The Ancient Settlement of Jankent
The Ancient Settlement of Jankent was the residence of the “King of the Oghuz Turks.”
The heyday of the city of Jankent (also spelled as Yangikent) falls on the second half of the 9th century and the first quarter of the 11th century. Then Jankent was a settlement with an area of 15-20 hectares, where agriculture and trade were well developed. The presence of an irrigation system near the city indicates that the main economic industry there was agriculture.
In the fall of 1219, the Oghuz-Kipchak cities located in the lower reaches of the Syrdarya River were destroyed by the Mongol attack. The tribes of the Oghuz and Kipchaks who lived there, having an almost 400-year-old urban culture, returned to the nomadic way of life.
However, despite the devastation and disasters, by the 14th century, Jankent was restored as one of the centers of trade and handicrafts.
The archaeological excavations revealed the settlement measuring 415x230 m (454x252 yd). The defensive walls with semicircular towers built from pressed clay turned out to be especially well-preserved. The main gate is located in the center of the eastern wall. The main street, stretching from east to west, starts from the gate and divides the city into two equal parts. The citadel occupies the entire northeastern part of the city and is almost eight meters (26 ft) high.
Archaeological research at the Jankent settlement has been carried out with short interruptions for 15 years. A joint Kazakh-Russian-German archaeological expedition has been working there, involving the Kyzylorda State University named after Korkyt ata (Kazakhstan), the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia) and the University of Tübingen (Germany).
Useful tips 2021-2022
How to get there
Jankent is located on the left bank of the lower Syrdarya River, 25 km (15.5 mi) south-west of the Aiteke Bii village (formerly known as Kazalinsk) and 1.5 km (1 mi) south of the village of Jankent in the Kyzylorda Province.
Food and accommodation
If you go to Jankent with a tour, the organizers will take care of food and accommodation. If you prefer to travel on your own, be sure to buy food in large cities, take tents, gas burners, and, of course, drinking water.
The photos are provided by Kyzylorda State University named after Korkyt Ata