11 July 2024

Remains of Togu Balık, the “Lost City” of the Turks in the Ancestral Land has been found

Excavations conducted in Mongolia’s Tuul Valley by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), in collaboration with İzmir Katip Çelebi University (İKÇÜ) and the Institute of Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, have confirmed that the site is the city of “Togu Balık,” where the Toquz Oghuz lived and fought with the Gokturks.

Academics from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at İKÇÜ have commenced their work with the support of TİKA under a protocol for joint excavations in Mongolia.

A team of 30 people participated in the excavations at the ruins in the Tuul Valley of Mongolia, believed to be the city of Togu Balık, associated with the Toquz Oghuz (the tribes that founded the Uyghurs), as referenced in the Bilge Khagan and Kul Tigin inscriptions.

The ongoing studies aim to provide detailed information about the lifestyles of the ancient Turks, including their beliefs, cult of the dead and urban development.

The research spans an area of 100 square kilometers covering the ruins of cities on both sides of the Tuul River and the surrounding Mayhan, Tömst and Agit mountains.

“There are countless cultural assets from the ancient Turks”

Prof. Dr. Şaban Doğan, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at İKÇÜ and head of the excavation project, stated that Mongolia, which has been home to many Turkic states and communities and is where the sacred Otuken is located, contains countless cultural assets. These include city ruins, monumental tomb complexes, kurgans and petroglyphs dating back to the ancient Turks.

“We found artifacts proving it is Togu Balık”

Doğan explained that their goal is to unearth Togu Balık, mentioned in the Bilge Khagan and Kul Tigin inscriptions, whose location had not been determined until now.

“Togu Balık, mentioned in historical sources but whose exact location was previously unknown, is much older than the known Uyghur cities. The unearthing and excavation of this city will push back our findings on the settled life of the Uyghurs by at least 100 years. We have conducted field surveys and literature reviews on this area for a long time. Some studies had previously mentioned finds in the region that could be associated with the Uyghur period but did not provide detailed information. We have managed to uncover artifacts that prove this region to be Togu Balık. In the remains of a building we excavated, we found Uyghur ceramics that have been definitively linked to the structure. Both Turkish and Mongolian archaeologists on our team agree on this. We can now confidently say that this is the city of Togu Balık of the Toquz Oghuz. We consider this a highly significant discovery. It will provide new insights into the transition of the Turks to a settled lifestyle,” he said.

Next News

Medical Equipment Support from TİKA to a Hospital in Somalia

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided medical equipment to Deynile Hospital, located in the Deynile region of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The hospital has been serving the community since 2003. Deynile Hospital in Mogadishu, serving...