Bishkek, April 24, 2014
A Russian pilot, who is serving at the "Kant" airbase in Kirghizia, has given the republic's National Academy of Sciences cajraks—gravestones, dated by local scientists as being several centuries old.
"The joint group of Kirghiz and Russian archaeologists has already set about investigating the ancient artifacts," said the official representative of the Central Military Region colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin on Thursday to Interfax.
According to him, a Su-25 attack aircraft pilot, captain Anatoly Cherkasov discovered four gravestones (cajraks) during the reconnaissance of the locality near the "Edelweis" firing ground. The find attracted his attention by its unusual shape and engraved images.
Ritual objects with crosses were discovered in several kilometers from the medieval Nevaket (Krasnorechensky "gorodishche" site of an ancient settlement), where burials of seventh – eighth century Christians had been discovered earlier.
The archaeologists were astonished by the number of the discovered cajraks. The specialists will have to establish what kind of crosses (Nestorian, Armenian, or Maltese) are depicted on them, and answer a number of other questions.
"It is symbolic that the ancient ritual objects were handed over at the time of the international theoretical and practical conference in Kirghizia, dedicated to the 175th anniversary since the birth of Nikolai Przhevalsky, the famous traveller and outstanding scientist. He was a Russian officer for whom this mountain district became a second homeland," noted Ya. Roshchupkin.