We invite all interested divers, scientists, historians, archaeologists to take part in an underwater archaeological expedition on Issyk-Kul Lake in July-August, 2020. Scientists, enthusiasts, pilgrims, history buffs, sponsors! You are given a unique opportunity to take part in the search for new archaeological artifacts, to reveal the secret of the Christian monastery sunken in the waters of Issyk-Kul, as well as the secret of the flooded ancient and medieval cities.
In the coastal zone of Issyk-Kul, on the northern and southern shores, there are many places where it is necessary to conduct professional underwater studies of sunken artifacts.
There are several enthusiasts in Kyrgyzstan who are researching flooded cities and collecting artifacts at the bottom of Issyk-Kul Lake. Nevertheless, we want to organize an international archaeological expedition and invite foreign experts to take part in an underwater odyssey on Issyk-Kul Lake. We have all the necessary permits for underwater archaeological research. All found artifacts will be transferred to the museums of the Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University.
The ruins of the palace of Timur (underwater picture, 1959)
For our underwater expeditions we use a ship. We will provide all the necessary equipment for the base camp. The best time for underwater research in Issyk-Kul is July, August, September. The air temperature at this time reaches 30-35 degrees, and the water temperature in the lake reaches 20 degrees. The number of expedition members is up to 20 people. Groups of researchers of 5-10 people are welcome.
SUNKEN BURIAL MOUNDS and CITIES
Issyk-Kul — the “pulsating heart” of the Tian Shan — is one of the largest lakes in the world. It is located in the Tian Shan mountains at a height of 1600 meters above sea level. Its length is 178 kilometers, its width is more than 60 kilometers, its depth 702 meters. The water tastes rather bitter and salty. No human foot has yet touched the bottom of the center of the lake.
Issyk-Kul Lake has many centuries of history. One civilization has transformed into another, each leaving spiritual monuments and wealth to its descendants. Parts of these civilizations were left under the water, which scientists say is “breathing”: pulsating, its level rising and falling. Scientists have not yet discovered the reasons for this ebb and flow: it is one of nature’s undiscovered mysteries.
Historically, there were two stages of the rise of the water level: one before and during the new era, and the second at the end of the fourteenth century and beginning of the fifteenth. As a result of the rise of the water, the remains of two cultures were submerged. The first consisted of Bronze Age settlements and the Saki-Usuni burial mounds of the first century BC. The second consisted of medieval towns and settlements and Turkic monuments. Their remains are underwater at a depth of ten meters across almost the entire perimeter of the lake.
Ruins of the lake’s ancient settlements have long been known. However, experts could not explain the appearance and later destruction of ancient settlements under the water. Various legends, Chinese chronicles and Arab travelers shed some light, but also inspire our imagination.