Space is the measure of all things, time is the measure of all events. When the horizons of space and time merge, national history begins. And this is not just a beautiful aphorism.
In fact, if you think about the history of the German, Italian or Indian people, then the question of the relationship between the territory and the great achievements of these peoples during a thousand-year history quite rightly arises. Of course, Ancient Rome and modern Italy are not the same thing, but the Italians are justly proud of their roots. The ancient Goths and modern Germans are also not one and the same people, but they are all part of Germany’s vast historical heritage. Ancient India with its rich poly-ethnic culture and the modern Indian people are naturally considered as one unique civilization, continuing its development in a continuous stream of history.
And this is the right approach, allowing you to understand your origins, and indeed the entire national history in all its depth and complexity.
The history of Kazakhstan should also be understood from the height of modern science, and not by its separate fragments. And for this there are convincing arguments.
Firstly, the majority of proto-state associations, the contribution of which will be discussed below, were formed on the territory of Kazakhstan, becoming one of the elements of the ethno-genesis of the Kazakh nation.
Secondly, those outstanding cultural achievements that will be discussed were not brought into the steppe, and in most cases they were born on our land and only then spread to the West and East, North and South.
Thirdly, the historical finds of the last decades clearly confirm the indissoluble connection of our ancestors with the most advanced technological innovations of their time and allow us to take a fresh look at the place of the Great Steppe in global history.
Finally, the names of some Kazakh tribes and clans are many hundreds of years older than the ethnonym “Kazakh”, which undoubtedly indicates a completely different horizon of national history than it was previously thought.
I. Space and time of national history
Our land has become the place from which many objects of material culture originate. Much of that was once invented in our area. The chronicles preserve a lot of well-known facts, when the ancestors of the Kazakhs repeatedly changed the course of political and economic history over vast areas of Eurasia.
1. Equestrian culture
Everyone knows that the Great Steppe gave the world horse breeding and equestrian culture.
For the first time, horse domestication took place on the territory of modern Kazakhstan, as evidenced by excavations of the Botai settlement in the north of the country.
2. Ancient metallurgy of the Great Steppe
The centers of mining production and smelting of bronze, copper, lead, iron, silver and gold, and the manufacture of sheet iron appeared in the ancient antiquity on the lands of Central, Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan.
3. Animal style
Our ancestors lived in complete harmony with the outside world and considered themselves an inseparable part of nature. The ancient inhabitants of Kazakhstan had a highly developed culture – they had their own writing and mythology. In general, the phenomenon of “animal style” is one of the highest peaks in world art.
4. Gold man
A sensational discovery for world science, which made it possible to take a fresh look at our origins, was the Gold Man found in Kazakhstan in 1969 in Issyk. It revealed a rich mythology, reflecting power and aesthetics of the Steppe civilization.
5. The cradle of the Turkic world
Altai is of great importance for the history of the Kazakhs and other peoples of Eurasia. It was here in the middle of 1000 AD where the Turkic world was born.
Having mastered the space within wide geographical boundaries, the Turks had managed to create a symbiosis of nomadic and sedentary civilizations, which led to development of medieval cities, which became centers of art, science and world trade.
6. The Great Silk Road
The unique geographical location of Kazakhstan – in the very center of the Eurasian continent – has contributed to the emergence of transit “corridors” between different countries and civilizations since ancient times. Starting from the turn of our era, these land routes were transformed into the Great Silk Road system – a transcontinental network of trade and cultural ties between East and West, North and South of Greater Eurasia.
Kazakhstan – the birthplace of apples and tulips
It is scientifically proven that the foothills of the Alatau are the “historic homeland” of apples and tulips. Kazakhstan is the keeper of the progenitor of all the Earth’s apple trees — the Sievers apple tree.
Actually, here, in the Chu-Ili Mountains, we still see the Regel tulips. These beautiful plants appeared on our land in the strip of deserts and foothills of the Tien Shan.
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II. Modernization of historical consciousness
All these issues require serious thought. They relate to the fundamentals of our worldview, the past, present and future of the people.
I believe that we need to create the seven-year program “Archive-2025”, which would include serious fundamental research of all domestic and foreign archives, starting with antiquity and ending with modernity.
2. Great names of the Great Steppe
It is known that the historical process in the mass consciousness is mainly personified. Many nations are deservedly proud of the names of great ancestors who have become the original ambassadors of their countries.
Therefore, we should, first of all, create an educational Park-Encyclopedia “The Great Names of the Great Steppe”, where the sculptural monuments will be erected in honor of our famous historical figures and their achievements.
Secondly, it is necessary to initiate the formation of an actual gallery of images of great thinkers, poets and rulers of the past in contemporary literature, music, theater, and visual arts.
Thirdly, it is necessary to systematize and step up activities for creation and dissemination of the popular science series “Outstanding personalities of the Great Steppe” – “Uly Dala Tulgalary”, covering a broad historical horizon.
3. Genesis of the Turkic world
We need to launch the project “Turkic civilization: from the beginnings to the present”, within which it is possible to organize the World Congress of Turkology in Astana in 2019 and the Days of Culture of the Turkic ethnic groups, where the ancient Turkic artifacts will be displayed in the museums of various countries.
4. Museum of ancient art and technology of the Great Steppe
We have every opportunity to create the Museum of ancient art and technology of the Great Steppe “Uly Dala”. And also to create the National Club of historical reconstructions “Great Civilizations of the Great Steppe” and hold festivals in Astana and the regions of Kazakhstan on the following themes: the ancient Saks, Huns, the era of the great Turkic kagans, etc.
5. A Thousand years of steppe folklore and music
Within the framework of this project, we need to create an “anthology of steppe folklore”. It will contain the best examples of oral folk art – tales, legends, epics, legends.
The folklore and melodies of the Great Steppe should get a “new breath” in a modern digital format.
6. History in film and television
In the near future it is necessary to launch into production a special set of documentary production films, television series and full-length art films that demonstrate the continuity of the civilizational history of Kazakhstan.
A year and a half ago, I published an article “Glance into the future: modernization of public consciousness,” which found a wide response in society. I consider the above projects as a continuation of the program “Rukhani zhangyru”.
I am convinced that the people who remember, appreciate, and are proud of their history have a great future. Pride for the past, a pragmatic assessment of the present and a positive look into the future – this is the key to the success of our country.