Bol’she-Tarkhanskyi complex

Location: Tetyushsky district, near to the village of Bolshie Tarkhany, Bol’she-Tarkhanskyi complex

The expansive complex consists of the Bol’she-Tarkhanskyi settlement. It emerges as the largest and most heavily fortified settlement within the Imen’kovo culture that has been identified to date. This historical site, boasting paramount significance, reveals itself in the Bolshie Tarkhany graves dating back to the 8th-9th centuries. These burial grounds strategically situated partly within the village and extend to the right bank of the Tarkhanka river. They unveil the remnants of a thriving early Bulgar community.

Remarkably, both graveyards include over 400 discovered burials. They offer a poignant glimpse into the rituals and traditions of the early Bulgars. The graves which scattered across this landscape, are a testament to the cultural richness and historical depth of the region.

Adding to the allure of the complex is the ancient cemetery “Tashbilge” (Stone sign), situated on the northeast outskirts of the village. Here a Bulgar gravestone dating back to 1314 stands as a remarkable relic. The gravestone is adorned with an intricately engraved calligraphic inscription executed in Cufic handwriting. It is crowned by a lancet arch, showcasing the artistic and linguistic prowess of the ancient Bulgars.

The Bol’she-Tarkhanskyi settlement complex stands as an archaeological treasure trove. It provides invaluable insights into the material culture, social structure, and artistic achievements of the early Bulgars who once inhabited this region. The site serves as a living record of the rich history embedded in the land, offering a captivating narrative of ancient civilizations and their enduring legacies.