Por- Bajin

porLocated on an island in the middle of Tere-Khol, a high altitude lake in a remote region of Siberia near the Mongolian border is a mysterious 1300 year old structure that has archaeologists baffled. The structure discovered in 1891 was apparently built during the Uighur Khagante nomadic empire (744-840 AD). Although there was minor excavation done at the site in 1957, major excavation did not begin until 2007. The name Por-Bajin translates to “clay-house” in the Tuvan language.

The structure is 8.65 acres with outer walls 10 meters high by 12 meters wide in a rectangular shape. There is a main gate which opens into two successive courtyards . The inner walls were smaller, about one meter tall. There were outlines of several small buildings in the outer courtyard. Some of the walls were covered with lime plaster painted with a red stripe. The main complex in the inner courtyard had a two part central structure, one behind the other linked by a covered walkway.

The construction materials used and the way the site is laid out points to typical Chinese architecture in the second half of the eighth century. Burnt timber fragments point to the use of the typical Chinese technique of interlocking wooden brackets, called dou-gung. Ramps led down to the two flanking galleries which were roofed open spaces looking onto the access to the main pavilion.

There are several mysteries surrounding this complex structure. The first being who built it and why? Although the massive walls suggest a fortress type structure there does not seem to be any reason for it. The location is no where near populated areas or known trade routes. There are several theories as to it’s purpose. The suggestions have been made that it could have been a summer palace, monastery or even an astronomical observatory.

Another mystery is why was it abandoned. Evidence suggests that it was abandoned shortly after it was built. One theory is that the climate or other natural occurrences may have caused the early departure. Archaeological and geomorphological fieldwork has revealed traces of at least two earthquakes. The first of these earthquakes appears to have happened during the time the structure was being constructed.The second in the early part of the 9th century.

There is no evidence of rudimentary heating systems despite the harsh Siberian winters and the fact that it is located 7,545 feet above sea level. This suggests that is was only ever occupied for short periods of time during the summer months.

Whether it was a fortress, observatory, palace or monastery this site appears to hold many mysteries that will keep the experts guessing for a long time.

Sources cited:

Siberian Times – all about Siberia, in English.
(n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2015, from http://siberiantimes.com/home/
(n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html
(n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

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