Preserving the heritage
text: Julia Sinitsyna , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
Almost one third of all money allocated by the government of RK for the "Cultural Heritage" programme was received by South Kazakhstan region.
The government of RK in 2004 started to finance the state programme "Cultural Heritage" whose task was defined as studies, preservation, and efficient utilisation of historical, archaeological, and architectural memorials of Kazakhstan.
So far the term of the programme is until 2006 and in general the republic has allocated more than 600 million tenge.
Thanks to the detailed and well-based regional programme, which was in due time worked out and presented by South Kazakhstan region to the government, the region is going to obtain more than 180 million tenge.
Let us note that a number of Kazakhstani regions even now one year since the "Cultural Heritage" programme started still cannot work out their own regional programmes of actions.
Partly because of this absence of "competition" on the part of other regions, archaeologists and historians of the South Kazakhstan region put the main emphasis of the national programme on the South.
At the same time administrators of the "Cultural Heritage" programme in South Kazakhstan believe that it is a natural and normal process - South Kazakhstan is a region that is the most abundant in Kazakhstan with unique architectural complexes and constructions, religious, archaeological and cultural properties, whose significance cannot be overestimated.
Alas, a big part of these monuments require not only restoration, but also an urgent rescue. And big money is needed for this.
The primary task posed by coordinators of the "Cultural Heritage" programme in the South Kazakhstan region is restoration and archaeological studies of historical monuments.
The programme includes a whole set of measures, such as production of a series of documentaries, publication of an updated catalogue of South Kazakhstani monuments, video and photo base of the region's archaeological and historical properties etc.
But al these are associated events so to say.
The nucleus of the programme - that is the restoration and research works, historical monuments, in the first turn those included in the programme catalogue, results of the first year of the "Cultural Heritage" programme - is of the biggest interest.
Yessim Khan mausoleum, "Oriental Baths" and Auliye Kumshyk-Ata mosque in Turkestan.
The mausoleum of Yessim Khan, a big social and political figure of the 17 century Kazakhstan, (the date of his death is 1628, when the mausoleum was constructed), was already in the mid-19 century buried under a fortress, erected by invaders from Kokand Khanate.
In the ХХ century archaeologists rediscovered the 1.2 metre thick mausoleum walls. Such massive walls suppose a powerful dome which is impossible to reconstruct however due to an absence of any documentary evidence about the mausoleum.
"Oriental Baths", were in the centre of the densely populated medieval Turkestan (now destroyed). The underground building with many domes made of burnt bricks is surprisingly well preserved. The building leaves a special impression because of a group of domes and an open area. The "sofas" in the couple and bathing sections of the baths and floors are covered by marble plates.
Auliye Kumshyk-Ata mosque. Because of its cult significance it remained virtually unknown during the Soviet era (it wasn't even included in the catalogue of South Kazakhstan historical monuments as of 1990.)
But at the same time it always remained a place for pilgrimage of local folks. Also because the main tourist attraction of Turkestan - the mausoleum of Yassawi, is was perceived as one of sacred objects of Azret-Sultan complex.
Last year the volume of restoration works was defined here, lab studies of the construction materials were carried out, and conservation and restoration materials worked out.
The palace and castle complex of Baba-Ata site, Souzak district. There aren't any historical or literature sources mentioning Baba-Ata's name. The remains of the ancient city were first discovered in 1901, archaeological excavations and studies have been carried out since 1946.
According to updated archaeological data the city foundation is dated by 7-11 centuries CE, a citadel, a shahrestan, and a rabad have been found. The excavation of the citadel discovered rooms of the lower layer of the construction horizon, where a palace construction with an octagonal room and a well in the centre is of special interest.
Big quantities of ceramics and utensils were also dug out. The restoration works based on scientific recommendations were completed there already during the first year of the "Cultural Heritage" regional programme.
Akkola Madrassa-Mosque (19 century) in Arys has been completely restored.
Arystanbab mausoleum seems to be the second important historical and architectural monuments in South Kazakhstan after the Yassawi mausoleum.
Because of the magnitude of construction even in the Soviet era it was treated as a doubtless architectural monument. The Soviet ideology considered Arystanbaba himself a religious mystic. Now he is considered to be an ancestor of Yassawi himself.
The mausoleum was built in 14-15 centuries CE (much later than the death of Arystanbaba himself in the 12 century), but then it was rebuilt several times up until 1971. Then the walls were threatened by underground waters, so they had to be demolished and the whole mausoleum had to be reconstructed.
A project of humidity regime improvement was implemented there as a part of the "Cultural Heritage" programme, because the underground waters continued to threaten the building.
In particular, a drainage system has been constructed. The topographic mapping of Arystanbab mausoleum and other historical objects has been carried out, as well as improvement of the territories. The restoration of the mausoleum was completed in December of 2004.
The legendary Otrar city site (first centuries of the Common Era): The first excavations were carried out here in 1904 by the Turkestani circle of amateur archaeologists.
They have collected a collection of ceramics, bricks, and copper coins. After the October Revolution Otrar was aside archaeological expeditions for a long time and only in the end of the 40-s, research works started there.
In the 70-s, big scale excavations of different time layers, separate neighbourhoods, monumental public constructions, artisan workshops of Otrar commenced.
The rich archaeological material, together with available documentary data allows to follow the history of this big political, economic, and cultural ancient centre of Southern Kazakhstan.
Last year land lots and properties to be conserved and turned into museums were identified, the pre-conservation clearing works and a conservation of a bath wall in Otrar were carried out. A site for tourist excursions to the artisan area of the city was improved.
It is only a part of the works completed in South Kazakhstan last year.
In 2005, in addition to the national financing, it is planned to allocate funds from the regional budget for the implementation of programmes "Cultural Heritage" and "Renaissance of ancient Otrar".
In total, if we take into account both national and regional financing of the preservation and development of the historical monuments in South Kazakhstan region it is planned that 233 million tenge will be allocated.
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09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan