Ilibalyk Expedition


The Ilibalyk Expedition is a new project started in August of 2016 and conducted by a joint team from the Tandy and from the Republic of Kazakhstan, who partnered with the private archaeological company Archaeological Expertise (headed by Dr. Dmitriy Voyakin). The project centers around Ilibalyk, a medieval Silk Road city, now located within the modern village of Usharal in the Almaty Oblast near the Chinese border. Particular interest in the site was kindled after the discovery of a Nestorian gravestone near the site in 2014; and the project was partially initiated in order to explore the possible presence of Nestorian Christianity in modern Kazakhstan, which would be the earliest evidence of Christianity in the region.

During the 2017 season of the Ilibalyk Expedition, a documentary entitled "Unknown Kazakhstan" was filmed featuring the story of the birth of the project and its ongoing procedures and results. The English version of this documentary can be found in several segments at the following link:

An article entitled "Christians of the Great Steppe" about the amazing finds from our 2018 season was recently published on Russian site Vox Populi that you can visit here.


For more information, please contact Dr. Tom Davis  at