Sites & cities that bear the name of Otrar


Today in : Kazakhstan
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 18th century C.E
Recorded names : Farab, Pāryāb, Fāryāb, Parab, Utrar, Отырар, Otyrar, 𐰚𐰭𐱃𐰺𐰢𐰣‎, Keŋü Tarman, Turar , Tarban, Tutarband

Description : Otrar or Utrar (Kazakh: Отырар, Otyrar, Old Turkic: 𐰚𐰭𐱃𐰺𐰢𐰣‎, romanized: Keŋü Tarman), also called Farab, is a Central Asian ghost town that was a city located along the Silk Road in Kazakhstan. Otrar was an important town in the history of Central Asia, situated on the borders of settled and agricultural civilizations. 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. The area of the settlement is about 2 square kilometres. The lowest layers of the settlement are dated from the 1st 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.

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