Issyk Drinking-cup


The oldest inscription in the Türkic alphabet, the Issyk Inscription, written on a flat silver drinking cup, was found in 1970 in a royal tomb located within Balykchy ( Issyk), a town in Kyrgyzstan near Lake Issyk, and was dated by 5-th c. BC. What was the world in the 5-th century BC? We have archeological discoveries, where dating is almost always somewhat speculative, and reconstructions of the ancient Greek maps, and the views of the Mesopotamian and Chinese records. From the Mesopotamian, Chinese, and Greek texts, from the archeological discoveries of the kurgans, from the written monuments, we get a glimpse of the nomadic nations of the Central Asia in the 5-th c. BC. The various interpretations of the graphics and contents of the inscription witness the paucity of the finds and the potential for the studies.

To say that everything is clear, it is absolutely not. We have four (4) readings the Turkic, one (1) reading at Khotanese, and one (1) reading in a borsch languages collected from all the IE linguistic gardens, and all readings are different. It seems that should we give a linguist inscription of an elephant with a brush, it would be read in all languages except the elephant’s. Because we have not discovered a mountain of elephant manuscripts. When we discover, we would read them, on the wave of the elephant popularity. For geologists, engineers, and economists, this does not work, but for linguists this is working as a clockworks, the dead are stubbornly silent, linguists do not understand the lingo of each other, and each creates a product in his own universe.

For the Issyk Alphabet table by Dr. Selahi Diker, the author of the AND THE WHOLE EARTH WAS OF ONE LANGUAGE (1996, 1999) click here.
For a complete analysis of inscription by Prof. A.S.Amanjolov in his book HISTORY OF ANCIENT TÜRKIC SCRIPTT click here.

Issyk drinking-cup

Fifth-century B.C. Issyk Inscription (1) (Pl. 24), written on a flat silver drinking-cup (nowadays called “piala” in the local lingo), was found in 1970 in a royal tomb located within Esik, a small town in Kazakistan near Lake Issyk (Issiq) in Kirgizistan in Central Asia. In the tomb were found a body of a man dressed from head to toe in magnificent attire with his clothes, jacket, pants, socks, and boots all made of attached pieces of pure gold, amounting to 4,800 in numbers, greatest ever found in a tomb excepting that of Pharaoh Tutankhamon. His tall cone-shaped crowning hat extending down to his ears and neck contained golden arrows on top. On his belt he carried a sword on the right side and on the left a knife, both in their shields. Beautiful reliefs of animal design ornamented the shields, the belt and the front of the hat. Radio-carbon tests determined the age of the finds as belonging to the fifth century B.C. (2).

üzerine tıklayın


Amanjolov Altai S., “History of ancient  Türkic script”, Almaty, “Mektep”, 2003
Akishev, Kemal. A., “Issyk Kurgan”, Moscow, 1978, Tracing, p. 55
Erçin M., “Esik Yazıtı, Türk Runik Yazısı” (Issyk Inscription, a Turkish Runic Text) in HD50S 225
Diker S., And The Whole Earth Was Of One Language (1996, 1999)
Martynov 1996: 224, figure 8
Mirşan, Kazim, Prototürk Bilginlerine Göre Astrofizik (“Astrophysics According to the Proto-Turkish Scholars”), 1990, Ankara
Ryabchikov, Sergei V., 1999, A Saka (Scythian) Record Reads in Slavonic
Süleymеnof O. (Kazakhstan)

Attempts to read:

Amanjolov Altai.S., “History of ancient  Türkic script”, Almaty, “Mektep”, 2003
Akishev, Kemal A., “Issyk Kurgan”, Moscow, 1978, Tracing, p. 55
Erçin M., “Esik Yazıtı, Türk Runik Yazısı” (Issyk Inscription, a Turkish Runic Text) in HD50S 225
Diker S., And The Whole Earth Was Of One Language (1996, 1999)
Mirşan, Kazim, Prototürk Bilginlerine Göre Astrofizik (“Astrophysics According to the Proto-Turkish Scholars”), 1990, Ankara
Rjabchikov, Sergei V., 1999. A Saka (Scythian) Record Reads in Slavonic
Süleymеnof O. (Kazakhstan)
Harmatta J.


