Otrar or Utrar (also called Farab) is a Central Asian ghost town that was a city located along the Silk Road near the current town of Karatau in Kazakhstan. A ghost town is a Town or City that has been abandoned usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or due to natural or human-caused The Silk Road, or Silk Routes, are an extensive interconnected network of Trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East South and Western Asia with the Karatau redirects here Karatau (Қаратау is a administrative center in the Talas Region located in the Zhambyl Province Kazakhstan, also Kazakstan ( Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, qɑzɑqˈstɑn Казахстан, Kazakhstán,) officially the Otrar was an important town in the history of Central Asia, situated on the borders of settled and agricultural civilizations. Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south It was the center of a great oasis and political district, commanding a key point connecting Kazakhstan with China, Europe, Near and Middle East, Siberia and Ural. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National B Syria - Belka Woman from Damascus Arab from Baghdadjpg|thumb|Inhabitants of the Near East late nineteenth century The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. Siberia (Сиби́рь Sibir) is the name given to the vast region constituting almost all of Northern Asia and for the most part currently serving Ural (Ура́л is a geographical region around the Ural Mountains, mostly within Russia but also including a part of northwestern Kazakstan.
Near the place where Arys River flows into the Syr Darya lie the ruins of a town, the memory of which has survived throughout the ages. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia Despite many changes, it still retains its original name of Otrar. The town has become famous as the place where Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, the great philosopher of the Middle Ages, was born. Otrar, which was renamed Farab in the Middle Ages, was the capital of the Otrar-Farab district. From the west, the district extended to the Kzylkum desert, spread out between the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. Syr Darya (Сырдария Сирдарё Sirdaryoسيردريا also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a River in Central Asia The Amu Darya (formerly Oxus River the Greeks (Ptolemeus called it Oxiana palus) is the longest river in Central Asia.
Syr Darya played a special role in the life of Otrar and the whole region, and its waters were used for irrigation. They were also known for being abundant with fish and its shores were covered with rich vegetation and were also home to many birds and animals. Otrar is mentioned in numerous sources such as medieval Arab, Persian and Turkish authors. These sources refer to it as one of the Zhetysu (Seven Rivers) towns. The town was situated at the junction of different geographical landscapes and was at the intersection of the caravan ways of the Great Silk Road. Otrar, being at the junction of the two great rivers, was the center of the large agricultural region and, being near the foothills of the Karatau mountains, became one of the supporting fortresses of the nomads wandering in the steppes. From Otrar, along the Arys, roads spread out to Taraz, Balasagun and further on to East Turkestan; along the Syr Darya an old road went up to Shash, Sogd and then to Merv and Nishapur, and another road went down to Pre-Aral and Ural. Taraz ( Тараз) formerly Talas, Zhambyl (Kazakh Жамбы́л and Aulie-Ata (Kazakh Әулие́-Ата Chagatai: اولياه Balasagun ( Balassagun, Balasaghun, Karabalsagun;, Persian: بلاساغون was an ancient Soghdian city in modern-day Kyrgyzstan DO NOT ADD THE FLAG OF EAST TURKESTAN TO THIS ARTICLE *** THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT A GEOGRAPHICAL AREA AND History Hellenistic period The Sogdian Rock or Rock of Ariamazes a fortress in Sogdiana was captured in 327 BC by the forces of Alexander the Great Merv ( Russian: Мерв from Persian: مرو Marv, sometimes transliterated Marw or Mary; cf Nishapur, or Neyshābūr ( is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot Another well known road ran through Kzylkum moving westward to Khorezm and on to the Volga region, the Black Sea and the Caucasus. Khwarezm were a series of States centered on the Amu Darya River delta of the The Black Sea is an inland Sea bounded by southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Anatolian peninsula ( Turkey The Caucasus ( also referred to as North Caucasus) is a geopolitical region located between Europe Asia & Middle East
The oasis of Otrar is situated in the Kusulkum district of the South Kazakhstan Province. South Kazakhstan ( Оңтүстік Қазақстан облысы) is the southernmost province of Kazakhstan, with a population of 2282500 people It is 170 km northwest of Shymkent and 60 km from Turkestan. Shymkent (Шымкент is the capital city of South Kazakhstan Province, the most populated region in Kazakhstan. Turkestan (literally meaning "Land of the Turks" is a region in Central Asia, which today is largely inhabited by Turkic peoples. In fact, the disasters and wars that passed over the town have done their part. Now, at the site of the once-prosperous town, there remain only ruins overgrown with grass. A person who first comes to the Otrar oasis is often surprised by the appearance of the numerous stark ruins of towns and settlements, castles and watchtowers. The main irrigation channels are now crossed with dried fields and their cracked beds have not held water for centuries.
