Secrets of the White Hill
Dec 12. Kazpravda
By Lubov DOBROTA
The Shardary reservoir has shoaled up to the bottom in the current year. One of the hills covered with grass under which the ancient site is buried, immediately attracted attention of local residents and fishermen who went on a treasure hunt. The catastrophic drop in the water level in the pond also allowed the archaeologists to explore the ancient settlement.
The scientists have no doubt that there is nothing more than the ancient city under the island which was formed when the big water left the pond. The arguments are more than convincing: under a 10-meter water column there was not only pottery, remains of people and pets, but also a clay water pipeline. Its tube goes deeper into the water, up to the middle of the pond.
Nurlan Smailov, director of the district museum, said that in 1958 the archeologists from Moscow and Alma- Ata conducted excavations on the island which appeared just 50 meters from the shore of the reservoir Shardarinsk. For five years the scientists had conducted digs on the fort known as Aktobe -2, which means “White hill”. Obviously, such name to the settlement was given because the city was built from white stones.
The scientists then found in these places several settlements dated to the middle ages. The construction of the reservoir Shardarinsk interrupted the excavations, and Aktobe -2 with the mounds of Aktobe -1 and Zhaushykum in the flood zone became part of the man-made sea bottom.
Then the scientists could not find answers to many questions, including about inhabitants of Aktobe -2. Nurlan Smailov does not exclude that the water-washed skeletons are the remains of ancient Kangly or Samanids, who came here after the fall of the Western Turkic Khanate. It is also possible that the Qarakhanids ruled there before the Mongol invasion. The founder of the Kazakh school of archeology, academician Alkei Margulan believes that these settlements are dated back to the period of Kangly state that emerged in III century BC.
And it’s quite possible that the unplanned expedition of archaeologists that have an opportunity to once again return to the study of ancient cities, will help give answers to these and other questions related to the ancient history of the place. However, they are short in time: soon big water will fill the reservoir, and a unique ancient monument once again will be hidden under its thickness.