Capital of the Khazars, a Turkic people who converted to Judaism, was thought washed away by Caspian Sea.
By The Associated Press HAARETZ.COM
Russian archaeologists said Wednesday they had found the long-lost capital of the Khazar kingdom in southern Russia, a breakthrough for research on the ancient Jewish state.
“This is a hugely important discovery,” expedition organiser Dmitry Vasilyev told AFP by telephone from Astrakhan State University after returning from excavations near the village of Samosdelka, just north of the Caspian Sea.
“We can now shed light on one of the most intriguing mysteries of that period — how the Khazars actually lived. We know very little about the Khazars — about their traditions, their funerary rites, their culture,” he said.
The city was the capital of the Khazars, a semi-nomadic Turkic peoples who adopted Judaism as a state religion, from between the 8th and the 10th centuries, when it was captured and sacked by the rulers of ancient Russia.
At its height, the Khazar state and its tributaries controlled much of what is now southern Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan and large parts of Russia’s North Caucasus region.
The capital is referred to as Itil in Arab chronicles but Vasilyev said the word may actually have been used to refer to the Volga River on which the city was founded or to the surrounding river delta region.
Itil was said to be a multi-ethnic place with houses of worship and judges for Christians, Jews, Muslims and pagans. Its remains have until now never been identified and were said to have been washed away by the Caspian Sea.
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NOTE BY THE EDITOR: This is where the ‘Russian’ Jews come from. They never actually came from Israel/Palestine, but from the Kingdom of Khazar, therefore they do not really have a ‘Right of Return’. Now-a-days this could easily be proved by DNA tests, but due to some interesting reason no one wants to make these tests…
History books tell us that the King of Khazar was pushed by the Catholics from the West to become a Catholic, from the Orthodox in the North-East to become Orthodox and from the Muslims in the South to become Muslim. He studied all religions and found Islam to be the most reasonable, with its teaching of One God. He however found it difficult to ‘make do’ without wine and therefore decided to convert to the Jewish religion…