History of Kazakhstan

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  • Topic: Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Turkic peoples
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  • Published : March 22, 2011
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History of Kazakhstan
Important milestones in the history of Kazakhstan
An old coin. Kazakhstan history
Kazakhstan has a long and fascinating history, going back thousands of years. Some remnants are still visible today such as Great Silk Road monuments, petroglyphs and sometimes even mysterious archaeological sites. The Amazons might have originated from Kazakhstan, the first steppe nomads are supposed to have emerged from here and it is very likely that Genghis Khan was buried in Eastern Kazakhstan. In recent times more and more details about Kazakh history and culture have been re-discovered, making the country also more and more interesting for domestic and international culture seekers.

The territory of Kazakhstan came to be mastered by man nearly a million years ago. As early as the age of the Lower Paleolithic, ancient man settled down on these Karatau lands fit for normal life, rich with game and wild fruit. It is here that they have found ancient settlements from the Stone Age. By and by, in the centuries of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, man came to master Central and Eastern Kazakhstan and the Mangyshlak area.

As has been shown by excavations of the Neolithic settlement Botay in Northern Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan constitutes a region of horse domestication (breeding) and that of the formation of nomadic civilizations. Archeologists have revealed dwellings and numerous hand-made articles of stone and ivory which present the ancient history and archeology of Kazakhstan in the Stone age in an altogether new way.

As early as the Bronze Age, some four millennia ago, the territory of Kazakhstan was inhabited by tribes of the so-called Andron and Begazy-Dandybay culture. They were engaged in farming and cattle-breeding, and were fine warriors who handled combat chariots marvelously. To this day we can see images of chariots drawn on rocks where ancient people would arrange their tribal temples and sanctuaries with the firmament as their natural cover. On the surfaces of black cliffs burnt with the sun people would chisel out scenes of dances, images of sun-headed deities, mighty camels and bulls as impersonations of ancient gods.

Historical pictures. Kazakhstan history
Burial mounds of noble warriors scattered all throughout Kazakh steppes are known for the magnificent size both of the mounds and burial vaults proper. Particularly famous are such necropolis in the steppes of Sary-Arka and Tagiskent in the Trans-Aral area. People of that epoch were not only fine warriors, shepherds and farmers but also skilled metallurgists. They would take bronze and manufacture axes, knives, daggers and various decorations thereof.

It was they who initiated the development of copper which is being practiced to this day - they are the Zhezkazgan and Sayak copper mines of today. Ancient people lived in large settlements and ancient towns surrounded with walls and towers.

These towns were inhabited by warriors and craftsmen, priests and farmers. These tribes lived on the territory of Kazakhstan for about a thousand years - from the 17th century B.C. to 9th-8th centuries A.D.

Later on they were ousted by the Saks. Such was the name given to this tribe by ancient Persians. The Chinese called them "se" whereas Greeks chose to call them Scythians. They were essentially nomads, semi-nomads and farmers. Yet, first and foremost, they were excellent horsemen. In fact, Saks were the first ever horsemen in the world to master arrow-shooting at full speed.

Historical pictures. Kazakhstan history
In the 5th-2nd centuries B.C., the Saks set up their first state with its center in the Zhetysu (Semirechje) in South-Eastern Kazakhstan. The kings of the Saks were at the same time high priests. Saks had a written language and a mythology of their own; they were known for their well developed art of world standard labeled in research papers as "animal-styled art". Respective subjects were represented by predators and herbivorous...
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