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Turgay geoglyphs can help reveal nomadic secrets, says discoverer

ASTANA – “Perhaps there are no monuments of global significance on our land like the Egyptian pyramids or the Colosseum, but the role of nomads in world history is undeniable,” said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in June 2008.

Dmitriy Dey

Dmitriy Dey

More than a year had passed since mysterious structures were discovered across Northern Kazakhstan in March 2007 by Kostanai resident Dmitriy Dey, but the lack of information on dating and belonging to an archaeological culture prevented making statements about finding ancient monuments of global importance. Meanwhile, their size, geometric accuracy and historical value fully deserve to be classified as such.

The Turgay geoglyphs triggered great interest among foreign archaeologists, scientists, mass media and even esotery scientists. During the past 10 years, Dey and a team of archaeologists and scientists made 14 expeditions and discovered 344 geoglyphs, or large elements produced on the ground. According to the working hypothesis, the earliest geoglyphs date as far back as 8,000 years.

“During the research, we collected and studied many published materials and scientific papers related to the Turgay trough. Our team analysed processes of geological changes over the past 50,000 years, including natural disasters, which led to various changes in the Turgay trough. However, the answers to the questions of who, when and why built the geoglyphs were not answered until the beginning of 2012. By this time, the team studied the work of Harvard University Professor Anatole Klyosov in the field of DNA genealogy and the discovery of Chankillo, the oldest solar observatory, made by an archaeologist from Catholic University of Peru, Professor Ivan Ghezzi,” Dey said in an interview for this story.20140522193105

The ancient monumental complex in Peru is similar to the Turgay geoglyphs, which led to the idea of applying the method of tracking the yearlong movement of the sunrise at Chankillo to the Turgay sites. StarCalc, the professional astronomy planetarium and star mapping programme, allowed modelling the annual sunrise and sunset point observation cycle and applying it to the Turgay objects’ latitude and longitude coordinates. Calculations showed the Turgay geoglyphs can be used as solar calendars. Dey, however, needed to verify a rule on the Turgay site: objects should be located above the horizon line relative to the calculated observation point to work according to the principle of the solar observatory.

Financial support from Rinat Naimanov, general director of AllianceStroyInvest, provided the funding to equip and complete five reconnaissance expeditions in 2012. In the course of field research, 14 of the 19 objects found at that time were examined. At each facility, Dey gained visual confirmation that the objects are located above the horizon line relative to the calculated observation points and can be used as solar calendars. Artefacts from the Mesolithic and Neolithic epochs (10,000-6,000 BP) were discovered not far from 10 of the 14 investigated structures, particularly artefacts related to the Mahanjar culture. In the following years, five more objects were inspected, which also gave confirmation of the location above the horizon line relative to the calculated observation point.

Having reviewed the results of studies of various scientific disciplines (archaeology, geology, climatology, DNA genealogy, etc.), the team formulated a working hypothesis of the origin and mission of the Turgay geoglyphs.


About 45,000 years ago, homo sapiens tribes (the ancestors of modern humans) with the haplogroup K(xLT) Y-DNA came to the territory of Southern Siberia, which at the time was inhabited by Neanderthals and the newly-discovered Denisov man (both extinct human subspecies). This haplogroup became the ancestor of haplogroups K, M, N, O, Q, R1a and R1b, R2 and S.

Known carriers of haplogroup R1b are the House of Steward (Scottish monarchs), House of SaxeCoburg and Gotha (German dynasty), Windsor royal house of the United Kingdom, Romanov dynasty from Peter III, Kings of Denmark and Norway, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and several other U.S. presidents.

“According to the testing results of royal families’ members of the Western world, the haplogroup R1b appears in the male line. That is, according to the working hypothesis, their ancestors laid the foundations of the civilisation of the modern European world in the Turgay trough from 9,000 to 6,400 years ago,” said Dey.

He announced the Jan. 1 start of an international Turgay Discovery project, encouraging people throughout the world to make their own contributions by visiting the website The international project aims at raising funds for research, as well as further interaction with foreign scientific institutions to organise expeditions to the Turgay sites.

“In June this year, we are planning to hold expeditions to the geoglyphs of the Turgay trough. Our team will carry out scientific research and make high definition photo and video shootings of the geoglyphs using a drone. All data and research results will be submitted to the project participants. We will shoot missing footage and edit the documentary popular science movie ‘Puzzle Vremeni’ (Time Puzzle). Nina Burleigh, a journalist from the American weekly news magazine ‘Newsweek,’ is ready to visit Kazakhstan this summer to participate in the expedition,” he said.

Tamgaly Petroglyphs

The World Heritage–listed Tamgaly petro- glyphs are the most impressive of many petroglyph groups in southeastern Kaza-
khstan. Set in a lushly vegetated canyon in an otherwise arid region near Karabastau village, 170km northwest of Almaty, they
number more than 4000 separate carvings from the Bronze Age and later, in several groups. The varied images include sun-
headed idols, women in childbirth, hunting scenes and a big variety of animals, and are best seen in the afternoon when most sun-
light reaches them. The canyon was a ritual site for nomadic
peoples from at least 3000 years ago. Don’t confuse Tamgaly with Tamgaly Tas, which is a smaller and more recent petroglyph
site on the Ili River.

Issyk mystery – “the Golden Man” or “Woman”?

