Lake Issyk Kul
Photo Dmitry Gorn
By Olga Gertcyk - The Siberian Times
Siberian scientists make discovery of 2,500 year old Saka settlement in up to 23 metres of water in Kyrgyzstan.
The new find at the lake is separate from the discovery in 2007 of the ruins of an ancient metropolis of roughly the same age and Scythian burial mounds under its waters.
Divers from Tomsk State University say they have located another 'previously unknown' outpost of the ancient world, along with 200 artifacts from this long-lost culture. Our exclusive pictures show these finds.
A piece of a large ceramic pot found in the lake has a stamp on it written in Armenian and Syrian scripts, which, if confirmed, gives credence to the theory that an Armenian monastery was on this site in Medieval times, it is claimed.
An intriguing version is that this remote lake was the last resting place of evangelist St Matthew, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, and the find may support a theory that an Armenian monastery once existed here at which his relics were supposedly buried.
Dmitry Gorn, director of Tomsk scuba diving 'Club SKAT TSU', who led the diving team, said the inscribed pot fragment was 'truly unique'.
'Experts are now working on the identification of the writings on the stamps, but it's supposed to be Armenian-Syrian script,' he said.
'If that proves to be correct, it will be further evidence that there was an Armenian monastery on Issyk-Kul in 14th century where, according to the legends, relics of Matthew were stored.'