«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

The Mongolian Invasion of Otyrar

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The Mongolian Invasion of Otyrar
The article argues that the campaign to the West of Genghis Khan was provoked by the actions of Khorezmshah and his deputy in Otyrar. The defense of Otyrar held exclusively on the actions of the

troops of Khorezmshah, part of Otyrar was on the side of Genghis Khan. The results of the archaeological study of the ruins of the city cause a reasonable mistrust of reports about the scale of the destruction of Otyrar by the Mongolian troops. After the capture of the city by the Mongols, the citadel was destroyed and most of the outer long wall was found, which we found on the outskirts of Otyrar. Part of the city's population after the capture of Otyrar by the Mongols returned to their homes.

One of the famous cities of medieval Kazakhstan is Otyrar, which played an important role in the history of Central Asia. Events connected with the city that entered the world history under the name of the "Otyrar catastrophe" are connected with the city and served as an excuse for Genghis khan's campaign to the West.

During Soviet times, a number of popular science articles and art books devoted to the "heroic epic of Otyrar's defense" were published. Soviet historians relied mainly on the materials of written sources that confirmed the final conclusions about the actions of Genghis Khan. At all the archaeological data obtained during the study of the Otyrar site were not taken into account. Separate use of archeological data and data from narrative sources does not contribute to the reconstruction of an objective picture. On the material of Otyrar we tried to compare the data of independent sources, such as written and archaeological materials, and reconstruct on their basis the capture of the city by the Mongols.

It is common knowledge that diplomatic relations between Khorezmshah and Genghis khan began with the exchange of embassies. Khorezmshah sent two embassies to Mongolia one by one. In the spring of 1218, Khorezmshah Muhammad received the embassy of Genghis khan, who proposed to conclude a peace treaty with guarantees of security of trade routes between the two states. Muhammad agreed to sign a peace treaty. According to An-Nisavi, "Genghis Khan was delighted with this, and [the situation] remained peaceful until the merchants arrived from the country of Genghis Khan to Otyrar; Omar Khoja al-Otyrari, al-Hammal al-Maragi, Fahr ad-Din ad-Danzaki, al-Bukhari and Amin al-Din al-Harawi.

Yinal-khan, the son of the uncle of the Sultan by his mother, at the head of 20 thousand horsemen ruled in him on behalf of the Sultan. His low soul longed for the property of those [people], and he, lying and crafty, wrote a letter to the sultan, saying that these people came to Otyrar under the guise of merchants, but they are not merchants, but information collectors, in which they discover what does not apply to their duties. If they happen to be alone with one of the common people, intimidate him, saying: "Indeed, you are careless about what is behind you, but what you are powerless against will come to you," and the like, so that the sultan allowed him to take precautionary measures against their (merchants) until he ruled out. But when the Sultan precaution made him this relief, he exceeded his rights and violated his powers, seized them, and after that their track was gone, and the news of them ceased. And the aforesaid took for themselves their riches and various utensils with their cunning and treachery."

Rashid ad-din believed that this was not a simple caravan, but a diplomatic one: "Uncle Sultan's mother, named Inalchuk, who was called Kair Khan, inadvertently and thoughtlessly interrupted in Otyrar Muslim merchants sent by Genghis Khan to the Sultan for the purposes unity and friendship. As a result, Genghis Khan was seized with such fury and anger that he forgot about the affairs of the regions, hurriedly moved to the region of Turkestan and the land of Iran. According to Barthold, who analyzed the reports of medieval chroniclers about the destroyed caravan of Genghis Khan, none of our sources says that the merchants gave their own behavior to their complaints with their conduct.

Judging from the message of An-Nisawi, the accusation of espionage could also be presented to the opposite side. So, during the stay of the first embassy of Genghis Khan, Khorezmshah himself offered Mahmud to the Khorezmian - the envoy of Genghis Khan to inform him the whole truth about the ruler of the Mongols and subsequently to remain a spy of Khorezmshah at the court of the khan; For this he was promised a reward, and as a pledge of fulfilling the promise, the Sultan immediately handed him the precious stone. Thus, in the summer of 1218, the peace agreement with the leader of the Mongols was violated by the destruction of a large caravan of 500 camels, which was concluded by Khorezmshah in spring of the same year. 449 people were killed, including a Mongolian ambassador named Uhuna. The murder of diplomats could already serve as an occasion for war. As Barthold notes, the act of Khorezmshah, even from the point of view of modern international law, gave Genghis Khan more than sufficient cause for war.

