The Silk Road Kazakhstan
Great Silk Road - the ancient international trading - diplomatic line connecting originally
China with the countries of Central Asia, Caspian area, the Mediterranean and the Western Europe.
Northern or so-called "Steppen" way, coming through Semirechje and the south of Kazakhstan.
In 6-7 centuries with the formation of a powerful empire - Turkic kaganat it becomes the
main artery of the international communication functioning till the 14 century through East
Turkestan and China up to the Pacific coast.
The silk way, being transcontinental communication system of trade and economic,
diplomatic and cultural relations of the East and the West, has sped up the development of
city culture on the territory of Kazakhstan in Ili, Chu valleys and on the Otrar-Syr-Darya
The development of this Silk Road' space occured either by means of expansion and
strengthening of numerous early city and rural settlements, occurrence military - administrative,
trading - craft areas and agricultural districts around them and constructions of huge
amount of new trading - craft city formations, the religious centres, ethnic colonies,
22 ancient cities are known on the territory of south Kazakhstan up to 7 century,
including castels of governors -tortkul and rural settlements, from the 7th till 9th
centuries their number has increased up to 61. Thus on the Chinese and Persian maps 30
large cities appeared. In the Southwestern part of Semirechje from 36 ancient cities of
the 6-7th centuries, 22 are mentioned by medieval authors as cities. Researchers mark, that
Talasskaja and Chujskaja valleys correspond with densely populated oases of Central Asia by
amount of cities.
Rough growth of cities falls on the 11-13 centuries in the Northeastern part of Semirechje.
If it was 10 settlements totaled at the 9-10 centuries here, there were already 70 of them at
the 11-13 centuries.
Ancient cities on the territory of Almaty city and Almaty area, Taraz,
fortified settlements in valleys of Chu and Talas are related to the period of
formation of saks and gunno-usun unions. Early urban systems in Syr-Darya and Otrar
oases are developed during the first marks of our era on the base of Kangun settlements.
So, various structures of cities were formed.
For the northeastern part of Semirechje it is characteristic one-private structure of cities
as "tortkuley" - trading - administrative centres, cities of refuges or caravans - sheds.
In the southwestern part of Semirechje the cities have two-private structure with a
citadel and shakhristan, having powerful fortification and agricultural district enclosed
with long walls.
Cities of Southern Kazakhstan are formed as the Central Asian cities with precise
three-private division into a citadel, shakhristan and rabad, each having fortified walls.
Turkestan, Almaty, Taraz occupy a special place in a system of cities of Kazakhstan's
part of the Silk Road cities, also medieval settlements Khurluk, Turbat, Isfijab, Kulan, Mirki,
Talkhiz, Zharkent, Kayalyk and others, existing till present time.
About present time the Kazakhstan site of a line of the Silk way represents a unique
complex of monuments of a history, archeology, architecture, town-planning and monumental art.
You will find additional information in corresponding city section you
intend to visit