Amanjolov Altai.S.: (with translation)

(1) аγа sаηa očuq = Aγa, saηa očuq!
“Senior brother, (this) hearth is for you!”
(2) bäz čök boqun ičr(?)ä uzuq …i = Bez, čök! Boqun ičrä [r?] azuq! …i
“Stranger, kneel! Progenies [shall have] food!”

Diker S.: (ommited vowels in bold) (In respect to Amanjolov’s transcription, text is read upside down)

han o-ng er çarık
siz çirik bar gıl er-ni içigig ketir oz gıl


Han Ong-Er, Çarık,
Siz çerik,
Erni içigig kötir,

Olças (Oljas) Süleymеnof: (In respect to Amanjolov’s transcription, text is read upside down)

Han uya üç otuzu (da) yok boltı, utıgsı tozıltı

M. Erçin, generally based on Akishev’s phonemes:

Agân er / anga er iç / arak
Esiz iç / erik baruk / arakı
E iç itkir / az ök

Kazım Mirşan:

ögün an
onuy a
öcü ok .
ub oz
uç esitis
oz ötü
onuy oy ekiç ekil
aliz at

Sergei V. Rjabchikov: (reading left-to-right, presumably using Minoan Linear A alphabet, distorted tracing of the inscription, and Slavono-Indo-Palestinian-Sinaian-Byblian-Indo-Arian-Old Indian etc language)

p(i)-u-r-u v(e) n-r v(e) l-e-sh
s-e v(e)-e-r A-n-i p(e)-u-t n-b-e-u


Diker S.:


in clearer English

King Ong-Er, Çarık,
You soldiers,
Do depart!
The heroes as willingly-joined volunteers, raise up to heaven,
Reach (eternal) peace!

King Ong-Er, (of) Çarık (Nation),
You soldiers,
Do depart!
Raise up to heaven the heroes who have volun­tarily joined you, (and)
Reach (eternal) peace!

Diker S. Translation Dictionary:

