The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

Near the medieval town Chufut-Kale in Iosafatovoj the valley is the ancient and most famous in the world Karaite cemetery. In this mysterious and sad city of the dead in oak grove recorded, according to various estimates, from 5,000 to 10,000 tombstones. Such a large difference in figures from the fact that, along with gravestones and tombstones, there is a lot mesmorising monuments, called cenotaphs (or jolja Tash) – stone the traveler in the form of a rectangle. They traditionally were set dead in a foreign land. This place is the most valuable archaeological and historical site, sparking great interest among scientists. The oldest gravestones date back to the XIII century, but the majority belongs to the XVI-XVII centuries, Almost all of them are bimodal statues, covered with Hebrew inscriptions.

(22 photos)

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

Source: Jjournal/aquatek-filips

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

1.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

2. To get to the cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley easy. If you go from Calais, that came out of the East gate, you need to go about a mile at the rock cut road to the upper reaches of the valley. At one point you come out right in the arch which is the entrance to the cemetery. From her, from the entrance, goes far deeper into the forest trail, along which are located many hundreds of monuments...

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

3. Near the bridge are the ruins of the gatehouse, and then... as far as the eye oak grove and pushing each other gravestones

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

4. Judging by epigraphic data (Dating gravestone inscriptions), the cemetery appeared in the middle of the XIV century (about 1360-ies) and lasted until the second half of the nineteenth century, covering thus a vast historical period associated with the conquest of the Crimea by the Tatars in XIV century, Turks in the XV century (the Ottoman Empire), the period of the vassal Crimean khanate (1441-1783) and the inclusion of Crimea into the Russian Empire in the late XVIII century, the stele is one of the many manifestations of the relationship between the Empire and China in XIX-XX centuries and the degree of their integration in the Imperial body

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

5. A large part of the tombstone contains the epitaph on an ancient Jewish language. The last few years they have been actively studied, but full of their publications does not exist yet. Often epitaphs are brief quotes from the old Testament. In addition, there are epitaphs, and the Karaite language, but often written in Hebrew characters. Part of the tombs Dating to the end of the last century, have bilingual inscriptions - Hebrew and Russian languages.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

6. Ghazan Chufut-Kal community Solomon Beim, who accompanied the Russian Explorer O. Shishkin, who visited the cemetery in the 40-ies of the XIX century, claimed that here lies about 40 thousand people. As shown by the excavations, conducted here in the last century, many gravestones are now hidden under the ground.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

7.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

8. Tombstones can be traced almost perpendicular to the trail in the direction from North to South for more than 500 meters

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

9. Struck by the variety of shapes of tombstones rectangular slabs, daycourse antlered or horned, obelisks, stele, table, and robobrain.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

10. The most common such - saddle monuments in the form of a child's cradle -”Basica” with two or one horn

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

11.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

12. On some of the gravestones you can see a variety of characters. Among them concentric circles - solar symbols, have come down from pagan times; the cypresses - the symbols of sorrow; sockets - a celebration of the joy of life.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

14.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

15. Once in Iosafatovoj the valley was revered burial place, were brought here dead Karaites even from cities that are far beyond the Crimea. Today in the valley grows about ten huge oak trees – remnants of the sacred oak groves of the Karaite people. The Karaites there was a cult of sacred oaks, they could not be cut under any circumstances, hence the second name of this place: Balta Times that in translation from Turkic means "the axe won't hurt". Say, the Karaites believed that there is a connection between the existence of sacred oaks iosafatovoj the valley and the fate of the Karaite people. Now the mighty trees almost gone, but the cemetery area is almost completely overgrown with shrubs and young forest.

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

16. Time spares neither the living nor the dead, nor stone...

The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

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The ancient Karaite cemetery in Iosafatovoj valley

22. Leaving the cemetery in Iosafatovoj the valley, I knew I would return here. When these valleys are covered with snow....

Keywords: Valley cemetery | Tombstone | Monuments | Grove

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