Sites & cities that bear the name of Sayram


Today in : Kazakhstan
First trace of activity : ca. 10th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Sairima?, Сайрам, Saıram, سايرام, Sajram, Sayrom, Сайром, سەيرام, إسفیجاب‎, Isfījāb, اسپیجاب‎, Espījāb, Espijâb, Asfījāb

Description : Sayram (Kazakh: Сайрам, Saıram, سايرام; Yañalif: Sajram; Uzbek: Sayrom, Сайром, سەيرام; Arabic: إسفیجاب‎ ‘Isfījāb; Persian: اسپیجاب‎, Espījāb/Espijâb) is a rural locality located in southeastern South Kazakhstan Region on the Sayram Su River, which rises at the nearby 4000-meter mountain Sayram Su. In medieval times, the city and countryside were located on the banks of the Arys River, into which the Sayram Su river flows. It is now a suburb of Shymkent. Population: 30,887 (2009 Census results); 25,408 (1999 Census results). The city celebrated the 3,000th anniversary of its founding in 1999. It is among the oldest cities in Kazakhstan, as well as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the World, site of the first mosque in Kazakhstan, and similarly among the oldest cities in Transoxania. Sayram is significant today for maintaining mud-brick architecture and the absence of Soviet-style architecture. There are many pre-20th-century mausoleums, and more continue to be built. Archaeology in Central Asia was active following its conquest by the Russian Empire, but remains a relatively understudied area. There has been some field work done in the city both before and during the rise of the Soviet Union, and there is likewise renewed interest in the city as one of the oldest cities of the independent country of Kazakhstan. Notable among the archaeological discoveries is evidence of an early plumbing system like the kinds found in Samarqand and other cities of the early Persian empires. The modern city of Sayram celebrated its 3,000th year of continued habitation in 1999. Sayram is a city on the frontier between irrigated farmland and the pastures of the Dasht-i Qipchaq. It has a long history of commercial and political importance as a border town and has been the site of numerous conquests and reconquests. Earliest history Some local historians have attempted to find proof of Sayram's prehistory in the holy book of the Zoroastrian faith. They state that the first recorded mention of Sayram is in the Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism. There are several names mentioned, though it is possible they refer to people, places, cities, or geographic features. Historian Richard Frye states that "even guesses about their identity do not help us in reconstructing history." The word appearing in the Avesta is Sairima, which some historians equate with the name Sayram. There is mention of a river, and a land or people called Sairima elis, or people or land of/near Sayram. Before Islam In the 7th century, the Western Turkic Confederation consisted of five Tu-lu and five Nu-shih-pi tribes, known collectively as the On Oq (Ten Arrows) and by the Chinese as Shih Hsing (Ten Clans). In 642, the khaqan (khan) of the Tu-lu Turkic tribe took refuge in Isfijab from the Nu-shih-pi. After the expulsion of the heretical sects of Christianity, there came a large number of Christians to Central Asia and the East. Largest among them were the Nestorians, who were condemned at the First Council of Ephesus in 431. There was a community of Nestorian Christians in Sayram when Islam first came to Sayram in 766 AD who resisted conversion. Buddhism was also prevalent in Central Asia at that time. Islamic Conquest Sayram was already an important trading site in the centuries before the Arab Conquest. Islam was brought to Sayram and its neighboring cities by a detachment of Arabic and Arabic-speaking soldier-missionaries from the already converted lands to the south. Sayram, or Isfijab as it was then known, served as a border town between the Islamic lands and the pagan Turks. The Arab Conquest was led by Iskak, known today in Sayram as Iskak-bab. The standard bearer of these soldiers of Islam was ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. One surviving manuscript, entitled Nasabname, tells how the Muslim warriors under Iskak-bab came to Sayram and met with the Nestorian patriarch of Sayram, Nakhibar.

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