The Irtysh River is a river in Russia and Kazakhstan. It is the tributary of the Ob River. The rivers source lies in the Mongolian Altai in Dzungaria close to the border with Mongolia, the Irtyshs main tributaries include the Tobol River and the Ishim River. The Ob-Irtysh system forms a drainage basin in Asia, encompassing most of Western Siberia. The name Black Irtysh is applied by some authors, especially in Russia and Kazakhstan, to the course of the river. The term White Irtysh, in opposition to the Black Irtysh, was used in the past to refer to the Irtysh below lake Zaysan. In Kazakhstan and Russia, tankers and freight boats navigate the river during the ice-free season, home to the headquarters of the state-owned Irtysh River Shipping Company, functions as the largest river port in Western Siberia. On the Kazakhstan section of the river there are three major hydroelectric plants, namely at Bakhtarma, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Shulbinsk. The worlds deepest lock, with a drop of 42 metres, plans exist for the construction of several more dams.
Three dams have been constructed on the Chinese section of the Irtysh as well, the Keketuohai Dam, the Kalasuke Dam, in 2002, pipelines were constructed to supply water from the canal to the Ishim River and Kazakhstans capital, Astana. In the last years of the 20th century and the early 2000s, a more major project. Increased water use in China has caused significant concerns among Kazakh, opened in 1896, this is the oldest bridge on the river. Tobolsk, on the Tyumen-Surgut line As the Kuytun–Beitun Railway in Chinas Xinjiang is being extended toward Altay City, numerous highway bridges over the Irtysh exist in China and Russia. There are no bridges of any kind on the Irtysh downstream of Tobolsk, a number of Mongol and Turkic peoples occupied the river banks for many centuries. In 657, Tang Dynasty general Su Dingfang defeated Ashina Helu, qaghan of the Western Turkic Khaganate, at the Battle of Irtysh River, helus defeat ended the Khaganate, strengthened Tang control of Xinjiang, and led to Tang suzerainty over the western Turks.
The Khanate of Sibir was conquered by the Russians in the 1580s, farther east, Tara was founded in 1594, roughly at the border of the taiga belt and the steppe to the south. In the 17th century the Dzungar Khanate, formed by the Mongol Oirat people, became Russias southern neighbor, the Chinese Qing Empire conquered Dzungaria in the 1750s. Concerns were raised in Russia about the possibility of a Chinese fleet sailing from Lake Zaysan down the Irtysh, a Russian expedition visited Lake Zaysan in 1764, and concluded that such a riverine invasion would not be likely
Indo-European migrations were the migrations through which the earliest speakers of the Indo-European languages spread throughout Europe and Asia. Modern knowledge of these migrations is based on data from linguistics, anthropology, linguistics describes the similarities between various languages, and the linguistic laws at play in the changes in those languages. Recent genetic research has a contribution to the understanding of the historical relations between various historical cultures. The Indo-European languages and cultures spread in various stages, 4200–3000 BCE brought archaic proto-Indo-European into the lower Danube valley and the Altai region. The Iranian languages spread throughout the steppes with the Scyths and into Iran with the Medes, the Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects. There are about 439 languages and dialects, according to the 2009 Ethnologue estimate and it includes most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, the northern half of the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka and was predominant in ancient Anatolia.
Indo-European languages are spoken by almost 3 billion native speakers, the largest number by far for any recognised language family.7 billion native speakers, several disputed proposals link Indo-European to other major language families. The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstruction of a common ancestor of the Indo-European languages spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. PIE was the first proposed proto-language to be accepted by linguists. Far more work has gone into reconstructing it than any other proto-language, scholars estimate that PIE may have been spoken as a single language around 3500 BCE, though estimates by different authorities can vary by more than a millennium. The most popular hypothesis for the origin and spread of the language is the Kurgan hypothesis, the existence of PIE was first postulated in the 18th century by Sir William Jones, who observed the similarities between Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Latin. By the early 20th century, well-defined descriptions of PIE had been developed that are accepted today.
