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Zhankent (Yangikent)

Ancient settlements of KazakhstanExcursion to the ancient settlement of Zhankent

Zhankent is an archaeological monument of republican character. On the site of an earthen mound, adjacent to the center of the Orkend rural district on the territory of the Kazalinsky district, in the VIII-XIV centuries, the city of Zhankent or Yangikent stood and lived. According to the Turkmen historian Abulgazy Bahadur, Zhankent was a great city, which was the capital of the country for hundreds of years, and lived at the sources of the Syr Darya River. The Oghuz have inhabited this land since time immemorial, and their kings ruled in the capital – Zhankent.

How to get there

Zhankent is an ancient settlement located in the Kyzylorda region, 15 kilometers from the city of Kazaly, Orkend rural district, Kazalinsky district.
GPS coordinates: 45°36'44"N 61°55'16"E

History, information

In the autumn of 1219, the city of Zhankent was attacked by the Mongols. The city is being restored in the XIII century. Now new Zhankent is considered the center of Arab-Muslim culture. Thus, Zhankent will be destroyed forever in another century. Zhankent was also the winter headquarters of the rulers of the Oguz State Association in the 10th-11th centuries. In medieval sources, the city of Zhankent was inhabited by Muslims. The heyday of the city occurred before the invasion of Genghis Khan, that is, between the 10th and 12th centuries. The fate of the city after the 15th century is unknown, and there are no details in written sources.


According to researchers, Zhankent was a major trading city lying on the Great Silk Road. Khan's palaces were built here, as well as Zhankent was the center of the production of beautiful carpets, the arms business flourished. Arrows and battle bows were made here, as well as armor was made. When the researchers tried to clear the place next to the walls of the houses, a lot of architectural patterns, wall paintings were found on it, burnt bricks, blue and pink slabs decorated with Arabic script, as well as other artistic patterns were also found. The city of Zhankent in its pre-packed form was incredibly beautiful, the researchers concluded.

In Zhankent in 1867, P. I. Lerkh and M. K. Priorov conducted small excavations and removed the project. The research was continued the following year (1868) by V. V. Vereshchagin. And in 1946, the Khorezm archaeological and Ethnographic expedition (headed by S. P. Tolstov) conducted comprehensive studies, drew a specific project of the city and photographed it from the air. The preserved part of the outer protective wall has a height of 8 meters.

Zhankent (Yangikent) ancient city, Kyzylorida region


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