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N. Nazarbayev
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The Great Silk Way in Kazakhstan. City and Steppe

Alongside with merchandising, the Silk Route promoted cultural exchanges, involving not only applied art, wall-painting and architecture, but music and dancing as well.
It is quite natural, that not all of the goods travelled the whole length of the Silk Route, many of the items being bartered or sold at the oases or towns on the way.
The Great Silk Road had a lot of branches, scattering from Ispidjab, Otrar and Yangikent to the North and East, leading to the central and eastern regions of Kazakhstan.
In the tenth — twelfth centuries one of the Silk Route’s branches crossed the Ili valley from south-west to north-east.
From time immemorial this area was known by its unique culture, which had been created for ages by nomadic and settled tribes.
The Great Silk Road had three main routes lying across the territory of Central Asia, including southern, central and northern roads.
For about two thousand years caravans moved along the Great Silk Road. Nothing could stop their measured steps. The world was shaken by bloody wars and devastating epidemics.
Suyab was the first capital of the West Turkic Kaganat that was formed in 581 and a busy trade centre.
In the time of caravan trade there was another very important ancient town — Ispidzhab or Sairam. No guide-book omitted the description of that town and its treasures.
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