The largest developments of the 20th century have been the discovery of Anatolian and Tocharian languages, PIE is thought to have had a complex system of morphology that included inflections, and ablaut. Nouns used a system of declension and verbs used a similarly sophisticated system of conjugation. Relationships to other families, including the Uralic languages, have been proposed. The Indo-Hittite hypothesis postulates a common predecessor for both the Anatolian languages and the other languages, called Indi-Hittite or Indo-Anatolian. According to Kortlandt, Indo-Uralic is the pre-PIE, postulating that Indo-European, Anthony notes that the North Caucasian communities were southern participants in the steppe world. Archaeological research has unearthed a range of historical cultures which can be related to the spread of the Indo-European languages
The Ural or Jayıq/Zhayyq, known as Yaik before 1775, is a river flowing through Russia and Kazakhstan in Eurasia. It originates in the southern Ural Mountains and ends at the Caspian Sea, at 2,428 kilometres, it is the third-longest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube, and the 18th-longest river in Asia. The Ural River is conventionally considered part of the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia, the river begins at the slopes of the Kruglaya Mountain of the Uraltau mountain ridge in South Ural, on the territory of the Uchalinsky District of Bashkortostan. There it has a width of 60 to 80 metres. It falls into the Yaik Swamp and after exiting it widens up to 5 kilometres, below Verkhneuralsk, its flow is characteristic of a flatland river, there it enters Chelyabinsk and Orenburg Oblasts. From Magnitogorsk to Orsk its banks are steep and rocky and the bottom has many rifts, after Orsk, the river abruptly turns west and flows through a 45-kilometre long canyon in the Guberlinsk Mountains.
After Uralsk, it flows north to south, through the territory of West Kazakhstan Province. There, the river widens and has lakes and ducts. Near the mouth, it splits into the Yaik and Zolotoy distributaries, the Yaik distributary is shallow, with almost no trees on the shores, and is rich in fish, whereas Zolotoy is deeper and is navigable. Ural River has a spectacular tree-like shape of the delta and this type of delta forms naturally in the slow rivers which deliver a great deal of sediments and flow into a quiet sea. In the delta,13.5 kilometres from the mouth of the Zolotoy distributary lies Shalyga Island, which is 2.5 kilometres long, with heights of 1 to 2 metres and maximum widths of 0.3 kilometres. The tributaries, in order going upstream, are Kushum, Chagan, Utva, Bolshaya Chobda, Sakmara, Salmys, Or, the entire length of the Ural River is considered the Europe-Asia boundary by most authoritative sources. Rarely, the smaller, shorter Emba River is claimed as the continental boundary, the Ural River bridge in Orenburg is even labeled with permanent monuments carved with the word Europe on one side, Asia on the other.
During the floods, the river widens to above 10 kilometres near Uralsk, water level is highest in April upstream and in May downstream. Its fluctuation is 3 to 4 metres in the stream,9 to 10 metres in the middle of the river. The average water discharge is 104 cubic metres per second near Orenburg, and 400 cubic metres per second at the Kushum village, the maximum discharge is 14,000 cubic metres per second and the minimum is 1.62 cubic metres per second. Average turbidity is 280 grams per cubic metre at Orenburg and 290 grams per cubic metre near Kushum, the river freezes at the source in early November and in the middle and lower reaches in late November. It opens in the lower reaches in late March and in early April in the upper reaches, the ice drift is relatively short
The Aral Sea was an endorheic lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south. The name roughly translates as Sea of Islands, referring to over 1,100 islands that once dotted its waters, in the Turkic languages aral means island, the Aral Sea drainage basin encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. Satellite images taken by NASA in August 2014 revealed that for the first time in history the eastern basin of the Aral Sea had completely dried up. The eastern basin is now called the Aralkum Desert, in an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, a dam project was completed in 2005, in 2008, the water level in this lake had risen by 12 m compared to 2003. Salinity has dropped, and fish are found in sufficient numbers for some fishing to be viable. The maximum depth of the North Aral Sea is 42 m, the shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called one of the planets worst environmental disasters. The regions once-prosperous fishing industry has been destroyed, bringing unemployment.
