A collection of carved burial stones stand in a field apart of the tower and the museum. Many are human figures, though some contain only Arabic script, often the name and place of origin of the deceased and sometimes a favorite verse from the Koran, according to the curator and groundskeeper, a pleasant middle-aged Kyrgyz woman whose upper front teeth were entirely gold. All of the carvings are pretty worn and unprotected, some of which are from the sixth century and were relocated to Burana from throughout the region.
Metal exterior steps ascend to about the middle of the tower, then you enter the structure to navigate an unlit, winding stone stairway designed for people smaller than me. From the top, the eastern view was dominated by mountains blanketed in snow that descended into cold, brightly lit pasturelands dotted with grazing horses. What seemed to be rectangular mounds of earth framing the site were the eroded ramparts that once protected Belasagun.