Koilyk (Antonivka) ancient city is located on the banks of the Ashchi-Bulak River, 190 km northeast акщь Shymkent, on the eastern outskirts of the modern Koilyk village, Almaty region. According to reliable sources written in the XI - beginning of the XIII centuries, it was the capital of Karluk zhabgu, self-possession of the Turks - Karluks in Karakhanid kaganate.
Europeans knew about this city through the book of the French monk Guillaume Rubruk - "Journey to the East countries", which was written in 50s of the XIII century.
Archaeological research of the settlement began in 1964, which was led by K.M. Baypakov. Many pits were built here and shot the plan of the settlement, after that scientific works did not held here for many years. It was resumed only in 1998, on the framework of the South-Kazakhstan Comprehensive archaeological expedition, during which the object was excavated and identified as "Buddhist temple". In addition, residential homestead was studied on the citadel fort.
In 1999-2000, work was carried out on "rich man's homestead", localized in the southeastern part of the settlement.
"Hammam" bath was discovered in 2001, which built of burnt bricks. The mausoleum was investigated, which erected on the territory of the settlement during the desolation period. In 2002-2003, the work had been concentrated on the study of stratigraphy, and on creating three-dimensional bases of the monument, conservation and monitoring of "Buddhist temple".
Field seasons of 2004 and 2005 years were marked with opening of the Friday mosque with pillar type, "Manichean" temple, mausoleums, facades that were decorated with magnificent carved terracotta and khanaks, which located near mausoleums. The complex construction, buildings of a public character, gives unique materials during the 2006-2007. Discovered monuments allow to start powerful archeological - museum research.
Provided researches let to describe the ancient monument as a city with tripartite structure for many medieval monuments of Kazakhstan.
The city had a shape of irregular quadrilateral with oriented corners to the cardinal, and surrounded by walls. Northeast wall had a length about 1200 m, southwest-750 meters, and southwestern side of the mound was directly adjacent to the mountains. Approximately after each 30-45 m arranged towers with circle form on the wall. Hillock with square shape was located not far from the western corner, which had size 70x80 m and height - 4.5 m. The entrances were built in the northwest, northeastern and southeastern side. The extensive area of the settlement was covered with numerous tubercles, hollows - the traces of buildings.
Adobe walls were built by tape casting, swollen to width of 11-13 m, with a preserved height of 2-2.5 m, bordered quadrangular shakhristan building, and apparently, part of the rabad, with total area of 90 hectares.
The city occupied vast territory, and had walls, distinctive layout and even residential heating system. There were Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, and judging by the description of Rubruk, Christian churches. It was found that 4-meter high fortress wall protected the city from enemies, which adjacent to the foot of the mountains. According to archaeologists, Koilyk (otherwise Kayalyk) was an important political, economic and cultural center of Karluks on the Silk Road.
Remains of the ancient city were perfectly preserved. Scientists claim that their preservation is very promising area to attract tourists and inclusion of the region in tourism infrastructure of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In 2013, the Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan added Koilyk ancient city to the list of applicants for entry to the list of historical and cultural monuments of UNESCO World Heritage Site.