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A Runic Inscription at Kalbak-Tash II, Central Altai, with Reference to the Location of the Az Tribe

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.4.092-101

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Abstract

The article introduces and interprets a new runic inscription found at the Kalbak-Tash II petroglyphic site in Central Altai. Whereas the adjacent petroglyphic site, Kalbak-Tash I, is the largest collection of Old Turkic runic texts in the Altai Republic and in Russia at large, Kalbak-Tash II has so far yielded only one such inscription, consisting of seven characters. Professor Marcel Erdal has suggested its transliteration, translation, and commentary. The proposed translation reads, “The Horse tribe. Hunters of the Az (tribe), open (the way)!” The inscription, evidently dating to the 8th century, marks boundaries of tribal grazing areas or those of small social units, in this case, the Az tribe, mentioned in runic texts from Mongolia and Tuva. Various viewpoints regarding their location, affi nities with neighboring tribes, origin, and later history are discussed. This new inscription confi rms the common idea that the so-called mountain or mountain-taiga Az people lived not only in western Tuva, but also in eastern and southern Altai, whereas the steppe Az lived alongside the Kyrgyz in the Khakass-Minusinsk Basin. The culture possibly associated with the Az is the Kudyrge culture in Altai. The Kalbak-Tash II inscription, short as it is, is a signifi cant addition to the well-known Orkhon runic texts addressing the history of the Turkic Kaganates.

About the Author

G. V. Kubarev
Novosibirsk State University
Russian Federation
Pirogova 2, Novosibirsk, 630090


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For citation:


Kubarev G.V. A Runic Inscription at Kalbak-Tash II, Central Altai, with Reference to the Location of the Az Tribe. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(4):92-101. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.4.092-101

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