The Aral Sea region is heavily polluted, with consequential serious public health problems. The historical documents of the development of the Aral Sea have added by UNESCO to its Memory of the World Register as a source to study this environmental tragedy. The Aral Sea formed about 5.5 million years ago due to a fall in sea level, the Syr Darya formed a large lake in the Kyzyl Kum during the Pliocene known as the Mynbulak depression. Most of the area around the Aral Sea was inhabited by nomads who left few written records. However, the Oxus delta to the south has a history under the name of Khwarezm. It used to be the westernmost border of Tang dynasty China, Russian naval presence on the Aral Sea started in 1847, with the founding of Raimsk, which was soon renamed Fort Aralsk, near the mouth of the Syr Darya. Soon, the Imperial Russian Navy started deploying its vessels on the sea, owing to the Aral Sea basin not being connected to other bodies of water, the vessels had to be disassembled in Orenburg on the Ural River, shipped overland to Aralsk, and reassembled.
The first two ships, assembled in 1847, were the two-masted schooners named Nikolai and Mikhail, the former was a warship, the latter was a merchant vessel meant to serve the establishment of the fisheries on the great lake. In 1848, these two surveyed the northern part of the sea. In the same year, a warship, the Constantine, was assembled. Commanded by Lt. Alexey Butakov, the Constantine completed the survey of the entire Aral Sea over the two years
The Volga is the longest river in Europe. It is Europes largest river in terms of discharge and watershed, the river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, and is widely regarded as the national river of Russia. Eleven of the twenty largest cities of Russia, including the capital, some of the largest reservoirs in the world can be found along the Volga. The river has a meaning in Russian culture and is often referred to as Волга-матушка Volga-Matushka in Russian literature and folklore. The Slavic name is a translation of earlier Scythian Rā Volga, literally wetness, cognate with Avestan Raŋhā mythical stream and Sanskrit rasā́- dew, juice. The Scythian name survives in modern Mordvin Rav Volga, the Turkic peoples living along the river formerly referred to it as Itil or Atil big river. In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel in Tatar, Атăл in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, the Turkic peoples associated the Itils origin with the Kama. Thus, a tributary to the Kama was named the Aq Itil White Itil which unites with the Kara Itil Black Itil at the modern city of Ufa.
The name Indyl is used in Adyge language, among Asians, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su yellow water, but the Oirats used their own name, Ijil mörön or adaptation river. Presently the Mari, another Uralic group, call the river Jul, they called the river Volgydo, a borrowing from Old Russian. The Volga is the longest river in Europe and it belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea, being the longest river to flow into a closed basin. From there it turns south, flows past Ulyanovsk, Samara and Volgograd, at its most strategic point, it bends toward the Don. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is located there, the Volga has many tributaries, most importantly the rivers Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, and the Sura. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which flows through an area of about 1,350,000 square kilometres in the most heavily populated part of Russia. The Volga Delta has a length of about 160 kilometres and includes as many as 500 channels, the largest estuary in Europe, it is the only place in Russia where pelicans and lotuses may be found.
The Volga freezes for most of its length for three each year. The Volga drains most of Western Russia and its many large reservoirs provide irrigation and hydroelectric power. The Moscow Canal, the Volga–Don Canal, and the Volga–Baltic Waterway form navigable waterways connecting Moscow to the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov, high levels of chemical pollution have adversely affected the river and its habitats
The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China and Kazakhstan come together, and are where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters. The name Altai means Gold Mountain in Mongolian and tai and in its Chinese name, in Turkic languages altin means gold and dag means mountain. The proposed Altaic language family takes its name from this mountain range and their mean elevation is 1,500 to 1,750 m. The snow-line runs at 2,000 m on the side and at 2,400 m on the southern. Mountain passes across the range are few and difficult, the chief being the Ulan-daban at 2,827 m, and this region is studded with large lakes, e. g. The north western and northern slopes of the Sailughem Mountains are extremely steep, on this side lies the highest summit of the range, the double-headed Belukha, whose summits reach 4,506 and 4,440 m respectively, and give origin to several glaciers. Altaians call it Kadyn Bazhy, but is called Uch-Sumer, the second highest peak of the range is in Mongolian part named Khüiten Peak.