However, Genghis Khan showed restraint and made sure to resolve the conflict peacefully. The leader of the Mongols sent a new ambassador to Khorezmshah, through which he demanded the extradition of Inalshik with the promise, in this case, of preserving peace. But Khorezmshah not only did not fulfill this demand, but also ordered the murder of innocent ambassadors. The actions of Khorezmshah Muhammad made Genghis Khan's trip to the west inevitable. More than a year it took Genghis khan to train a large army. The campaign began only in September 1219, the ruler of the Mongols was joined by the seven-ruled rulers Arslan-Khan and Suknak-tegin with their detachments.

Archaeological data on the events of 1219 are ambiguous. The authors of the monograph Ancient Otyrar, summing up the description of the stratigraphic observations of Otyrar's cultural stratifications in 1969, expressed surprise at the absence of traces of the siege of the city: "In the materials of the stratigraphic excavation, there are no traces of the" Otyrar disaster", i.e. traces of fire and destruction in the 12th century. 13th centuries. are absent. It is not yet clear why. Juvayni and Rashid al-Din argue that the Mongols after the capture of Otyrar destroyed only the citadel of the city. It is possible that during the assault, the whole city was not ruined. According to Burnashev, who investigated the monetary circulation of Otyrar during Mongolian time, the scale of damage and the damage caused to the population of Otyrar, considered by some researchers to be catastrophic and for a long time interrupted the development of urban culture, should apparently be revised in the light of new numismatic data.

In the course of further research in the center of Shakhristan Otyrar, traces of a fire at the level of the 2nd floor and in some places at the level of the 3rd floor of the V horizon were revealed. Erzakovich, based on the finds of the coins of the ruler Otyrar beginning 13th century. Hasan Abd al-Khalik, believed that the fire occurred during the defeat of Otyrar by the Mongols in the beginning of 1220. Summing up his long-term studies of Otyrar, Erzakovich came to the conclusion that historical writings exaggerated the narratives of the tragic fate of his inhabitants, that archaeological data corrects the information of written sources. Shahristan survived during turbulent events and after a short period of desolation, the residents returned to their homes. The pits laid on the territory of Rabad, showed that she was habitable in Mongolian time.

According to Boyle's translation, which is usually used by archaeologists, the Citadel and the walls were destroyed severely. According to Abuseitov's English translation, it is more a paraphrase and interpretation of the original Persian text than translation. It is noteworthy that, in the translation of the chapter "History of the conqueror of the world" about the "Otyrar Catastrophe", performed by Abuseitova with a Persian text, published by Mirza Muhammad Qazvini 1912-1937 from the same text from which the English translation of J. Boyle made, there is no report on the destruction of the walls of Otyrar by the Mongols mentioned above by the Mongols.

Rashid ad-Din writes about the destruction of the fortifications of Otyrar: "the fortress wall and fortress were turned into dust." However, excavations laid on a number of areas of Shakhristan revealed good fortress walls of the Karakhanid times. Perhaps the wall of shakhristan was partially destroyed. Reports of sources about the complete destruction of the citadel are confirmed. Archaeologists still can not find the place of the Otyrar citadel of the Karakhanid period. Possible, it was destroyed to the ground. There are certain signs of its existence at the site of the Timurid citadel in the south-eastern part of the shahristan of the Otyrar settlement.

Destroyed "fortress wall" of Otyrar is likely to be the outer wall of the city. Investigations on the outskirts of Otyrartobe led to the discovery of the remains of the wall in the form of a tree located some distance from the central ruins of the site of the fortress. This wall was outside the field of view of archaeologists, there is no description of it in publications on the topography of Otyrartobe, it is not indicated on the newest plan of the ancient settlement made by the laser theodolite during the UNESCO-Japan-Kazakhstan program "Preservation of the ancient Otyrar".

Scientists have traced a section of a shaft about 1.2 km long, which has a general direction from west to east. The eastern section of the wall is better preserved. Measurements at distances of 48 meters from the eastern edge of the wall showed that the shaft has a width of 27 meters, a height of 2.7 meters; 101 meters to the west of the first pass one more the width of 13 m. Measurements on the nearest section of the wall showed that the shaft in this section has a base equal to 28 m, a height of 2.3 meters. The section of the shaft adjacent to the village of Talapty is subjected to great destruction. Val diminishing in size is lost in homesteads. Throughout the wall are traced 5 passes. Perhaps, some of them were dug by the local population for the passage of vehicles to the nearest fields.

In the microrelief of the shaft traces of towers are traced. Polls old residents of the village of Talapty showed that in the middle of the twentieth century. in the east direction the shaft stretched to the s. Bayader, however this site was destroyed during the planning of the terrain under the fields during the Soviet era. Unfortunately, other remains, most likely, a ring wall around Otyrar, are not preserved. The discovery of the new "long" outer wall of Otyrar makes it possible to understand Juvaini's report on the fortifications of the city: "The Citadel, the outer fortifications and the city wall were well fortified." The discovered remains of the outer wall, most likely, represent part of the outer fortifications of Otyrar, destroyed by the Mongols. The wall around the rabad and part of the third "long" wall of Otyrar is well traced in the space photograph.

