Karkaraly, home to ancient metallurgy

19 October 2019

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Karkaraly is the oldest town in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda Region. Its history began as a small steppe village. Caravans from Central Asia would travel through Karkaraly on their way to Siberia; the name Karkaraly is derived from the word “qarqara”- a precious decorative Kazakh headpiece. According to a legend, long ago a beautiful girl dropped her Karkara in the area that is now Karkaraly, her search was in vain and the qarqara remained on the steppe. The legend states that though the beautiful karkara was lost, the beauty of the land will remain forever. According to another legend, this is the site where the great Ablai Khan was proclaimed khan.

The metallurgy of the Bronze Age was highly advanced in the city. The town was divided into streets and quarters, including a quarter for metallurgists in which copper and bronze artifacts have been found. Most likely the locals were skilled metallurgists.