Skip to comments.2012 Issyk Kul Expedition: Search for a Sunken Palace
Posted on 09/21/2012 6:17:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Early on, Issyk Kul also drew attention from researchers for the remains that lie beneath its stunning cobalt waters. It's an endorheic lake (meaning that it has no outlet) with abundant underwater springs, and the water level has fluctuated dramatically over the centuries, submerging settlements, buildings and even entire cities that had been established on earlier shorelines. Issyk Kul was one of the earliest sites for underwater archaeological research in Central Asia, with divers exploring its depths as long ago as the 1860s.
In the Middle Ages, the region around the lake was hotly contested by two divergent lines of descendants from Genghis Khan: nomadic, shamanistic Eastern Mongols and the city-dwelling, Islamic Western Mongols. The legendary Western Mongol leader Tamerlane (Timur, 1336-1405) was said to have battled for the lake region in the early 1400s, and there are medieval accounts of palace built by the conqueror on the northern shore of Issyk Kul.
This rumored building has been one of the most frequently cited phenomena in the lake, and a site associated with it was first investigated by a Russian historian, G.A. Kolpakovsky in 1869. A few decades later, the historian V.V. Bartold theorized that the site was associated with the 15th century palace as described by the medieval Arab historian Ibn Arab Sheikh.
The existence of such a building is of major historical importance, as it would document a critical expansion of Tamerlane's empire, and the possibility exists that the building was constructed in the style of the Timurid state buildings at Samarkand and Shakhrisabz, as well as the Taj Mahal. If this is indeed a newly discovered Timurid monumental building, it would be a very significant addition to the catalogue of Islamic architecture.
(Excerpt) Read more at newswatch.nationalgeographic.com ...
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Ibn Arab Sheikh was a well known historian who often worked with the other noted historian, Ibn Eaton Boogers.
“Ibn Eaton Boogers”
One of Borat’s cousins, no doubt.
Pretty cool. I’ve always had a desire to see some of the “old” Mongolia, don’t ask me why. I’ve been intrigued with that area since I was a kid.
Not just for that — “Issyk Kul” sounds cold to me (icicle) yet it means “hot lake”. Oh, the mysteries of language.
One of the entries notes that the lake is salty, which is interesting; the area of the Takla Makan (tr. roughly as, “go in, won’t come out”) was a huge inland meltwater lake during the last glaciation. That raised the water table and leached out the salts still in the rocks, brought that to the surface.
Same thing went on during the Soviet era in Central Asia — dozens or maybe hundreds of dams were built with the intent of providing irrigation, and instead, the Aral Sea basin became infertile. The Soviet-built Aswan High Dam is doing the same thing in Egypt. Former President Mubarak was trying to build out from Lake Nasser and use those waters to irrigate the desert west of the Nile, which is similar to what the Israelis have done (use irrigation to leach the salts out of the surface soil and get it out in the runoff). Mubarak also built something he called the Peace Canal to run Nile waters into the Med coast of the Sinai, same intent.
For some reason, areas occupied by Muzzies turn into unliveable deserts. Can’t imagine why.
The lake is salty, but because of all the freshwater runoff that flows into the lake, it is much less salty than the oceans. Since it has been proclaimed a “biosphere” hopefully they won’t destroy the lake with irrigation schemes.