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Nikolai Abayev: Uighurs regulated their life by cosmic rhythms

Nikolay Abayev

What was really Por-bazhyn – a castle, a palace of the ruler, a mandala or a temple? What does the complicated labyrinth of its buildings and structures represent?

Candidate of physical and mathematical sciences Dadar-ool Dan-Sürün presented his version. In his opinion, Por-Bazhyn is an ancient Uighur observatory. He shared his version with the readers of “Tuvinskaya Pravda” and “Subbotnaya panorama”. The publication caused a great resonance. One of the first who responded was Doctor of historical sciences, professor of TGU Nikolai Abayev.

In the Professor’s opinion, the walls of Por-Bazhyn, located on an island in the middle of the lake, were meant to hide from the eyes of outsiders, including their own people, the secrets of an ancient military order. Exactly such secret religious-military societies comprised the first Eurasian empire of Genghis Khan, who, as a matter of fact, was not simply the supreme ruler, but also a charismatic celestial priest. Examples of  similar societies of this kind in the West were the Teutonic order and the Maltese order.

– More exactly, in the tradition of the nomads, it should be called ordon, - believes Nikolai Abayev. It is the court of the Kagan, the supreme ruler, and it is the origin of the word ordu – the main station of the supreme chief of command. In the ancient tradition, again, it did not necessarily have to take the form of a stone castle or palace. It could have been a white tent or yurt, just like, for example, the current Genghis Khan’s yurt in Ulan-Bator.

This camp was enclosed by a stone and earthworks wall, just like we see in great numbers in the northern parts of Central Asia, including here, in Tuva, - near Shagonar and by Mt. Boom. Inside of the space surrounded by this wall of earth or stone would be the military society. In the center would be the location of the supreme ruler, the apartments of his wife, and at the same time it also fulfilled the role of a temple complex of the military-religious order, which, in actuality, was the whole orda. The ordu did not necessarily have to have a stable location. It could consist of yurts, which were at the same time the dwellings of the nomads and their military camp.  For example, there could be 10 yurts in the center, with the large yurt of the commander of 100 or 1000.  This is a so-called kuren principle (from the word kuren, a circle). This is the way, as a matter of fact, that Zaporozhskaya Sech (seat of Cossacks in the Ukraine) was built. A yurt or a tent of the supreme ruler also fulfilled the role of a temple.

– And what about the observatories?

Por-Bazhyn fortress– Including the observatories as well.  Por-Bazhyn is a temple complex in which the entire cosmology of the ancient Turks, the ancestors of ancient Mongols, is visually embodied in ornament. The quadrangle form of the fortress is the symbol of the Earth. The lake and island – circle – is the symbol of the Universe. And in the center is a structure, which at the same time represents a gate into the lower world and a ladder to the upper world. It is the Center of the Universe, the Axis of the World, which always accompanies the Uighur, Turk, or Mongol, no matter where he is. Our ancient ancestors always regulated their life by the cosmic rhythms.  Scientists from Novosibirsk discovered that the revolutions of the Moon, Sun and the stars have been documented already since the Paleolithic. The Siberian peoples performed complicated calculations regarding the sun and planets at first on animal bones and wooden tablets on which they engraved notches… When the Scythians and Uighurs appeared on the stage of history, all these calculations became reflected in a more stately system.

Take, for example, the zodiac. It also takes the form of the circle, the symbol of the universe. And the twelve months, animal symbols of the years, are also arranged in a circle.

And the Scythian kurgans Arzhaan-1 and Arzhaan-2, with their circular form, are also models of the universe. In Khakassia, kurgans were discovered with stones standing on them, which were used to calculate movements of the sun. And even the dwelling of the Central Asian nomad, the yurt, in reality, is a type of an observatory, because the nomads kept track of the trajectories of the sun and the stars through the central opening.

In the epoch of growth of the Uighur civilization, our ancestors made complicated calculations even in their yurts. The calendar was so deeply rooted in their lives and existence that they had their observatories always at hand.

– And what about the calendar itself?

– Tuvan scholar Dadar-ool Dan-Sürün brought attention to a very important problem of the origin of not just the ancient Uighur calendar, but the entire Central Asian and Turko-Mongol calendars as well, which are based on twelve-year and six-year cycles. This was a very significant invention. This Uighur calendar first made its appearance in the 4th -3rd millennium before our era. It originated practically at the same time with the Chinese calendar, but is superior to it in many ways. The Chinese calendar is lunar, agricultural. But the Central Asian one, invented by the ancient Uighurs, is a lunar-solar calendar.

This calendar was constructed on the basis of the revolutions of the Moon around the earth, and entering into the Urker (Pleiades) constellation. This is evidence for great knowledge of the ancients in the area of astronomy and its use in their lives. In this way, until the present, the Turkic peoples have the concept of “olken shilde” and “kichik shilde”, which are associated with weather and the constellation Urker.

The calendar is based on astronomical knowledge of 20-year cycle of solar activity, ecliptics of the Sun in the constellations of the zodiac, and the twenty-year period of Jupiter’s revolution around the Sun.  This knowledge of nature and cosmos in the world-view was presented in a mythical-artistic form. The personification of nature as a result of abstraction led to the composition of a single coherent cosmogonic picture of the world. In this way, in the idea of ancient Turks, the celestial sphere was divided into seven spheres of heavenly bodies: Sun, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury.

This is the most perfected system which was in XII century  unconditionally accepted by the Mongols of Genghis Khan. It was not by chance that the grandson of the Shaker of the Universe, Khubilai, declared the Central Asian calendar of the Uighurs as the official calendar of Great Mongolia.

– Not far from the ruins of Por-Bazhyn, Genghis Khan’s cauldron was found. Can we suppose that the foot of the Conqueror of the Universe walked through there?

– I am confident that Genghis Khan visited the fortress. He knew his pedigree very well. His maternal ancestors were from the territory of contemporary Tuva. That is precisely the reason why he called the lands stretching from Tuva to Baikal “The sacred land of ancestors”. His pedigree combined all the ancient Scythian and Uighur lineages. The paternal lineage, Bordzhigin, in my opinion, also came from Tuva. It is an extremely ancient lineage from Sayan-Altai. The later Buryat and Mongol legends directly show that one of his supposed graves is in the place where he liked to relax. For example, on the territory of contemporary Buryatia – in the place where Soyots lived in the past, that is – Tuvans, is Genghis Khan’s throne. And in Tuva, Genghis Khan’s cauldron was found, in which, as a matter of fact, you can boil an entire bull at once. In Tuva, there is even Genghis Khan’s road. It is a compressed earth wall of a fortress just like that at Por-Bazhyn. The Mongols has a great respect for their Uighur heritage. They considered the Uighur structures to have been built by their ancestors.

Aleksandr Filatenko, Tuvinskaya Pravda,, translated by Heda Jindrak
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