July 10, 2002
"The Kingdom of the Khuzari"
narrated by Ehud Ya'ari
A television crew set out with Ehud Ya'ari on the trail of the Jewish
kingdom of the Khuzari, which disappeared from the world a thousand years
ago. At the heart of the series are three journeys to the remotest parts
of the Caucasus, the Volga Delta, the Crimean Peninsula, and the Steppes
of the Don.
This documentary was originally broadcast on Israeli television during
April 1997 and has been highly sought-after ever since. I'm pleased to
announce that it's finally available on videocassette in an
In part 1, Ya'ari's team visits the Crimea and interviews Krymchaks and
Karaites, who claim to be descendants of the Khazars. They also visit the
Crimean cities of Sudak and Cherson where there are interesting artifacts
related to the Khazars. They also travel to Cambridge University and St.
Petersburg to examine various documents related to the Khazars.
In part 2, we watch the flooding of the Sarkel archaeological site, which
was once home to a Khazar fortress and a trading emporium, and we learn
about the groundbreaking excavations that took place at Sarkel from
archaeologist Mikhail Artamonov's granddaughter and from archaeologist
Svetlana Pletnyova. The team visits the Hermitage Museum, which stores
many Khazar and Jewish artifacts. There are also scenes from Kalmykia,
Astrakhan, Samosdelka, Chistibanka, Rostov, and Cherkessia. The location
of the lost city of Atil is investigated with the archaeologists Yevgenia
Schneidstein, Ryuichi Hirokawa, and Murad Magomedov. You also get to see
Turkic runic letters.
In part 3, Ya'ari mentions the state of Khazar research as of 1997 and
then it's off to Daghestan for colorful scenes from Derbent and Samandar.
We meet some Kumyks, who might be descendants of the Khazars. Magomedov
takes the team to Agach-kale, and this trip is followed by a trip to
Balanjar and by scenes from places where Mountain Jews live. The camera
also captures Khazarian wall drawings. A visit to Kiev provides an
opportunity to explore precious jewelry and other artifacts. This is
followed by a discussion of the Kievan Letter with Norman Golb and Omeljan
Pritsak, and of the Schechter Letter and Russian Chronicles.
Choose from the following 4 editions:
* Hebrew language with English subtitles, on NTSC format type -
Tal-Shahar product code 8988-1 (NTSC is the format used in the United
States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico)
* Hebrew language with English subtitles, on PAL format tape -
Tal-Shahar product code 8988-3
* Hebrew language with no subtitles, on NTSC format tape -
Tal-Shahar product code 8988-2
* Hebrew language with no subtitles, on PAL format tape -
Tal-Shahar product code 8988