from the village of Kuandarya, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Information -

Bulandy (Balandy) this complex is not particularly interested in archaeologists and there is not much information about it. The Balanda complex includes three monuments: a fortress (Balanda 1) with an adjacent rural settlement and two burial structures (Balanda 2 and Balanda 3). Balanda 1 fortification, rectangular in plan, with an area of 80 x 130 meters, is surrounded by walls of mud brick of antique dimensions; at the corners of the southwestern and northeastern walls there are two semicircular towers. The walls have been preserved in places to a height of more than 3 meters, the best preserved are the southwestern wall and the southern corner with the tower.

Balandy 1 is one of the most interesting monuments common among the local steppe tribes of ancient times, in which the fortification of Khorezm and a certain type is combined with the "barbaric" masonry walls. In 1960, reconnaissance excavations began at the Balandy 1 settlement. A small excavation site near the northwestern wall has yielded a number of valuable finds. It should be noted the elegant frame of bone plates, inside which is enclosed a thin plaque lined on both sides with mica. The plaque was painted, but only individual spots of scarlet color and faint traces of gilding remained. Carefully carved ivory columns with deep circular cuts filled with blue paste, small mushroom-shaped and ornamented overlays made of the same material were also found. Bronze crafts in the form of stylized leaves of antique appearance are very elegant. One might think that, like the frame, all these objects are parts of some ornate jewelry box. Perhaps some of the jewelry stored in it are fragments of gold and silver jewelry found here, pearls (identified by experts as originating from India) and fragments of small glass vessels (apparently of Syrian manufacture).

From the north and northwest, the Balandy-1 fortress is adjacent to the Balandy 2 settlement, which consisted of separate houses that have been preserved in the form of gentle mounds strewn with fragments of ceramics and fragments of quartzite. There are traces of fences and ditches between the houses, which originated from a small canal that skirted the settlement from the north and north-west sides. We have traced the channel for 2.5 kilometers. Its width does not exceed 10 meters. Among the lifting material from the settlement, in addition to fragments of ceramics, there are bronze arrowheads of the IV - II centuries BC. E., a variety of quartzite products, jewelry - pendants, carnelian and glass beads. Excavations carried out at Balandy 2 in 1960 showed that the mausoleum was thoroughly looted in ancient times. However, the obtained material leaves no doubt that at least in part of the rooms located along the ring, there were burials. Of the finds made during the excavations of Balanda 2, we note a handle made of carved bone, very close in processing technique to bone crafts from the Balanda 1 settlement, scraps of leather decorated with gold, an iron knife and fragments of thin cotton and paper fabrics of simple weaving. The fabrics are painted in red and yellow and are painted with black, blue and dark red stripes. The analysis of the structures of Balanda 2, especially its dome, leads to interesting results. We know that the false dome has long existed in the East and in the Mediterranean.

The third monument of the Balandy tract - Balandy 3, as well as the ruins located not far to the east, marked on the map under the name Asar, turned out to be funerary structures of a type already familiar to us, similar to the ruins of Chirik 2, Chagyrly 2 (surveyed for the first time in 1946), Beltam 1 (surveyed in 1957) and a number of others. This is a very common type of burial structures in the Zhana Darya basin, on the territory of the Apasiaks. Their design is peculiar: These are small round structures raised on a clay base. A round inner chamber is usually divided by mutually perpendicular walls running along the diameter into four rooms (therefore, we conditionally call structures of this type "crosses"). However, there may be only three or two cameras. The burial structure of Balanda 3 was excavated in 1959 (excavations of this and other similar monuments were carried out by L. M. Levina). The diameter of the building is 8.6 meters, the height reaches 2.8 meters, the diameter of the chamber, placed on a one-and-a-half-meter adobe base, is 6.6 meters. The walls intersecting at right angles divide the chamber into burial chambers. Charred human bones were found in them, including fragments of three skulls, five lower jaws, etc. In the northeastern sector, where the main accumulation of bones was, the floor and wall covering were burned red. The ceramic material found here, including two circular jugs covered with red angob, allowed the Balands to be dated to the last three centuries BC.


Balandy (Bulandy) is an archaeological complex in the Kyzylorda region


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