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Kyzyluyik sanctuary.

Religious monuments of Kazakhstan.

"The Ten Commandments - Source of Mass Sermons"

Evgeny Khankin.

Sarmatian monuments of Kazakhstan.

The Kyzyluyik sanctuary is located on the Uiyk hillock at an altitude of 178 meters above sea level, in the northwest of the Togyzhar tract, in the southeastern part of the Donyztau cliff, which is part of the Northern Chink of Ustyurt, 54.9 kilometers southeast of the village of Diyar , 181 kilometers to the west and slightly north of the village of Bozoi in the Bayganinsky district in the southwestern part of the Aktobe region.
For the construction of this sanctuary, red shell rock was used, so it got the name "Kyzyluyik", which translates as "red embankment". The Kyzyluyik sanctuary is the most grandiose in the territory of Kazakhstan, a multistage stone construction of a circular layout, dating back to the IIIrd - Ist centuries BC.
Around it were numerous statues of armed warriors, stone altars, menhirs, and inside there was an altar of fire, to which people descended with the help of stone steps. The monument is a common tribal sanctuary, where the Sarmatian, Saka and Massagetan associations performed cult and ritual rituals dedicated to the deities of the Sun and Fire.
The main religious building is a round in plan, stone structure 5 meters high, 56 meters in diameter, surrounded by a moat 14-17 meters wide, 1 meter deep. One of the elements outside the temple complex are the remains of menhirs, arched adjacent to the main structure on the east side. The total length of the arc is about 1,000 meters.
The sanctuary is located on a slightly elevated area of ​​a flat surface. Its area, judging by the spread of stones and the placement of stone clusters, was about 10 hectares. Within a radius of up to 20 kilometers, several more ritual and cult structures of various sizes have been recorded.
Archaeological research has been going on for the past few years. The work was carried out at the main religious building. Due to the fact that the main cult building was the center of the temple, the main place for the priests to perform rituals over several historical periods, special importance was given to the study of its interior.
During the excavations, a large number of fragments of ceramic vessels were found, places of accumulation of ash and soot, with burnt bones, which testifies to the repeated lighting of fire and the administration of rituals.
Structural studies have shown that its internal walls are carefully and neatly folded in the form of a hexagon from shell rock slabs. Wall slabs made at right angles from the level of 4 meters are overlapped, which suggests that the Kyzyluyik sanctuary had a vaulted ceiling.
On the south side, an entrance was identified and cleared 1.8 meters high, 0.9 meters wide from below and 0.35 meters from above. During the construction of the sanctuary, special attention was paid to the internal walls, which are 6.5 meters thick.
During the cleaning of the outer walls, it became clear that the structure is located on a clay stylobate with a diameter of 30 meters.
Geographic coordinates of the Kyzyluyik sanctuary: N46 ° 19'13.18 "E56 ° 28'50.78"


Photos by
Alexander Petrov.