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Fortress Kyrk kyz kala (Big) in Karakalpakstan.

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“I don’t think that there are vast lands anywhere in the world that are wider than Khorezm and more populated, while the inhabitants are accustomed to a difficult life and little contentment. Most of the villages of Khorezm are cities with markets, supplies and shops. As a rarity, there are villages in which there is no market. All this with general security and complete serenity ... I do not think that there is a city in the world like the main city of Khorezm in terms of the abundance of wealth and the size of the capital, a large population and proximity to goodness and the fulfillment of religious precepts and faith. "

Yakut, an Arab scientist, geographer and traveler who visited Khorezm shortly before the Mongol invasion.

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The fortress Kyrk kyz kala ("forty girls") is located on a natural hill 94.6 meters above sea level, located in the southeastern part of the Ayazkol salt marsh, in the northern part of the Bilkum sands, 8.8 kilometers northeast of the village of Kyrkkyz, 15.2 kilometers north-west of the village of Kokcha, 12.8 kilometers north and slightly west of the village of Dzhambaskala and 28 kilometers north-east of the village of Ellikkala in the Ellikala region of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
The fortress Kyrk kyz kala, dates back to the 1st - 6th centuries A.D., is located outside the city and was approximately the country residence of the rulers. This fortress was already known in the 3rd - 4th centuries.
The fortress Kyrk kyz kala (Small) is the same age as Kyrk kyz kala (Big). According to professor archaeologist S.P. The Tolstov Fortress was fortified in the 5th-6th centuries and the old walls are surrounded on all sides by a new wall of baked bricks.
On the two-story minarets built within the walls of the fortress, there are double-row augers for shooting. There was a labyrinth in the middle of the north gate right in front of the entrance. There is a version that the fortified entrance could be on the southern part of the fortress.
The fortress was built of mud bricks on a small stone hill. The settlement was discovered in 1938 during archaeological excavations. Its dimensions are 65 x 63 x 65 meters, the outer wall had two tiers with arrow-shaped loopholes.
According to researchers, the fortress was built to protect the northeastern borders of ancient Khorezm. In the settlement, archaeologists have found burials made according to the rite of ancient fire worshipers. The bones of a man were placed in ceramic jugs - hums, which had the shape of a woman's head.
This fortress was once a trading place on the Great Silk Road. The fortress was built from adobe bricks with the addition of adobe, and the arched ceilings were created from burnt bricks. According to the excavations, it is assumed that the fortress was divided into four parts.
The north-western and north-eastern parts were 5 rooms each, which communicated only with a corridor. The southwestern part also included five rooms, but there were only two corridors. The southeastern part consisted of two rooms and one corridor. In another part of the residence there was a reception room in which the dervishes prayed.
The interior of the residence did not stand out for its abundant decor. The sophistication of the inner garment stands out thanks to the different shapes and technologies of the brickwork of the window and arched openings.
The remains of clay and bricks found during the excavations indicate that they were used in the construction of the fortress. According to the plan of the fortress, one can judge that there were many small rooms and a large room made of burnt bricks near the northern wall.
In 30 - 50 meters from the southern wall of the fortress there is a multi-room building in which the remains of iron, slag waste and an iron-smelting furnace were found. According to EE Nerazik, in the southeast of the fortress, the remains of an iron processing workshop with an area of ​​12 x 13 meters, dating back to the VIIth - VIIIth centuries AD, were found.
In 1984, a ceramic jug full of copper coins was found on the plain near the Great Kirkkiz-kala fortress. The coins were corroded by moisture and salt. Among them, only one coin retained its appearance; during cleaning, a bas-relief of the Khorezm ruler without a beard was found on the obverse of the coin.
The crown on the head of the ruler is depicted in the form of a rising sun and a new moon is depicted on the top of the sun. Siyavush is depicted on the reverse side of the coin. In the foreground of Siyavush, a woman is depicted playing a stringed musical instrument similar to a dutar.
The woman is dressed in a light dress, on the head of a duziy duppi (headdress of Khorezm women), which was worn on special occasions. Siyavush's face is depicted illegible, and the horse is depicted in motion.
The woman is depicted as a beautiful queen, tastefully dressed. The composition on the coin gives the right to assume that in the pre-Islamic period, Khorezm women dressed very beautifully and possessed the art of dancing, singing, and played excellent musical instruments.
The image of the ruler without a beard and the ancient Khorezm inscriptions on the coin make it possible to assume that the coin was minted in the Vth - VIth centuries (in his work "Ancient Khorezm" SP Tolstov asserts that the ancient Khorezm coins depicting rulers without a beard belong to the Vrh - VIth centuries AD).
The name of the fortress means “forty girls”. According to one legend, the brave queen Gulyaim lived in this fortress with her forty companions. These brave women fought off formidable enemies.
Geographic coordinates of the fortress Kyrk kyz kala: N42 ° 01'05.29 "E61 ° 06'04.62"

Dospanov October. “Improving the efficiency and sustainability of the functioning of the created Nizhne-Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve”. Nukus - Tashkent. 2013.