This massive peak reaches 4374 m, numerous spurs, striking in all directions from the Sailughem mountains, fill up the space between that range and the lowlands of Tomsk. The Katun and the Biya together form the Ob, the next valley is that of the Charysh, which has the Korgon and Tigeretsk Alps on one side and the Talitsk and Bashalatsk Alps on the other. The Altai, seen from this valley, presents the most romantic scenes, including the small but deep Kolyvan lake, farther west the valleys of the Uba, the Ulba and the Bukhtarma open south-westwards towards the Irtysh. The lower part of the first, like the valley of the Charysh, is thickly populated, in the valley of the Ulba is the Riddersk mine, at the foot of the Ivanovsk Peak. Its upper parts abound in glaciers, the best known of which is the Berel, on the northern side of the range which separates the upper Bukhtarma from the upper Katun is the Katun glacier, which after two ice-falls widens out to 700 to 900 metres. From a grotto in this glacier bursts tumultuously the Katun river, the high valleys farther north, on the same western face of the Sailughem range, are but little known, their only visitors being Kyrgyz shepherds.
Those of Bashkaus and Chulcha, all three leading to the lake of Teletskoye, are inhabited by Telengit people. The shores of the lake rise almost sheer to over 1,800 m, from this lake issues the Biya, which joins the Katun at Biysk, and meanders through the prairies of the north-west of the Altai. Farther north the Altai highlands are continued in the Kuznetsk district, which has a different geological aspect. But the Abakan River, which rises on the shoulder of the Sayan mountains. East of 94° E the range is continued by a series of mountain chains
It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city.
Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, the Roman Republic, and as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika.
The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD
Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art. Outside North America, scholars often use such as carving, engraving. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek word petro-, theme of the word meaning stone, and glyphein meaning to carve. The term petroglyph should not be confused with petrograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face, both types of image belong to the wider and more general category of rock art or parietal art. Petroforms, or patterns and shapes made by large rocks. Inukshuks are unique, and found only in the Arctic and they are a category of rock art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture. However, they tend to be omitted in most works on rock art, a few such works exploit the natural contours of the rock and use them to define an image, but they do not amount to man-made reliefs. Rock reliefs have been made in many cultures, and were important in the art of the Ancient Near East.
Rock reliefs are generally large, as they need to be to make an impact in the open air. Most have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size, the vertical relief is most common, but reliefs on essentially horizontal surfaces are found. The term typically excludes relief carvings inside caves, whether natural or themselves man-made, natural rock formations made into statues or other sculpture in the round, most famously at the Great Sphinx of Giza, are usually excluded. Reliefs on large boulders left in their location, like the Hittite İmamkullu relief, are likely to be included. Some petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, if not earlier. Sites in Australia have petroglyphs that are estimated to be as much as 27,000 years old, around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other precursors of writing systems, such as pictographs and ideograms, began to appear. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some cultures continued using them much longer, petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Siberia, southwestern North America and Australia.
There are many theories to explain their purpose, depending on their location, some petroglyphs are thought to be astronomical markers and other forms of symbolic communication, including a form of pre-writing. Petroglyph maps may show trails, symbols communicating time and distances traveled, as well as the terrain in the form of rivers, landforms
The Turkmens are a Turkic people located primarily in Central Asia, in the state of Turkmenistan, as well as in Iran, North Caucasus, and northern Pakistan. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages, examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Qashqai, Gagauz and Salar. Originally, all Turkic tribes that were not part of the Turkic dynastic mythological system were designated Turkmens, only did this word come to refer to a specific ethnonym. The etymology of the term derives from Türk plus the Sogdian affix of similarity -myn, -men, a prominent Turkic scholar, Mahmud Kashgari, mentions the etymology Türk manand. The language and ethnicity of the Turkmen were much influenced by their migration to the west, Kashgari calls the Karluks Turkmen as well, but the first time the etymology Turkmen was used was by Makdisi in the second half of the 10th century AD. Like Kashgari, he wrote that the Karluks and Oghuz Turks were called Turkmen, some modern scholars have proposed that the element -man/-men acts as an intensifier, and have translated the word as pure Turk or most Turk-like of the Turks.
