Tandy Institute


Illan-Balik Expedition


The Illan-Balik 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. Dimitry Voyakin). The project centers around Illan-Balik, 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 Illan-Balik 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:


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