Sairam: village, which is one and a half millennia old

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Each town has two vectors of development - one in space, the other in time. If you measure in square meters then located near Shymkent Sairam is the village, although quite a big one. But it is hard to call Sairam a village. Because its history began almost one and half thousand years ago. And there were moments, even eras, in its history when people, who lived thousands of miles away, knew the name "Sairam".

Like all villages with a long biography, Ispijab-Sairam owes a lot to its great location, to the planetary point, where it has appeared once. There was a natural intersection of trade routes used by Central Asian people. Firstly, caravan route from Semirechye to Maverannahr went along the northern foot of Tien Shan mountains through a chain of cities (among which were Talkhiz-Talgar, Balasagun and Taraz). Secondly, another important route from the north went from Syr Darya oases of Sauran, Yass and Otrar to Shash-Tashkent and further to Fergana.

But perhaps it was not less important factor that there was a natural border between the two great ethno-cultural communities - settled and nomadic. On the bazaars of Sairam the Great Steppe cattlemen met with craftspeople from Central Asian cities and exchanged "fat for soap". Though the neighborhood with restless and unpredictable steppe people brought to Sairam people not only trading profits, but benefits worth the risk. Therefore, even after the total destruction and robbery, Sairam always revived and recovered hard and fast.

And today we have a rare opportunity to visit a living monument of the past, which (without fools and officials on the ground!) can be attributed to the oldest villages in Kazakhstan that survived through nowadays since Early Medieval era.

Interestingly, the typical medieval city plan is still recognizable in the plan of the modern village. Two streets, intersecting at right angle, oriented to the parts of the world, divided shakhristan into four equal quarters. Four gates were located where the streets ended at the city walls. At the intersection in the center - main square with Juma Mosque.

Juma Mosque in Sairam was destroyed at the end of the 30s by haters of God. But the central square, where it stood, still remains as such. Here are modern marketplace, Authorities, a lot of people and vehicles. And two main streets still intersect here today as it has been a thousand years ago. During the Soviet times, one of the streets was named after the Leader of the world proletariat and the second one, you would not believe, was called Communistic.

The entire historical center of modern Sairam - Kala is located on the plane plateau and raised 5 - 7 meters over the surrounding terrain. This plateau has the artificial nature and formed by the cultural layers, where are hidden evidences of bygone eras known only to God. Because of the fact that everything in Sairam is still alive, scientists cannot definitively declare its age. There is no place for large-scale excavations; the entire archaeological site is someone's private property.

But private owners, digging in their gardens, often dug up huge khums and silver dirhams instead of potatoes and carrots. From time to time rumors that someone has found treasure agitate easily excited minds of villagers. But, this is the East, and it is quite difficult to learn something definite here, even relatives do not know about each other’s luck.

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