The Golden Man, main symbol of Kazakhstan independence, is a warrior’s costume from about the 5th century BC that was found in 1969 in a Saka tomb near Issik settlement, about 60km east of Almaty. It is made of more than 4000 separate gold pieces, many of them finely worked with animal motifs, and has a 70cm-high headdress bearing skyward-pointing arrows, a pair of snarling snow leopards and a two-headed winged mythical beast.

The Golden Man has become modern Kazakhstan’s favourite national symbol. The conventional wisdom is that the skeleton found inside the costume was that of a young Saka prince killed in battle. But there is a strong countercurrent of thought that the Golden Man was in fact a Golden Woman, and that Kazakhstan’s nation-makers
have deliberately misrepresented the gender to suit Kazakh stereotypes.

Archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball argues in Warrior Women (2002) that the body was too badly damaged for its gender to be determined, and that other goods in the tomb suggest it was a woman. One intriguing school of thought identifies the Golden Woman with Tomiris, a queen of the Massagetes tribe who defeated the invading forces of Persian emperor Cyrus the Great.

The original Golden Man is apparently kept safe in the National Bank building in Almaty, but replicas adorn museums all over the country.

Travelling Almaty by bus – saving money!

Getting out from the airport.

Taking a bus will be most economy way of getting from Almaty airport to your hotel. The ticket to any Almaty bus costs only 80 tenge which is less than 20 pence. From the airport you can take the bus number 92.

Some secrets from locals.

There is very usefull website  where you can watch the buses in real time and their routes. Go to and press the first tab in the right column (it says in Russian – Wath the buses movement)

Then choose the bus number. For example bus number 92 goes from the airport.

And you will see its route and current position of each bus on this route.

Going to Medeo (Shymbulak) by bus.

Bus number 12 goes to Medeo Ice Skating Rink. The road will take around 40 minutes. These are the coordinated of the bus’s stop – 43.2447605,76.9565591. The stop is located just opposite Kazakhstan hotel.

Actually, the rink operates only 3 winter monthes, November and March.

But in summer there is cable car road to Shymbulak and higher from Medeo. This is nuber one place you should visit while in Almaty. And take the cable road up to the highest point, as it consists of 3 parts: Medeo to Chimbulak, then Combi 1 and Combi 2. So buy all 3 parts at once on Medeo. It will be cheaper than if you buy each part separatly.

Kolsay Lakes

Kolsay Lakes is one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan  300 km from Almaty . They are called a blue necklace of Northern Tien Shan. In the Kazakh language “Kolsay” means “a lake in the valley”. All three lakes are located in the eastern part of the Kungei Tau gorge.

The lakes are located at 1,800m, 2,250m and 2,700m above sea level. The Kolsay River originates from glaciers and makes 3 lakes: Verkhneye, Mynzholki and Nizhneye. The water in the lakes is fresh. Kolsay Lakes are very deep up to 80 meters.

Kolsay Lakes are a favorite place for mountain tourism. Trekking routes to Kolsay Lakes are very easy and fit even for amateurs. Kolsay is a wonderful place for picnics, horse riding and mountain biking. A suitable period for camping is from April to late September. Along the coast of Kolsay Lakes there are all kinds of guest houses.

Anyone, who is ever lucky enough to visit these places, never forgets their splendor, peace and tranquility, prevailing around.


Kapchagai Lake

It is hot in Almaty in summer. Dry air, temparutre 30 to 40 degrees. It is no wonder why Kapchagai Reservoir is so popular among locals.

Just about 70 kilometers from Almaty. New highway road. It will take around an hour to get to the water.

Kapchagai is also known as one of Kazakhstan’s two casino havens after gambling was forbidden throughout the country. Although minimum bids for most games tend to be high ($300-500).

Kapchagai Lake is 100 km in length and 25 km in width. Depth is around 40 meters.

Kapchagai Water Reservoir was made in 1970 by putting a dumb on ILY river. Below is photo of rail roda bridge during construction and how it looks nowdays.

This is Kapchagai in winter

This is picture of Kapchagai from satellite. You can see greay area over almaty, which is polluted air (smog).



Charyn Canyon

The Charyn Canyon is one of the most popular places around Almaty. It is located 200 km. east of Almaty about 3 hours drive by car. Many people compare it to the Grand Canyon of California. Of course, sizewise it’s smaller than the Grand Canyon, hence the nick name “little brother of the Grand Canyon”. The rock formations, the colours resemble that of the Grand Canyon.

Valley of Castles

Although the Canyon stretches around 154 km alongside the River, the most popular part of it is only 2 km long and it’s called the Valley of Castles. Why?

The rocks and slopes round the area resemble the old ruines left from the ancient fortresses. It makes you wonder once again, how the Mother Naturemanaged to get these architectural masterpieces.

And only about 20 km (12.5 mi) away, there is a Grove of a very rare species of the Ash Tree. The Sogdian Ash Tree Grove, that survived the Glacier Age.

The Canyon, the River and the Sogdian Ash Tree Grove are all within the territory of the Charyn National Park.

The 4 canyons

All tourist buses go to Valley of Castles, which is actuall is only one of 5 canyons which form the Grand Charyn Canyon.

Valley of Castles.


Temirlik Canyon with red rocks.


Yellow Canyon.


Red Canyon

Red Canyon is located between the Charyn and Chilik rivers. Like Temirlik, it’s bright red from the iron ore it contains.  It’s on the way to Temirlik, and it’s the least impressive in terms of size and shape.