Besshatyr burial mounds and menhirs in the Altyn-Emel nature reserve.
Archaeological sites of the Altyn-Emel park.
Archaeological tours in the Altyn-Emel park.
Besshatyr is a group of ancient burial mounds, (presumably the place of burial) the largest monument of the Saka era. The mounds are divided into two parts (north and south). The northern group includes large mounds, the largest have a diameter of 45 to 105 m in circumference, and the height of these mounds ranges from 6 to 17 m. Classification of monuments by size allows you to determine the level of social development of the ancient inhabitants of Besshatyr. During the study, 18 burial mounds were excavated. Three of them are large, the rest are medium and small.
Besshatyr - how to get there.
The burial mounds are located in the Almaty region, 3 km from the bank of the Ili River, in the Shylbyr basin at the foot of Mount Zhelshagyr. In total, there are 31 large and small mounds. The Besshatyr mounds occupy an area of 1 km from west to east and 2 km from north to south. 21 burial mounds were covered with stones, and 10 others were covered with gravel (smaller stones).
Besshatyr mounds - information.
The scientific data obtained provide valuable information on the classification of the ancient Saks according to social groups, economy, everyday customs, religious beliefs, architectural achievements, weapons and equipment used. Six of the 21 burial mounds have long fences (stone fences consisting of menhirs) (stones dug vertically). They consist of stone fences, the total number of which ranges from 5 to 94 stones. Some fences surround all the kurgans, others only the eastern or southwestern sides. Many stone slabs in stone fences depict animals such as ibex, wild boar and wolf. Some slabs of the fence near the village of Bolshoy Besshatyr are decorated with various symbols. Among them there are round images close to the sun symbol or similar to the Kazakh symbol "eye". This indicates that the site was not only a burial place, but also a special place for religious rites. One of the features is the complex underground roads in the form of catacombs, specially dug under the large mounds. The total length of the 6th underground passage is 55 m. The passages were made for religious purposes such as funerals and meals. The division of the burial mounds into three in terms of external size also corresponds to the type of graves below them. The graves of the mounds are in the form of simple pits, sometimes lined with stones. The large burial mounds of Besshatyr are among the rare monuments of ancient architecture.