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September 21 2012

2012 Issyk Kul Expedition: Search for a Sunken Palace


After a year of careful planning, our National Geographic team is now set up at a base camp on the northern shore of Issyk Kul, one of the world’s highest and deepest lakes, in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.

So why are we here? Issyk Kul, which means “hot lake” in Kyrgyz, was a critical location along the fabled Silk Road, with routes running along its shores. Nestled in the largest east-west valley in the high Central Asian mountains, Issyk Kul was renowned in historical documents as a strategic point along the Silk Road that was vied and battled for over the millennia. Countless traders, caravans and nomadic tribes and armies traveled along the 113-mile long lake, leaving a remarkable archaeological legacy behind.

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