This article is an attempt to point out the most important facts dealing with the history of research on the oldest relic of the written language of Turkic nomads. The first findings are to be linked to D.G. Messershmidt who travelled through Khakassia in 1721. A systematic search for them was begun by G.I. Spasskiy and M.A. Kastrem in the Khakassia region at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1889, two big inscriptions, which later on appeared to be dedicated to Bilge Khagan and his brother Köl Tegin, were discovered by N.M. Yadrincev who in 1891 also found the Ongin inscription. The findings of Jadrincev were published by W. Radloff in 1892 together with the translation of a Chinese part of one of the inscriptions. The script system was deciphered by a Danish scholar W. Thomsen in 1893. Between 1897 and 1912 other inscriptions were discovered in Outer Mongolia: the inscription of Tonyukuk (E.N. Klementz, 1897) Sudji and Moyun Chur inscriptions (G.J. Ramstedt, 1909), and Küli Chur inscription (W. Kotwicz, 1912). Since the end of the nineteenth century up to now a great deal of survey, which includes a wide spectre of issues, has been conducted on these findings in various academic centres.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.