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© KazRestoration

Kostobe Ancient Settlement

Expanded and decorated over the centuries by different rulers, this settlement was a melting pot of cultural influences.

Only 15 kilometres away from the modern city of Taraz, Kostobe was once one of the largest ancient settlements in the Talas River oasis. It was founded in the 6th century by merchants from Uzbekistan who travelled the Silk Roads and wanted to resettle from Bukhara.

Although we now call it Kostobe, archeologists and researchers tend to agree it was once known as Jamukat. Visiting the ruins today, you'll start to get a sense of how important it was during the height of the Silk Road era.

The exploration and excavation conducted by archaeologists in the 20th century indicates that Kostobe was a busy and important trading centre from the 6th to the 12th century. Like many other cities along the Silk Road at that time, it was destroyed by the Mongol invasions despite significant defences all around the city.

What makes Kostobe so interesting is its diversity. Excavations have shown that the ancient medieval city was made of various buildings which were constructed in different time periods, and the decorative elements were largely influenced by the foreign cultures that were dominant at the time. The ruins of Kostobe include pieces of stones engraved with geometric and plant patterns, which indicate cultural links with countries like Pakistan and Egypt.