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Inscription Types
Orhon inscriptions
Memorial complex «Shiveet Ulan»
Tatpar (Kutlug) kagan memorial complex, The
Huis Tolgoy Memorial Complex, The
Memorial complex and Statue of Niri kagan, The
Memorial Complex Eletmiš Yabgu (Bilge atačim)
Kultegin’s Memorial Complex, The
Bilge kagan’s Memorial Complex, The
Tonyukuk’s Memorial Complex, The
Kul-Chur’s Memorial Complex, The
Memorial Complex Altyn Tamgan Tarhan
inscription the Choir [192]
Inscription Kultarhan
Memorial Complex “Ih hanui nuur”
Memorial Complex El etmish Bilge kagan (Moyn-Čor)
Inscription El etmish Bilge kagan (Tariat // Terh)
Inscription “Tes”
Inscription Ordu-balyq I (Karabalghasun I)
Inscription Ordu-balyq II (Karabalghasun II)
Inscription “Tewsh”
Old Turkic bronze stamp
Old Turkic writing on a copper coin
Choito-Tamir texts, The
Doloodoyn stele and inscription, The
“Sudzi” stele and inscription, The
“Sevrey” stele and inscription, The
“Darvi” rock inscriptions, The
Bombogor Memorial Complex, The
“Zuryin ovoo” rock inscription, The
The White Hill (Aq shoqy)
“Gurvalzhyn uul” mountain inscriptions, The
“Qara Qatu” (Ereen Kharganat) inscription, The
“Baga Oygor” inscription, The
“Ih bichigt” inscription, The
“Del Uul” inscription, The
“Shaahar Tolgoy” inscription, The
“Gurvan Mandal” inscriptions, The
Baibalyq fortress, The
Inscription in Övörkhangai museum, The
“Ongot” Memorial Complex, The
“Muhar” Memorial Complex, The
Dayan Memorial Complex, The
Ortenbulak inscription, The
“Olon Nuur” Memorial Complex, The
Turkic Stele in Achit Lake
The Turkic inscription “Kok Kotil”
Biger Turkic inscription
“Khogne Tarny” burial mound carved sculpture
Tsahir rock inscriptions, The
Khanan Khad inscriptions of Yamaan Us gorge, The
Zurkh-Uly inscription, The
Nalayhyn inscription, The
«Tehtiin gol» inscriptions, The
«Rashaan Khad» inscription, The
Khar-Salaa inscriptions, The
Museum Exibitions
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Orhon inscriptions
There are 54 items of old turkic orhon writings on database. They where found on places named Bulgyn, Arhangai, Ovearhangai, Tove, etc in Mongolia.
The Orhon Inscriptions
«... The weight and price of this stone monument is much expensive than any gold,
any jewelry on the earth...
Keep it for mankind, they do not belong Turks only.
They are universal property»"
Olzhas Suleimenov
Mongolia, 1975
Inscriptions found in Mongolia can be named «Orhon inscriptions». There is a reason for that. The reason is the district along the Orhon river was the center of Eurasian civilization: the ethno-political union of great Huns (cin.: Sijunu) (209 BC - II AD), then Sjanbi (II-IV, Toba, Jujan (IV-V), Turk empire (VI-IX), the ethno-political states of "Uigurs" (IX), "Kirgiz" (IX-X) and Mongol empire (1189-XIV), the sacred ground named «Otuken». Thus, this place became an inexhaustible source of natural essence of nomads in millennia. It have been found huge amount of historical monuments near the Orhon river.
The Orhon inscriptions have been found in Altai, Khangai, Sayan, Khentii mountains, Gobi desert and along the rivers Orhon, Selenge, Tuul, Ongin, Kerulen, Onon, Hanui, Hunui, Tes, Hovd and lakes Huvsgul, Hyargas Nuur, Har Us Nuur, Uvs Nuur. Inscriptions of ancient turks are everywhere in territory of Mongolia - from east to west, from north to south.
Main feature of the Orhon inscriptions are that they are written on big memorable complexes. These complexes include stone sculptures, turtles, balbals, barrows, and other constructions (more than 10 – 400 in one complex).
Old Turkic master «bitigči» put the letters on special polished stones or things, coins, rocks. It have been found painted writings on some rocks. Writings on wood or papers (as Turfan Turkic writings) did not found yet in Mongolia. Nevertheless hundreds cities and settlements of old Turks as Ordubalyq, Baibalyq, Togubalyq, etc are known, none complex archeological works have not been made in them.
Orhon inscriptions and complexes are made in honor of kagans, yabγu, čors, tarkhans, etc. officials of ethno-political union of nomads. There are monuments for simple people too. At the beginning, all monuments have entered to science by names of districts where they were found. As a result of scientific researches it was determined that each of them has been devoted to a certain historical figure. And now some monuments can be named by names of figures to whom they are devoted. For example, Monument for Tatpar kagan («Bugut inscription»), Bilge kagan inscriptions, Kultegin inscriptions («Khosho-Tsaidam inscriptions»), Tonukuk («Bayan-Tsgot inscription»), El etmiš kagan («Mogoyn sine us»), etc. But basically the Orhon old-turkic inscriptions are named by place names where they were found.