During the Ottoman period these nomads were known by the names of Türkmen and these names were generally used to describe their nomadic way of life, rather than their ethnic origins. However, these terms were used interchangeably by foreigners. At the same time, various other exonym words were used for these nomads, such as Konar-göçer, Göçebe, Göçer-yörük, Göçerler, the most common one among these was Konar-göçer – nomadic Turcoman Turks. All of these words are found in Ottoman archival documents and carry only the meaning of nomad, Oghuz tribes had moved westward from the Altay mountains in the 7th century AD, through the Siberian steppes, and settled in this region. They penetrated as far west as the Volga basin and the Balkans and these early Turkmens are believed to have mixed with native Sogdian peoples and lived as pastoral nomads until the Russian conquest of the 19th century. Signs of advanced settlements have been found throughout Turkmenistan including the Djeitun settlement where neolithic buildings have been excavated and dated to the 7th millennium BCE, by 2000 BCE, various Indo-European peoples began to settle throughout the region, as indicated by the finds at the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.
Notable early tribes included the nomadic Dahae and Scythians, the Parni, a Dahae tribe came to dominate the region, and established the Parthian Empire, which later fractured as a result of invasions from the north. Ephthalites, and Göktürks came in a parade of invasions. Finally, the Sassanid Empire based in Persia ruled the area prior to the coming of the Muslim Arabs during the Umayyad Caliphate by 716 CE, the majority of the inhabitants were converted to Islam as the region grew in prominence. Next came the Oghuz Turks, who imparted their language upon the local population, a tribe of the Oghuz, the Seljuks, established a Turko-Iranian culture that culminated in the Khwarezmid Empire by the 12th century. Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan conquered the area between 1219 and 1221 and devastated many of the cities led to a rapid decline of the remaining Iranian urban population. The Turkmen largely survived the Mongol period due to their lifestyle and became traders along the Caspian
The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups that live in central, eastern and western Asia as well as parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family and they share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds. The first known mention of the term Turk applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century, a letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as the Great Turk Khan. The Orhun inscriptions use the terms Turk and Turuk and this includes Chinese records Spring and Autumn Annals referring to a neighbouring people as Beidi. During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the Turcae in the north of the Sea of Azov. There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names could be the form of Türk/Türük such as Togarma, Turukha/Turuška, Turukku. But the information gap is so substantial that we cannot firmly connect these ancient people to the modern Turks, turkologist András Róna-Tas posits that the term Turk could be rooted in the East Iranian Saka language or in Turkic.
This etymological concept is related to Old Turkic word stems tür, türi-, törü. The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Dingling, the Chinese Book of Zhou presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from helmet, explaining that taken this name refers to the shape of the Altai Mountains. During the Middle Ages, various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe were subsumed under the identity of the Scythians, between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples. However, the usage of the term is based on the linguistic classification in order to avoid any political sense. In short, the term Türki can be used for Türk or vice versa and it is generally agreed that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia, with the majority of them living in China historically. Historically they were established after the 6th century BCE, the earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 BCE.
Turkic people may be related to the Xiongnu and Tiele people, according to the Book of Wei, the Tiele people were the remnants of the Chidi, the red Di people competing with the Jin in the Spring and Autumn period. Turkic tribes such as the Khazars and Pechenegs probably lived as nomads for many years before establishing the Turkic Khaganate or Göktürk Empire in the 6th century and these were herdsmen and nobles who were searching for new pastures and wealth. The first mention of Turks was in a Chinese text that mentioned trade between Turk tribes and the Sogdians along the Silk Road, the first recorded use of Turk as a political name appears as a 6th-century reference to the word pronounced in Modern Chinese as Tujue. The Ashina clan migrated from Li-jien to the Juan Juan seeking inclusion in their confederacy, the tribe were famed metalsmiths and were granted land near a mountain quarry which looked like a helmet, from which they were said to have gotten their name 突厥. A century their power had increased such that they conquered the Juan Juan, Turkic peoples originally used their own alphabets, like Orkhon and Yenisey runiforms, and the Uyghur alphabet
Lake Balkhash is one of the largest lakes in Asia and 15th largest in the world. It is located in Central Asia in southeastern Kazakhstan and belongs to an endorheic basin shared by Kazakhstan and China, the Ili is fed by precipitation, largely vernal snowmelt, from the mountains of Chinas Xinjiang region. The lake currently covers an area of about 16,400 km2, like the Aral Sea, it is shrinking as a result of the diversion of water from rivers that feed it. The lake is divided by a strait into two distinct parts, the western part is fresh water, while the eastern half is saline. The eastern part is on average 1.7 times deeper than the western section, the largest city near the lake is named Balkhash and has about 66,000 inhabitants. Major industrial activities in the area include mining, ore processing and fishing, while the size of the lake is temporarily growing, there is concern about the lakes shallowing due to desertification and industrial activity. The present name of the lake originates from the word balkas of Tatar, from as early as 103 BC up until the 8th century, the Balkhash polity was known to the Chinese as 布谷/布库/布苏 Pu-Ku/Bu-Ku.