gıl         amplifier of the imperative verb of 2nd person singular. See: bargılozgıl.
ig          Turkish noun-making suffix attached to verbs. See: içigig.
ni          accusative suffix (generally passive case). Some examples: M. Tr. ol erni ök keldür “bring that man himself”; O. Tr. bizni “us”.
bar–       (ModTr. var-) to go, to depart; to reach, to arrive.
bargıl    an imperative form of the verb bar-, meaning “do go!; do depart!.” See: bar- and –gıl.
Çarık/Çaruk    name of the Issyk people, which may be the source of the Turkish clan mentioned in Mahmud Kashgari DLT where Çaruk (Çarık/Çarıg) is mentioned as the name of one of the twenty Turkish clans, who, together with “Kirghiz, Kiptchak, Oghuz, Tokhsi, Yaghma, Çigil and Ughrak, speak only one language, that is, pure Turkish” (DLT I, 30). They lived in the city of Barçuk (DLT I, 381) which Kashgari says was the city of Afrasiyab (Alp Er Tonga), the ancient king of the Turanians (Turks) in the Shahname. This city was located east of Kashgar and south of Aksu in Eastern Turkistan, the region only about 250 miles away from the town of Esik where the inscription was found. Çaruks are also mentioned under the name of Çaruklu (“belonging to the Çaruk”) as one of the 22 Oghuz tribes (DLT I, 58). Their colonies seem to have lived in Khwarezm, Crimea, and Caucasus under the name of Çagruq/Çıgrak. The name is also mentioned in Uighur texts found by M. A. Stein, Hungarian-born British archaeologist, in Tun-huang in Central Asia, where Çarıg is one of the ten (royal) clans, and one of the five of the Tarduş group (western part) of the Kök-Türk empire. The age of the Uighur texts is accepted to be not later than A.D. 8th century [probably much earlier]
çirik       Tr. çerik/çerig “soldier, soldiers, troops, a line of soldiers, army” (UYG; DLT).
er        man, men, brave man, hero (DLT I, 468). Example: O. Tr. er (written with single r) “man” (Kt:N12); tokuz erig (active accusative, written as tkuz rg) “the nine man” (Kt:N6).
içigig/içikig     (içgg) “(one) joined willingly or voluntarily,” used as past participle of the verb içik-, or “(one) who joins voluntarily; [(a) willing (man), volunteer],” used as verbal noun formed with the noun-making suf­fix –ig/-ik attached to the verb içik-. The word is written, almost exactly, in Bilge Kaghan’s inscription where it appears together with its verb. Thus, Kök-Türk expressioniçkgme içk-di (içikig-me içikdi), budun boldı “(those) if willing (or being willing), joined (and) became (part of) the nation” (BK:E37), the meaning of the suffix –me being apparently “to be; being,” or –me/-ma “if” (UYG). Actually, the Issyk içgg (içigig) conforms better with the Turkish harmony in spoken language than the Kök-Türk içkg (içikig) which is grammatically the correct form in writing.
içik-       (içk-) to enter in, to join [voluntarily] (UYG); to surrender willingly or voluntarily (to the other side and then fight in their ranks) (DLT I, 192). O. Turkish example: Han birtimhanıngınkodup içikding “I gave you (a) king, (but) you have joined (the enemy)”.
han        king.
kötir-/kötür-/köter–            (ktir) to raise, to raise above (CdCum 118.37; UYG).
on-?      “to reach a good end”; an alternate word for oz-, assuming the sign for z is a dual letter n/z.
ong       (part of the name of the king) “good, safe; abundant, fruitful, fertile; [happy; blessed]”; “freedom; security, safety; soundness [(divine) peace; throne, God?, Heaven?]” (CdCum 113/4 and 119/43, 44)Ong was a Turkish title given to the Nestorian Tughril (Tughrul) Khan, king of the Kerait Turks, and a century before him, was the name of one king, Ong Khan of the infidel (non-muslim) Turks (of Khitai and Khotan) of the East.
Ong-Er             name of the king, meaning “Blessed Hero.”
oz-         to be saved, to find salvation, to reach safety, [to reach peace] (DLT; UYG). The word is a synonym of Tr. on– “to reach a good end; to make secure, safe; to cure, to be well” (UYG).
ozgıl      an imperative form of the verb oz-, meaning “do find salvation!; do reach (eternal) peace!.” See: oz– and –gıl.
sen?      (1) (Normal Turkish) “you” singular, said to people younger and of lower rank; an alternate word for siz, assuming the sign for z is a dual letter n/z.
sen?      (2) (Oghuz Turkish) “you” singular, said to elders. See also: siz (3).
siz         (1) you (plural).
siz         (2) you (singular, said to older people) (This remarkable tradition persevered in the Ukrainian language, which uses Slavic vocabulary to depict a Türkic tradition, in contrast with the Russian custom of using singular as an appellation to the parents, which to the Ukrainian ears sounds rude and inadmissible, Вы vs. ты).
siz         (3) (Oghuz Turkish) “you,” singular, said to people younger and of lower rank (DLT I, 339, where Kashgari says: “Oghuz Turks do the reverse, they say `sen‘ to the elders and `siz‘ to the younger”).

M. Erçin:

Lonely person / worthless person drink / arak
Alas drink / evil wild / (the) arak
Do be obedient drink / just a little

Musabayev: (see for Selahi Diker’s comments)

Olças (Oljas) Süleymеnof: (see for Selahi Diker’s comments)

The son of the king, at twenty three (three-thirty), died
His name and fame became dust

Kazım Mirşan:

Him whose majesty you are praising
is an arrow which became of the cosmos.
He The Zeus.
by passing to leadership as if winning a race, (to reach) to the seat of the cosmos
(is) the name taken

Sergei V. Rjabchikov: (interpretation using an aggregate Slavono-Indo-Arian-Minoan Linear A (B)-Türkic  etc language, with a major dose of undeclared Türkic borrowings like loshad’ ‘horse’, burya ‘storm’, Sivka-burka ‘fairytale horse’):


Rjabchikov’s Explanation

fairytale horse; in, into, at fury; aspiration fragment reports about the solar horse
Fire, the path though the sky; to turn round and round; this is fire/top; sky No explanation, sorry


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