If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Medieval cities on the territory of Kazakhstan

Medieval cities on the territory of Kazakhstan - e-history.kz
The cities of the Middle Ages were constantly a subject of unfailing interest for both archeologist and ordinary people. Thus, the given material is meant to shed light on a couple of such cities.
In the ancient times in the south of Kazakhstan, in the Semirechye and Central Kazakhstan the first cities emerged. Cities were shaped because of the formation of exchange-trade relations, development of crafts. In the historical sources it is written that each city had rulers, many cities were independent and the supreme power was concentrated in the hands of the Kagan. In the cities the mosques and palaces of the rulers were put up, the waterpower system was laid. Each year the cities were strengthened and prospered. 
Typical medieval city consisted of three parts: citadel, shahristan and rabad. Citadel (horde) is the fortified part of the medieval city, adjusted to the defense. In this part of the city the palace of the governor, buildings of the administration body were located. Citadel was the central part of the city where the houses of noble men, religious activists, wealthy citizens and artisans were placed. Rabad — the part of the city where were the artisans’ workshops. The essential craft was the blacksmithing. Artisans smelted the ore, produced metal and dishes, lamps and jewelry. Various kinds of crafts were developed, the art of carving on stone, bone and wood was widely spread. During the excavations in Talgar the chess pieces carved out of bone were discovered. Among the ancient cities there are the following ones. 


Otrar — the ancient city on the territory of Kazakhstan, being located in the present South-Kazakhstan region. In ancient times the Arabs called the city Otrar as Farab. Since VIII c. it was called Tarband. Otrar reached the highest bloom in IX-X cc. and became the center of science. In the city splendid palaces, greatest medrese, mosques were built. The city was surrounded with the high walls, defended by deep ditches dug around city walls. In Otrar the huge warehouse for the storage of food supplies were built. Archeologists revealed the warehouse with the capacity of 15 t. of grain. It refers to the fact that majority of citizens were engaged with agriculture, grew wheat, barley, and millet. A great scientist of the mankind Abu Nasyr al-Farabi lived in Otrar. In addition, there was one of the largest libraries in the world. In 1219 Otrar occurred during six months in the surrounding by the Mongol conquerors. They razed the town. In scientists’ opinion, Otrar existed till the beginning of XVIII c. 


Sauran — one of the greatest medieval cities in Kazakhstan. The city was located 30 km far from Turkestan. The Arab historian Maksidi described the city, “Sauran is a large city surrounded by seven rows of walls. There is the rabad in it, in the inner city — the mosque.” In XVI —XVII cc. the city was surrounded by high fortress walls of the tower, around walls deep ditches were dug. It was a well-reinforced city. Behind its walls there were the settlements of farmers, fields, gardens and orchards. For the water supply kyarizes — underground channels were dug, the system of water supply was built. For the digging of the underground channels 200 slaves from India were brought. In the present time on the territory of the medieval city Sauran according to the program “Cultural heritage” the archeological research is held.