From the 8th century on, the land to the south of the lake and it was a land where the nomadic Turks and Mongols of the steppe mingled cultures with the settled peoples of Central Asia. During Chinas Qing dynasty, the formed the northwestern-most boundary of the Empire. In 1864, the lake and its area were ceded to Imperial Russia under the Protocol of Chuguchak. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the became part of Kazakhstan. Rapid erosion of the Tian Shan has meant the depression filled with sand river sediments in what is geologically a very short time span. The basin is a part of Dzungarian Alatau, which contains lakes Sasykkol and these lakes are remnants of an ancient sea which once covered the entire Balkhash-Alakol depression, but was not connected with the Aral–Caspian Depression. The lake has an area of about 16,400 km2 and it is elevated about 340 m above sea level and has a sickle shape. Its length is about 600 km and the width varies from 9–19 km in the part to 74 km in the western part.
Saryesik Peninsula, located near the middle of the lake, hydrographically divides it into two different parts. The western part, which comprises 58% of the lake area and 46% of its volume, is relatively shallow, quiet and is filled with freshwater. These parts are connected by the Strait Uzynaral which is 3.5 km wide, the lake includes several small basins
Zhetysu or Semirechye is a historical name of a part of Central Asia, corresponding to the South-Eastern part of modern Kazakhstan. It owes its name, meaning seven rivers in Kazakh and Persian, when the region was incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century, it became known in Russian as Semirechye, which is a Russian calque of the Kazakh Zhetysu. The name has transcribed as Semiryechye, Semirechiye, Semirechie. Zhetysu falls into todays Almaty Province, which is part of Kazakhstan, the lands of the 19th-century Semirechye Oblast included the steppes south of Lake Balkhash and parts of the Tian Shan Mountains around Lake Issyk Kul. In the south, the region embraces the intricate systems of the Ala-Tau and the Tian Shan. Two ranges of the former, the Trans-Ili Ala-tau and the Terskey Ala-tau, stretch along the shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Another mountain complex of lower elevation runs north-westwards from the Trans-Ili Ala-tau towards the southern extremity of Lake Balkhash. In the north, where the province bordered Semipalatinsk, it included the parts of the Tarbagatai range.
The remainder of the province consisted of a steppe in the north-east. Southwards from these at the foot of the mountains and at the entrance to the valleys, the climate in Zhetysu is thoroughly continental. In the Balkhash steppes the winter is very cold, the lake freezes every year, with temperatures falling to -11 °C. In the Ala-kul steppes the winds blow away the snow, the passage from winter to spring is very abrupt, and the steppes are rapidly clothed with vegetation, however, is soon scorched by the sun. The Chu River rises in the Tian Shan mountains and flows north-westwards through the former Akmolinsk province of the Governor-Generalship of the Steppes, the Naryn River flows south-westwards along a longitudinal valley of the Tian Shan, and enters the Fergana Valley to join the Syr Darya. The population was estimated in 1906 as 1,080,700, Kazakhs formed 76% of the population, Russians 14%, Taranchi 5. 7%. BC. e. the Iranian Sakas established their first state, in the mid 6th century, the Turkic nomads subordinated Zhetysu, Central Kazakhstan, and Khorezm.
The area belonged to Dzungar Khanate in the 17th century, when Dzungar Khanate was eliminated by Qing China in 1755 the area formed part of empire and was under the direct rule by General of Ili, headquartered at the fort of Huiyuan,30 km west of Ghulja. Most of Zhetysu was annexed by the Russian Empire from Qing China in 1854, before the outbreak of the Crimean War, which delayed the southern advance. The two major Russian fortresses and garrisons in the region and Pishpek, were founded in 1854 on the sites of former Kokandian fortresses on the Steppe frontier, the Semirechye Cossack Host was created in 1867 as a branch of the Siberian Cossack Host