Historical objects  Barrows, Ziggurats 03.04.2020. The Ayrydash archaeological site

Петроглифы Айрыдаш«Ayrydash»

The Ayrydash archaeological site is an archaeological site located 2 km Southeast of the village of Kuyus in the valley of the same name. It includes several hundred objects: ancient tombs, rock paintings (petroglyphs), sites of various periods – from the Eneolithic-bronze age to the Turkic period. The oldest rock paintings on the territory of Altai were found here.
Materials extracted from the Ayrydash burial grounds are recognized as the richest collection of museums in Siberia (stored in the A.V. Anokhin Republican Museum, Gorno-Altaisk).

The small Ayrydash valley begins just outside the village of Kuyus and stretches from North-West to South-East for 3-4 km up the Katun river. A large number of ancient burials, sites, and rock paintings have been found here. The excavated objects belong to various periods of time (from the Eneolithic-bronze age, early iron to the hunno-Sarmatian and Turkic periods). All the extracted materials are stored in the Republican Museum of the Altai Republic named after A.V. Anokhin (in Gorno-Altaisk), and the materials of the hunno-Sarmatian time (III century BC - I century ayrydash burial ground is recognized as the richest collection among museums in Siberia.All the cemeteries Airidas I-IV is located on a 10-15 meter above the floodplain terrace on the right Bank of Katun ' at a distance of one and a half to three kilometers South-East from the village Cows. The largest of them — Ayrydash I — has more than 100 mounds, 18 of which belong to the Scythian time. Here, on separate large blocks of rockfall, there are petroglyphs (Airydash petroglyphs) — about 50 images. Excavations near the location of the petroglyphs revealed fragments of pottery, remains of fire pits, stone tools.
Ayrydash-I is an ancient burial site located 1.5-2 km South-East of the village of Kuyus. More than 220 objects have been excavated here, including mounds, dwellings, memorial fences, and a sanctuary with petroglyphs. Chains of mounds stretched from North to South (in the direction of the meridians), with later chains attached to the West side. It is interesting that this arrangement of mounds corresponds to the actual location of the nomads ' homes, which were located in rows with access to the East or South.
The oldest burials from the burial ground of Ayrydash I (age 5-6 thousand years ago, the era of the eneolite-copper age) were externally in the form of an embankment, ring or obelisk stone, the burial chambers themselves were ground pits. Some of them were looted. A copper knife was found from the inventory.
Another group of mounds belongs to the early Scythian time (VIII-VI centuries BC). They are characterized by a rounded stone embankment with a diameter of 15-16 meters, as well as the presence of a "crepida" — a ring of large boulders that form a fence around the grave pit. The pit itself is shallow, unpaved. The location of the deceased is typical — on the left side, with bent legs, in the direction of West-North-West. Next to the mounds is the accompanying burial of horses.
The next group of mounds — Pazyryk (VI-II centuries BC) is characterized by an oval-elongated shape of a stone mound, as well as in some cases a more complex internal structure of the burial ground: in a deep — up to 2.5 m — pit, a low rectangular or trapezoidal "frame" (a frame without a floor and ceiling) of one-two-tent poles or logs measuring approximately 220x100 cm, apparently symbolizing the dwelling of the deceased in the afterlife, or the chamber was combined, wooden — stone construction-with vertical stone slabs in the end walls. The buried were located on the right side with their legs bent, in the direction of the South-East. Some of the graves were looted, or bear traces of "intake" burial (it is believed that in this way the newcomers-nomads performed the rite of "communion" of their dead to the owners of these places). The presence of ceramic products (red-brown clay jars), bronze products and remnants of dwellings-indicates that during this period of time the nomadic lifestyle was replaced by semi-nomadic, producing, and the development of crafts such as metallurgy, pottery, etc.
The most numerous group of excavated objects are burial structures of the x-V centuries ad. They are oval stone and stone-earth embankments, under which there are shallow (up to 1 m) and narrow rectangular pits, which are log cabins made of boards, covered with thin planks, poles or stone slabs, which are sometimes covered with bark. In some cases, stone boxes were used, in which 5-8 slabs placed on an edge form walls, while others form a transverse overlap. Numerous bone and iron arrowheads, bow linings, bone combs, bronze grivnas and mirrors, iron knives, plaques, belt details, earrings, beads, and ceramics were found here.
Turkic stone fences of the VI–X centuries ad were found, most likely they were built for funeral rites — the remains of ceramic vessels and animal bones are usually found near them. There are also small steles or sculptures.