In 2022, with the financial support of the Society for the Exploration of EurAsia (Switzerland), comprehensive research was continued on the medieval Christian necropolis on the Ilibalyk archaeological site, located in Panfilovsky District of Zhetysu region, Republic of Kazakhstan.
The monument has been researched since 2015. The main goal is to study the development of medieval Ilibalyk.
The 2022 activities included expansion of the excavation on the territory of the necropolis and further examination of the chapel and residential area east of the necropolis.
This resulted in the identification of the necropolis' northern border and opening of 11 burials, one of which was sampled as a whole block to examine in a laboratory.
A room was discovered on the territory of the chapel, possibly, a ritual one, 4.5x4.5 m in size, on the floor of which a layer of ash was detected. In the eastern part of the room there was a tandoor on a mud pedestal and a separate area for storing ash.
Remains of structures - fragments of mud brickwork, waste pits, khums (jugs) and other - were found in the residential area. 2 building horizons were identified, separated by an alluvial layer of sand. 3 tombstones (kayraks) were recorded in the residential area at the level of the ancient ground surface.
Further comprehensive study of the Ilibalyk site will help shed light on the history of Christianity in Central Asia in the Middle Ages.