Evidence of Ergenekon epic found in Altay Mountains
AA PhotosFindings obtained during excavations in Kazakhstan, carried out by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in collaboration with the International Turkish Academy, have shed light on Turkish history.
To launch the findings, an international seminar was recently held with the participation of leading historians and archaeologists.
International Turkish Academy head Prof. Darhan Hıdıralli said the discoveries found in the excavations overlapped the places featured in the Ergenekon epic. He said graves found during the excavations also revealed significant information about the Göktürk era.
The findings in the excavations gave clues that the region might be Ergenekon, where Turks took shelter during hard times.
“The geography, which is featured in the Ergenekon epic and known as the place where Turks sheltered during hard times, is the same with the high peaks of the Altay Mountains. Musical instruments found in the graves prove to us a rooted cultural life and a developed civilization in that period. Why did such a civilization live in these precipices rather than more comfortable lands? Iron-made tools and other things found in the excavations reveal that the people of that period came to this region to escape from some difficulties, just like it is told in the Ergenekon epic. All these things confirm our thesis that this place is Ergenekon,” Hıdıralli said.
Hıdıralli said the excavations proved that epics could be a source for human history. He said, “We should not underestimate the myths. It is not the first time that Ergenekon, also known as Nevruz and Salvation, has been associated with the Altay Mountains. But for the first time excavations prove us that Ergenekon and the Altay Mountains have a relation.”
The first stage of archaeological work on the Altay Mountains between 2012 and 2014 unearthed the grave of a Turkish soldier, who was buried with his horse, weapons and lute, and a Turkish poet, which date back to the 6th and 8th centuries, the period of the Göktürks.
Hıdıralli said the plant motifs found on the musical instruments proved the findings were from the Göktürk era. “The fish skin used in the sword hilts is a type of fish which only survived in the Pacific Ocean. This proves to us that the Göktürks reigned even in the Pacific Ocean area, or they had good relations with the people there. It is also known that the swords are in Turkish style and were not brought from another region but produced in this region,” he said.
The International Turkish Academy announced that excavations would continue in the Altay region and Mongolia and the findings would be shared during an international archaeology seminar titled “From Celestial Mountains to Ötüken.”
The Astana-based Turkish Academy was established in 2012 with a contract signed by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
Working on Turkish history, geography, literature, music and arts, the academy is also working to find the grave of Attila in Hungary as well as the grave of Sultan Alparslan in Turkmenistan’s Merv city.