MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian archaeologists are conducting an underwater expidition in search of the remains of an ancient civilization at the bottom of the lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan, Nikolay Lukashov, the president of the Russian Confederation of Underwater Activities, told RIA Novosti Monday.
“During the expedition, which is led by Professor Vladimir Ploskikh from the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz and Russian scientists plan to explore underwater archaeological sites to test the hypothesis of the ancient, so-called Andronovo culture, located in the area that is now flooded by the waters of Issyk Kul,” Lukashov said.
According to Lukashov, underwater archeologists are to continue their studies of a settlement that was discovered at the bottom of the lake during the last expedition. Radiocarbon dating has shown the flooded settlement existed for over 3,000 years. Scientists also plan to resume their search for a medieval monastery, which, according to the Catalan Atlas of 1375, is the resting place of apostle and evangelist Matthew.
This year marks 30 years of cooperation between the Russian Confederation of Underwater Activities and Kyrgyz historians. The first joint exploration of Issyk Kul was conducted in 1984 under Stanislav Prapor. Well-known divers, historians and athletes took part in the examination of the lake.
Issyk Kul is one of the largest and deepest lakes in the world, with a top length of 182 kilometers and depth of 668 metres. The lake is located in the northern Tian Shan mountains of eastern Kyrgyzstan.