The oasis of Otrar is not one single site, but rather it is a large oasis containing a series of towns and cities. Each hill formed in the place of ancient settlements has, at present its own name: Altyntobe, Dzhalpak-tobe, Kuyuk-Mardan-tobe and Pchakchi-tobe. In earlier times, they had different names that are now forgotten and only the names of the three towns known in manuscript sources may be identified at the present ruins.
In the 9th to the 10th centuries, various sources refer to Otrar as one of the Ispidjab towns. This is probably related to the fact that the city first submitted to the Caliphate and then to the Samanids. The Samanids (819–999 ( Sāmāniyān) were a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan, named after its founder Saman As before, Otrar remained the center of the district which occupied a space of "about one day’s journey in all directions“, which is many times mentioned by the chroniclers. The town is also known to have minted its own coinage. Otrar was the cultural center where Abu Nasr al-Farabi was born, and Aristan-Bab, an important representative of Islamic culture and teacher of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, preached here. TemplateInfobox Muslim scholars --> Abū Nasr Muhammad ibn al-Farakh al-Fārābi ( Nastaliq:) or Abū Nasr al-Fārābi Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi (Xoja Ahmad Yassivi also spelled Khoja Ahmad Yasawi, Ahmet Yasevi, Ahmed Yesevi or Ata Yesevi) born in
The prosperity of Otrar was interrupted by the Mongol invasion of Central Asia. The Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia lasted from 1219 to 1221. It marked the beginning of the Mongol Conquest of the Islamic States and it also expanded In 1218 Genghis Khan sent to Otrar, and the Khoresmshakh Mohammed II's court, a trade caravan. Genghis Khan ( or;, Chinggis Khaan, ʧiŋgɪs χaːŋ Činggis Qaɣan; 1162–1227 born (meaning "ironworker" was the Mongol founder The Khwarezmian Empire, more commonly known as the empire of the Khwarezm Shahs ( Khwārezmšhāḥīān, "Kings of Khwarezmia " The caravan was robbed upon arrival in accordance with orders by Mohammed to Inalchik Kair-khan, the governor of the town. He thought spies were secreted in the caravan. Through his envoy, Genghis Khan ordered that the guilty men be punished and that they give him Kair-khan. Genghis Khan ( or;, Chinggis Khaan, ʧiŋgɪs χaːŋ Činggis Qaɣan; 1162–1227 born (meaning "ironworker" was the Mongol founder However, the khoresmshakh ordered his people to execute the Mongol.
There are records that portray the determination of earlier names of the town. It is thought that a group of coins collected in Otrar and some towns of the oasis date back to the time of these records. There is a generic symbol of the Turgeshi in the form of a bow on the face-side of such coins and the image of a lion on the reverse side. On a second type of coin, there is the sign X on the reverse side and these coins may originate from the mint of a local ruler. There is a suggestion that the coins of the second type were minted by rulers of the Turkish State of Kangu Tarban, the population of which were the Kangars, descendants of the ancient Kangui who founded the state with its center on the Syr Darya, then called the Kang River. Kangui existed from the 1st century B. C. until the 5th century A. D. First, Bityan town was the capital and later Kangui collapsed into several independent states mainly situated in the Syr Darya valley and its inflows of Keles and Atysi. According to the coins, in the 6th to 8th centuries, Kangu Tarban was ruled by a local dynasty of the Kangar Turks, and their capital became a Tarban town named Turarband that was later to be called Otrar. Since the times of the golden hordes, the ruins of Otrar have been attractive because of rumours about the treasures of the ancient rulers, and about buried piles of gold coins and jewelry. The source of such legends was perhaps confirmed by the archaeological finds of various coins and jewelry.