According to Juvaini, the sultan allocated fifty thousand troops to Kair Khan and sent him Karasha Khas-Khadjib with reinforcements with another ten thousand to reinforce him. In a very limited area within the walls of only the rabad, which were perceived before the discovery of the long wall as outer fortifications of Otyrar, it would be difficult to understand the accommodation and accommodation for almost five months of 60 thousand troops, which included cavalry. In addition, the total population of the city of Otyrar in the 11st and 12th centuries, according to estimates of Baipakov, was around 15500-17460 inhabitants. Such a congestion of people and their living is quite possible in the territory bounded by the "long" wall of the city. To reveal the southwestern border of the long wall, there is a certain interest in the message of Juvayni about the gates of Sufi-khan, through which he left the city of Karasha with his army and the Mongols entered the city. It is noteworthy that next to the highway with. The hill with the tomb of Sopa Danyshpan is a landmark pointing to the location in this section of the Sufi Khan gate. From this it can be assumed that in the south-west, most likely, the "long" wall did not reach the highway near the cemetery of Arystanbab.

If we compare the chroniclers' data on the actions of the population of the towns of the Middle and Lower Syrdarya against the Mongols, we will see that the written sources directly indicate the direct participation in the defense of Syganak, Ashnas of the urban population. When describing the defense of Syganak, the troops of Khorezmshah are not mentioned and it is a question of the inhabitants of the city "villains, mobs and vagabonds". In Ashanas, the lower reaches of the city took their defenses, vagabonds and mobs. When describing Otyrar, there is no information on the direct participation of the inhabitants themselves in the defense of the city.

According to Juvaini, the Sultan allocated fifty thousand troops to Kair Khan and sent Karasha with him to reinforce the other ten thousand. And they strengthened the stronghold and fortress walls, and the towers of the city, and gathered a lot of military equipment. And Kair Khan in the city was engaged in preparations for military operations and appointed soldiers and detachments to gates. Resistance to the Mongols was rendered by Kair Khan with his loyal troops, his immediate entourage: "Kair, with twenty thousand courageous men and lion-like heroes, took shelter in the citadel. All of them were reconciled to death, and, having renounced life, in groups of fifty people took turns to go out in turn and scatter bodies with blows of spears and swords. And the battles were going on continuously. He did not have any weapons left. Then the servants began to give him bricks from the palace wall. 

When the Mongols entered the city, all the debauchees and righteous Otyrar, dressed in bedspreads and wearing kulaks and turban, were kicked out of the city like a herd of rams and plundered everything that was of cloth and goods and of those who survived even from the sword of peasants and artisans, some were taken to khashar, and some to do craft. In fact, the townspeople did not resist. It should be noted that the historical events in Otyrar, which preceded the Mongolian occupation of the city, did not contribute to the unity of the Otyrars against the Mongols. It should be noted that in 1210 the Karakhanid possession, centered on Otyrar, was forcibly included in the state of Khorezmshahs. Khorezmshah treacherously killed the ruler of Otyrar and seized his wealth: "In the treasury of the Sultan, from his (murdered) treasury, so many precious stones were delivered that they were of no value to them of the kind and quantity."

Yakut al-Khamavi, speaking of the state of Taraz, Sauran, and Farab in the period immediately preceding the arrival of the Mongols, writes about the actions of the Khorezmshah that are disastrous for the cities mentioned: "He took possession of Maurannahr and destroyed the kingdom of the Khanids (Karakhanids), but there were several of them, and everyone was guarding his land. When there was no one left of them, he could not protect these cities because of the vastness of their area, destroyed by their own hands most of the border fortresses and gave them to plunder their troops. Their inhabitants were evicted from there. And these gardens were left completely empty, forcing to cry eyes and mourn hearts because of the destroyed castles and empty houses and houses. The conductor of these channels got lost and they began to flow, wandering in all directions without a choice.'' Thus, before the arrival of the Mongols in the settled agricultural and urban culture of southern Kazakhstan and Semirechye, a devastating blow was struck, which undermined the irrigation network - the basis of the life activity of sedentary settlements.

