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Almaty one thousand years ago

10 december 2014, 18:26
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Excavations at the ancient city of Talkhir. ©uniquekazakhstan.info/Andrey Mikhailov
Excavations at the ancient city of Talkhir. ©uniquekazakhstan.info/Andrey Mikhailov

A millennia ago the territory of modern Almaty was inhabited by several thousand people and had a well-developed infrastructure, Tengrinews reports citing Professor Karl Baipakov, a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan.

In a report by Almaty TV Channel Baikpakov is quoted as saying that the scientific community had no more doubt that the Almaty city originated in the tenth century A.D.

At the time, it was a group of small towns that had drains, roads and other infrastructure. Trade and crafts were flourishing there. Blacksmith shops were also many.

"By the X-XII centuries Almaty was a city with a population of 10-12 thousand people. In addition, there was a populated rural area around the city. The centre was constructed with urban communities of up to ten houses each. At the time, the city was a major hub on the Silk Road,” Baipakov said.

According to the scientist, the emergence of Almaty was the peak of urbanization that started two thousand years ago - in the era of Saka and Usun tribes. He said that Almaty was formed in the period known as the Islamic Renaissance, when culture and science were rapidly developing in the eastern Muslim countries. "This is the time of Biruni [Al-Biruni], Avicenna, al-Farabi [Alpharabius]," Karl Baipakov said.

Research into the history of Almaty continues. Several monographs have been written, as well as a separate book called "Three Capitals of Zhetysu", telling the story of Almaty along with two other towns - Talgar and Kailyk.

"Unfortunately, it just so happens that Almaty is all built-up. Almost all the ancient layers are under the asphalt now. But we can assess how Almaty looked based on the evidence found during excavation of the town of Talkhir.  Talkhir settlement is located on the outskirts of Talgar. The materials discovered there can be fully extrapolated on Almaty”.

Talgar is located 25 km away from Almaty and has a similar history.

“The size of the central part of Talgar was 9 hectares and the total area - 28 hectares. We believe that some of the houses and quarters we dig up there were identical to those on the territory of Almaty in X-XI century. What is interesting in Talgar is that it had urban amenities. The streets were paved. There were sewerages, and very powerful fortification walls, four streets that crossed the city went from north to south and from east to west.

“That is, we have every reason to believe that we know what the medieval town looked like. It had a large territory in the area of Zhetisu, with an excellent climate, good soil, plenty of water. It was one of the blessed lands on the territory of Kazakhstan," said the professor.

Baipakov said that beautiful imported pottery, Iranian products, dishes, trays, jugs, Chinese porcelain were found in Talgar, which shows that trade was flourishing in the city. Moreover, Talgar had its own coins minted starting from XI-XII centuries. Almaty started to mint coins in the XIII century.

Earlier it was reported that Almaty city administration was preparing to submit an appeal to the UNESCO for official recognition of Almaty’s millennium. This date is expected to be widely acknowledged and celebrated starting from 2016.

By Dinara Urazova


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