Address: Atyrau, B.Momishuly street, 3, Tel: 8 (7122) 323664, 322912
The Atyrau regional historical and local museum was founded in 1939 on the basis of school museum by decision of the Supreme Council of Kazakh SSR. The formal opening of the museum took place on November 5 1940. Initially the museum was opened in the building of an old church built in prewar years on Aiteke bi stree, 14. The first exhibition consisted of 200 items. Later the museum turned into cultural centre of the region from storage place of antiques. On September 3 1999 the museum received a new restored building on B.Momishuly street. N.Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, participated in the opening.
Currently the museum stores 52 720 depositary items. The exposition of the museum are placed in the halls of archeology, ethnography, history of the region in the 12th-20th centuries, modern history, history of culture and literature, “Secret of century”, “Accord of centuries. Every year the fund of the museum is filled with nearly 200 items.
The hall of paleontology shows findings of the expeditions made by experts of the museum and “Miras” regional club in the mountains of Imangara, Akkegershin and Aktogai. They could find fossils of ancient fishes, primitive shell-fishes: radial corals belonging to the group of Coelenteratas, sea-fishes of the group of Echinoderms, mollusks and thunderbolts of the groups of Mollusks, barachiopods and sponges from the group of Brachiopods, teeth of ancient sharks. All these findings found deserved place in the hall of the museum. Fossils of mammoths, wooly rhinoceroses, primitive bulls and deer are also displayed here.
One of the valuable items of the museum is “Golden man” found during archeological excavations led by Z.Samashev in 1999 in Araltobe burial mound in Zhilioi district. Golden disks decorating the armor of the warrior, fragments of the stick (asatayak), pieces of two sacrificed horses and eagle, remains of a clay pot were found in the burial mound. Scientists defined that it was the burial of Sarmat warrior who lived on the 2nd century AD. In other burial mounds of Araltobe there were found pieces of knife, quiver, arrow heads, clay pots and beads. An iron sword dating back to the 1st century BC and the 1st century of AD was a discovery for archeologists.
Also considerable part of the exposition are items brought from the settlement of Sarayshik, unique ancient memorial of the region. The city once was headquarters of Batu khan, the capital of Nogai Orda and centre of Kazakh Khanate during the governance of Kassym khan. In the 13th-14th centuries the city witnessed prosperity. One of the most valuable items of this period is a jug found in 1090 in depth of 3 meters. There are unique inscriptions in Central Asian Turkic language on it. It is a piece of the poem of Zhusup Balasagun written in the 13th century. Also the hall of archeology displays items of another ancient town of Aktobe-Laetni located in 18 kilometers from Atyrau. They include from to casting metals, beads, ceramics, coins of the 16th century.
The museum displays several relics related to great composer Kurmangazi – dombra with his autograph and a rifle given to the museum on October 6 2000. A separate stand tells about national liberatory movement under the auspices of Isatai Taymanov and Makhambet Utemisov. Another exposition is devoted to musical art of people of the regions near the Caspian sea.
A collection of saddles consisting of 40 female and 50 male saddles represents a big interest among collections of decorative art. The most interesting part of the collection is traditional jewelry ornaments of the Kazakhs of the 18th-19th centuries made of silver, gold, natural and semi-precious stones, colored insertions. Among this exposition people can see a pectoral ornament – onirzhiek, drops, rings, bracelets with gildings, silver boitumars – amulets, buttons, temple ornaments – shekelik, hair ornaments – shashbau, clasps, thimbles, toothpicks etc. The most valuable items of the hall of decorative arts are the copy of kamzol of Fatima khamin, a wife of Zhangir khan, as well as prints of khans and batyrs and other items related to historical figures of the region.
and research conferences, meetings, ethnographic and thematic exhibitions, jubilee events, open lessons are regularly held in the museum. One of the most important events in life of the museum is the exhibition “Zhayik zhagalaui syr shertedi” (“The secrets of Zhayik”) which took place in The Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan in Astana.