In autumn 1219, Genghis Khan‘s troops approached Otrar walls. Genghis Khan ( or;, Chinggis Khaan, ʧiŋgɪs χaːŋ Činggis Qaɣan; 1162–1227 born (meaning "ironworker" was the Mongol founder Shortly before, the Mongols appeared in Urgench, the capital of the Khwarezmian Empire, where a war council had taken place and where one of the commanders proposed to open the battle against the Mongols. Urgench ( Uzbek: Urganch / Урганч, Persian گرگانج Gorganch is a city (1999 pop The Khwarezmian Empire, more commonly known as the empire of the Khwarezm Shahs ( Khwārezmšhāḥīān, "Kings of Khwarezmia " But Mohammed II chose another way. He dispersed his troops by garrisons throughout the towns, allowing the commanders to fight singly. The sources describe the defense of Otrar as follows:
Despite a heroic defense of the city, its fate was sealed. The town was destroyed and its population was massacred and partially enslaved. Many of the towns in the oasis never recovered and were abandoned. However, Otrar city rose again and during the troubled years of civil wars, which followed Genghis Khan‘s death, the town again became an important political and economic center. Genghis Khan ( or;, Chinggis Khaan, ʧiŋgɪs χaːŋ Činggis Qaɣan; 1162–1227 born (meaning "ironworker" was the Mongol founder By the middle of the 13th century it had returned as a large trade center on the way from the West to the East. During the second half of the 14th century Southern Kazakhstan was brought into the sphere of Timur Leng‘s power. Timur also written Emir Timur or Amir Temur ( Chagatai: تیمور - Tēmōr " Iron " (1336 – 19 February 1405 among In February 1405, when Timur was visiting Otrar to gather his troops, he caught a cold and died in one of the Otrar palaces.
The death of Timur led to more struggles, which resulted in Abul Khayir conquering several tribes and placing himself at the head of a new Uzbek Khanate. The Uzbeks (Self designation sg O‘zbek, pl O‘zbeklar) are a Turkic people of Central Asia. Other descendants of Ghengis Khan had claims over the area, and so for most of the 16th and 17th centuries there was non stop feuding among these various parties for power over the Kazakh steppe and the Syr Darya valley, especially between the Kazakh Khanate and Dzungar feudal lords. Dzungar (also Jungar or Zungar; Mongolian: Зүүнгар Züüngar) is the collective identity of several Oirat tribes that Even so, a degree of stability was maintained in Otrar up until the Dzungars arrived in Kazakhstan.
These followed a prolonged period of revolt, which resulted in the economic decline of the area and its towns. As the Eurasian arm of the Silk Road gradually lost its importance, so did the city. Through the 17th and 18th centuries, the irrigation system slowly fell out of use, and the lower part of the Temir-aryk dried out.
By the end of the 18th century there were only 40 families remaining in Otrar, compared to perhaps 5,000–7,000 in the 14th through 17th centuries, and the irrigated area had declined to about 5 square kilometres. The kilometre ( American spelling: kilometer) symbol km is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one thousand 
The area of the settlement is about 2 square kilometres. The lowest layers of the settlement are dated from the first century AD and the earliest monuments are dated from the 12th to 15th centuries. Otrar was a typical fortress for Central Asia. The Ark (central fortress) and Shahristan (fortified city) formed a five-corner hill about 18 meters of height. The area of the hill is 200,000 square metres. Excavations proved that it was an advanced town with monumental buildings. The town was densely populated: the houses stood close to each and formed the group of quarters or blocks. Two bath houses, dated by 9th to the 12th centuries, were found on the rabat (suburbs) outside the city wall. The baths had central halls for bathing and massaging, rooms for undressing, restrooms and a prayer room. They had hot water supply systems. Dishes excavated near two furnaces help prove that Otrar was the center of ceramic production in Central Asia. The ceramics had elements of decoration. One of the greatest artifacts was the figure of water carrier – a camel with a woman's head and cradle on its back.