Therefore, it is unlikely that Otyrar people perceived the enemies of Khorezmshah as their own. Perhaps, therefore, one of the important chapters of "Tarih-i Jahangushai" by Juvaini was called "On sending [Genghis Khan] the conqueror of the world into the possession of the Sultan and the liberation of Otyrar". In Otyrar, there were opponents of Khorezmshah. Barthold, who compared several sources about this, came to the conclusion that in Otyrar, probably before the fall of the city, the local representative of civil authority Bedr ad-din Amid, the deputy of Safi Akra (the latter calls "the sultan of the sultan in the field of the Turks"), on the side of Genghis Khan; his father and uncle were kazis in Otyrar and together with other relatives were executed at the capture of Otyrar by the sultan. He told Genghis Khan: "Let the Khan know that the Sultan is more hateful to me than all the creatures of Allah for the extermination of many of my family." From Badr al-Din, Genghis Khan received detailed information about the political situation in the possessions of Khorezmshah, about the hostility of the Turkan-Khatun and the military party to the Sultan, than he later used for his own purposes. Apparently, it is no coincidence that both embassies of Genghis Khan feature merchants with Nisbas Otyrari. Probably, the traces of a fire on the excavation site of the 3rd Shahristan at the level of the 2nd floor of the 5th horizon are associated with the capture of Otyrar by the troops of Khorezmshah.

Genghis Khan is part of our history, the same as the Kypshaks, Turks, Huns or Saks. If we recognize Genghis Khan and his army as "foreign conquerors," then after that it only remains to finally descend to attribute to the "foreign conquerors" of the Kipchaks, Turks and Huns. Then really it turns out, as according to Soviet propaganda that modern Kazakhs are a "spoiled" product of nomads.

Fear and shame associated with modern Kazakhs with Genghis Khan and his entourage; it would be assumed that these are an inferiority complex imposed on us from the outside. Modern russified Kazakhs like the devil are afraid of Genghis Khan. They are afraid to recognize it as part of their history and part of their historical glory. The inferiority complexes imposed on us from the outside, and the fear of offending Russia and the rest of the "civilized world" sit deep down in us. And this is so funny, given the fact that Kazakhs have traditionally treated the descendants of Genghis Khan "tore" solely with respect and reverence. If Genghis Khan was a villain as he was maligned to us by the Soviet propaganda, then why did the Kazakhs and their ancestors not hate him and his descendants? So no after all, they respected them, so it was for that.

Genghis Khan proclaimed himself khan of "all who live in felt houses", i.e. khan of all nomads, regardless of their origin and language. For example, it is known that Genghis Khan, from the very beginning, relied on his named father, the Turkic korean of Togrul, and the Kerey Turks were one of the first architects of his power even when his own small Mongol tribe turned away from him. Proclaiming himself a general obschedenitel, Genghis Khan became a hero for the ancestors of the Kazakhs, who revived the power of the Steppe.

What is the role of Genghis khan in Kazakh history?

Firstly, he combined the numerous nomadic tribes from Manchuria to the Black Sea into a single nomadic empire, the largest since the time of the Turkic Khaganate. This empire included all the tribes that in the future made up the Kazakh people. Secondly, he gave this empire its own law "Yasa", which later found its continuation in the Kazakh ‘Kasym khannyn qasqa zholy’," Esim khannyn eski zholy"and" "Zheti zhargy’. Finally, he founded a dynasty that rules in Kazakhstan longer than anywhere else - the last khan-chingisid Kenesary died in 1847 in the fight against the Russian Empire.

What is the role of his descendants in Kazakh history?

Firstly, they created the Golden Horde, the largest power that unified the whole of Desht-i Kipchak for the first time, from the Irtysh River to the Dniester. They introduced Islam as a state religion (Uzbek Khan). They have constructed the largest historical monument - Ahmet Yassaui mausoleum. Because of the migration of Sultans Chingisids and their subjects in 1459, the whole population of Desht-i Kipchak and the villages. Moghulistan began from the beginning of the 16th century to call itself "Kazakh" (Kazakhs), and its country - "Kazakhstan" (the state of the Kazakhs). They founded Kazakh Khanate - the first state of Kazakhs, which became the historical beginning of modern Kazakhstan.

It would be wrong to deny the fateful influence of the Chingisids on Kazakhstan, since the entire history of the Golden Horde, the Kok Orda, the Ak Orda, and the Kazakh Horde is associated with them. Our direct ancestors were among those who raised Genghis Khan on a white scab, among those who helped him build his future empire, among those who joined his army all the way from China to Europe, and among those who committed under his banners dizzying trips to China, the Middle East, Russia and Europe

Summing up some analyses of the sources it can be concluded that the campaign to the West of Genghis Khan was provoked by the actions of Khorezmshah and his deputy in Otyrar. The defense of Otyrar held exclusively on the actions of the troops of Khorezmshah, part of the Otyrar was on the side of Genghis Khan. The results of the archaeological study of the ruins of the city cause a reasonable mistrust of reports about the scale of the destruction of Otyrar by the Mongolian troops. After the capture of the city by the Mongols, the citadel was destroyed and most of the outer long wall was found, which we found on the outskirts of Otyrar. Part of the city's population after the capture of Otyrar by the Mongols returned to their homes.