Scythians kurgans of San Tash
Issyk Kul region • Kyrgyzstan • 1997 m
The San-Tash burial mound, which means "counting stones" or "reading stones" in the Turkish language, is located on the bank of the Tiup River, near the eastern border post with Kazakhstan A363, at an altitude of 1996 metres alt . Most of the Scythian tombs in the vicinity are dated to the 6th to 1st centuries BC. But the stone heap remains an enigma as it is linked to a legend of Tamerlane which was used to count the number of dead soldiers during battles.
The grave is very similar to the Pazyrsky burial mound in the Altai which was a Saka (Scythian) prince and typical of most Sakas kurgans found from the Ukraine to southern Siberia. There are more than 250 tombs in this area, and many more have disappeared into the grasslands. These kurgans are dated as early as the 6th to the 1st century BC.
The ruins of an ancient caravanserai, probably built between the X-XII of our era, a square enclosure of 48 meters long, with a tower in its centre, and a dwelling inside of 35 meters by 8 meters, were also found. It was not only used for caravanserais but also as a defence post.