The Orhon inscriptions are very valuable by their historical contents. It is appreciably stated political history of Turkic empire. There are ethno-political history, ethno-culture and other invaluable messages on ancient Turks are described in the largest written monuments like Bilge kagan and Kultegin inscriptions. Also Tonykuk, El etmiš yabγu (Ongin), etc. inscriptions contain information on ethno-historical, ethno-political conditions of Turkic world of that time.
Ancient Turks peculiar to belief have stated the history of Turk empire and their edification to future generation on eternal stones. In a word, it is possible to confirm that «stones have started talking».
There are some monuments written Brahma, Sogdian inscriptions except Turkic inscriptions found along Orhon river. For example, Tatpar kagan («Bugut») inscription is scripted on ancient Sogdian. And monument Huus tolgoi is not deciphered yet.
There are inscriptions on rocks (Del-uul, Kara-katu, etc) found at present in territory of Mongolia.
Orhon inscriptions basically are stored in museums and store-places in capital of Mongolia Ulaanbaatar and administrative districts. Some large monuments are there where they have been found.
In 1889 N.M.Jadrintsev held the expedition of East-Siberian branch of the Geographical society of Russian empire investigated districts along the river Orhon where complexes of Kultegin, Bilge kagan monuments and remains of the cities Karakorym, Karabalghasun (Horde-balyk) have been found. Thus, the richer collection of old Turk inscriptions, alongside with earlier found Yenisei inscriptions, had been found.
In 1890 A.Hekel’s, in 1891 outstanding scientist of Russian empire academy of sciences W.W.Radloff’s expedition investigated old Turkic inscriptions along the rivers Orhon, Tuul, Selenge. They have made some excavation, estumpages, photos.
The polyglot V.Tomsen has solved reading old Turkic writings in 1893. W.W.Radloff has translated texts of Kultegin and Bilge kagan to Russian, German languages and has published a known series of «Reports of Orhon expedition» in 1894. The turkology science has been started from these scientific researches.
N.M.Jadrintsev found Ongin inscription (El etmiš yabγu) in 1891, E.N.Klements found Tonukuk in 1897. The Finno-Ugric scientific expedition have brought the huge contribution to the Orhon inscriptions studies under direction of G.I.Ramstedt and S.Pelsi in 1909. They have made the first plan-scheme of monument «Moin-Čor» under the name «Monument of Tarimalin hoshuu». They have also found the «Sudji» inscription.
Known researcher V.L.Kotvich has found a complex of monuments Kuli- Čor in 1912. P.K.Kozlov, V.A.Kazakevich, B.J.Vladimirtsov, B.B.Bambaev, D.D.Bukinich, G.I.Borovka, K.V.Vjatkina and other scientists conducted researches of old Turkic monuments in 1923-1950.
The Mongolian archeologist T.Dorzhsuren has found a complex of monuments «Bugut»-Tatpar kagan, Tariat inscriptions in 1956. The expedition under direction of N.Ser-Odzhav conducted excavation in the complex of Tonykuk monuments in 1957.
The joint Mongol-Czechoslovak expedition under direction of N.Ser-Odzhav and L.Jisl conducted excavation in the complex of Kultegin monuments. The participant of joint expedition Mongolia-Poland E.Tryjarsky has found three fragments Ongin inscriptions in 1962. The joint expedition of Mongolia-Hungary conducted excavation of the monument of old-turk period Hinden-bulag.
The huge contribution to researches of old-turk inscriptions was brought by Former Soviet-Mongolian joint expeditions lead 1960, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989. Namely, E.I.Ubrjatova, B.Bazylhan, N.Ser-Odzhav, S.G.Kljashtornyj, H.Luvsanbaldan, M.Shineh, J.S.Hudjakov, V.E.Vojtov, V.V.Volkov, V.A.Livshits, G.Suhbaatar, G.Menes, S.Harzhaubaj, D.Bajar, D.Tseveendorzh, L.Bold, T.Battulga other scientists have made archeological, historical, epigraphic, etc. researches and publications.
Joint Mongol-Japanese expedition has renewed researches of texts old Turkic inscriptions in 1996-1998 and have carried out the project under the name «Historical and written monuments of Mongolia».
The Mongolian archeologist D.Bayar supervised over Mongol-Turkish archeological excavations of the complex of Bilge kagan monuments in 2000-2001. The result of this excavation was sensational for Turkic archeology. It was hidden treasure, containing gold crown of Bilge kagan, silver utensils, a thing and other valuable things (about 2800 items).
Russian empire, Finland, Denmark, Germany, former Soviet Union, Mongolia, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Japan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and other countries have participated in researches of the Orhon inscriptions from 80s of XIX century until XXI century.
The basic idea of creating the electronic historical and cultural fund was based on issue of The Oriental Studies Section of The Institute of Oriental Studies named after Suleimenov in 2005 under the govermental program "Cultural Heritage": "Қазақстан тарихы туралы түркі деректемелері" сериясының 2-томы Н.Базылхан "Көне түрік бітіктастары мен ескерткіштері (Орхон, Енисей, Талас)" Алматы: Дайк-Пресс. 2005, 252 б. +144 бет жапсырма.
Chief Editors:
doctor of history sciences Prof. M.Abuseitova
doctor of philology sciences Prof. B.Bukhatuly.
We appreciate The Director of The Institute of Oriental Studies Meruert Abuseitova for her help.

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