History of Kazakhstan

In the Issyk burial mound that harbored the world-famous "Golden Man" they have found a silver bowl whose bottom bore an inscription consisting of 26 characters. They have failed to read it to this day. Some think that the inscription is made in one of the Iranian languages, others insist on its prothoturkic origin. Anyway, this must be the very period that highlighted formation of the cast of mind and the language of medieval and modern Kazakhs, their physiological stereotypes, in fact, of many an element of their culture, everyday life and folk rites.

The middle of the first millennium AD is a fairly important stage in the history of all Turks in general and Kazakhs in particular. The period is marked with manifest changes in ethnic media: predominant now there become Turkic tribes which chose Altai as their natural center Written sources of the VIth century register the term "Tyurk" which is pronounced as "Tutszyue" by the Chinese and as "Turk" by Sogdians.

Archeological study of Turkic monuments makes it possible to somehow compare "these" Turks with certain Turkic tribal associations. In the Sayano-Altai region they have identified certain archeological cultures which might well be likened to early Kyrghyzes, early Kypchaks or early Oguzes. In the course of not infrequent intestine wars, tribal discords, struggle for power and pastures a part of Turkic tribes that inhabited steppes and valleys of Kazakhstan moved southwards - to Central Asia ( say, Tyurgeshes, Karluks, Kypchaks, Uzbeks, Oguzes, Turkmens-Seldzhuks), to Asia Minor, to Caucasus (Turkmens and Seldzhuks), to Eastern Europe (Kangars and Pechenegs, Kypchaks-and-Polovtsians, Torks-and-Oguzes, black Klobuks and Karakalpakians).

Starting from the IV-th century up to the beginning of the XIII-th century the territory of Kazakhstan was the seat of West-Turkic, Tyurgesh, Karluk Kaganates, of the state made by Oguzes, Karakhanides, Kimeks and Kypchaks. All of them successively replaced one another up to the very Mongol invasion. After the invasion, i.e. in the beginning of the XIIIth century, there have shaped up uluses of the Mongol Empire of Zhuchi-Khan and Zhagatai which later gave birth to Ak-Orda, Mongolistan and finally to Kazakh Khanate.

Essentially all these states were mixed economies. Tribes of cattle-breeders had farming tribes as their neighbors, steppes and cities supplemented each other. Such cities as Taraz, Otrar, Ispijab, Talkhir were set up right in the way of the Grand Silk Route which served as a reliable link joining antiquity and Middle Ages, the West and the East: Japan, Korea and China with Central Asia, Iran, the State of Seldzhuks, Rus, Byzantium, France and Italy.

It is through the Grand Silk Route that dancing arts, painting, architecture and music made their way from one people to another. Incidentally, it was the way along which various religions advanced: Manicheism and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam with the latter becoming predominant (starting from the VIIIth century) and subsequently the only faith of Kazakhs. In late XIV - early XVth century on the bank of the Syrdaria-river, in the city of Turkestan they erected a religious sacred place worshipped by all Turkic-speaking nations - a complex of Khodja Akhmed Yasavi.

The nation that inhabited the territory of Kazakhstan would avidly absorb and assimilate all the ideas and achievements of various civilizations making -in its turn - its own contribution to the treasury of world culture, be it economy or handicraft or music: among numerous accomplishments one may name a mobile dwelling "yurta", saddle and stirrups for a horse, combat arts on horse-back, carpet ornaments and silver jewelery, sweet melodies and music reminding of an impetuous gallop of steppe horses...

All these factors have determined integrity and continuity of ancient and medieval history of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan History - Back