Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ancient and Historical Khakasia

The Asian grasslands, which includes much of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and central Siberia were settled long ago and have a very rich archaeological history.  Khakasia is no exception. I always maintain the reason that the Asian steppes were the progenitors of so many modern peoples is that there was nothing to do there but fight and flirt and in winter it was too cold to fight.

When Tanya and I were there in 2006, we did a one day tour of sites with the head of the Archaeology Department from the University, a native Khakasian.   Igor Tashtandinov had been born in Tanya's village of Kalyagino and his mother was best friends with Tanya's mother, though he and Tanya had never met.

Igor and Tanya 2006
Archaeological sites go back 10,000 years at least.  The most  recent peoples were the Kyrgyz who were over run by the Mongolians some 800 years ago and most drifted to modern Kyrgyzstan.  Today's Khkasians are decendants of the Kyrgiz who stayed behind.

10,000 year old rock drawings
More 10,000 year old drawings
Sketches of rock drawings in Abakan Museum

3,000 years old.  Food offerings were poked into the hole in the rock.
Over 200,000 kurgans dot the plains and hills of Khakasia
A large mound kurgan
Kurgan cross section, Abakan museum
Early people of the Steppes
Female fertility stele
Male strength stele
Archaeological dig of a palace, possibly of a Chinese general from the Han dynasty era who defected to the Xiongnu
Model of the 2000 year old palace, Abakan museum
I'll post some landscape pictures next time.


  1. wow. This stuff is so cool, Dad!

  2. We have an area around here called "THE FALLS OF THE OHIO". It's an outcropping of shale that people are invited to walk around on, looking for fossils. I have been wanting to go there before it gets too chilly (been too hot up til now, but that's Indiana for you)

    Joe promised that when he starts feeling more stable on his feet, we'll go this week. I'm looking forward to going, especially after reading your post.

  3. Very interesting. I also looked up on wikipedia to see where this are is.

  4. That's very interesting stuff. Makes me want to learn more about it.

  5. Oops typo in my comment. ... where the area is.

  6. We don't need to go anywhere to see fossils, just look in the mirror.

    (Hey I said "we") :-)

  7. Like I always told my mother, the reason she was such a good history teacher was that she saw most of it first hand.


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