The ruins of this ancient city rise up with remnants of castle walls from 45 kilometers west of Turkestan, the South Kazakhstan region. The attention of many travelers, following on the highway Turkestan - Kyzylorda, is always attracted by intricate timing circuit walls.
This Sauran - ancient and mysterious city, for more than 100 years, has attracted the attention of scientists. Each time by making discoveries here, they get answers, and at the same time face many unsolved mysteries of the past.
By virtue of its exclusive military-strategic, economic trade, cultural and historical significance, Sauran is mentioned by all medieval authors, who had written about the events that occurred in the Syrdarya region and steppes of Kazakhstan.
The first mention about Sauran in written sources was in the first half of the 10 century. It was reported by Istahri (his work was revised in the late of the 10c.), then al-Maqdisi. Information about Sauran was written in anonymous geographical work "Hudud al-Alam" (10c.), Ibn al-Athir (13c.), "Dictionary of countries" by Yakut (13c.), in the description of the return trip to Mongol Khan Meng kiliiy-armenian king Getum 1 (mid.13c.). There are numerous information about the city in written sources of the 15 16 c.
The city was mentioned again as a border town in the early of the13th century, "not paying kharaj equal with Ispidzhab", and as a big city in the middle of 13th century.
Sauran was mentioned as a city of Ak-Orda in the 14th century, sometimes as the capital, and it was in sources of authors of the 15-16th century about the struggle among Kazakh kaganat and Shaybanid for supremacy in Turkestan. Authors reported that Sauran was one of the best castles in Turkestan: about climate, defensive constructions, improvement of the city and about irrigated agriculture.
Archaeological studying about Sauran began hundreds years ago. It was mentioned in the works of Russian scientists P.Lerch, traveling notes of P.Pashino, and reports of A. Fedchenko. Sauran castle was one of the main archaeological discoveries of that time, which was built of clay with height of almost ten meters.
Today the archaeological work of ancient city is occupying about 50 hectares area and it is carried out by framework of the Kazakhstan program "Cultural heritage". Objects were found in the central part: pieces of pottery, plaster, which indicates that there was mosque and madrassa. The first institution of the region was opened in Sauran. According to historians, local people had high level of knowledge. Evidence is unique, having no analogues in Kazakhstan, technology of water supply to the city.
City has an oval plan area, which is surrounded by walls, and swollen areas have been preserved to height from 3 to 6 m. It elongated 800 m from north-east to south-west and 550m from the north-west to south-east. Platform was raised above the surrounding terrain to 2-2, 5 m. Walls of the city were erected on the podium height of 2-3 m, and built of mud brick and pakhsa. It could be traced 4 rounded 2 storey towers, which was projecting beyond the line of the wall. The upper floor of the tower was covered by dome, which was resting on Tromp, the remains have preserved until the present day.
Narrow slits loopholes were cut in the plane of the tower. There were two gates into the city. The main gate was in the north-eastern part of the wall and presented a powerful fortification, flanked with 2 outwardly projecting towers, which had 2 floors.
Entrance presented a 20-meter corridor passage, which was formed by protruding segments of the wall. The second gate (now in a poor condition) was in the south-eastern segment of city wall. In the eastern part of the tower was another entrance to the settlement in the form of an arched passage with a width of 1.2 m, height 1.7 m. Around the wall was a ditch with 1-3m depth and 15-20 m width.
Discharge to outside was the parapet-shaft with height of 1-1,5 m and width of 5 m. Main street, which had a start from the north-eastern gate, divided the territory of the city into two almost equal parts in the direction to the north-east - south-west. It rested to the perpendicular street that directed to the north-west - south-east until 150m to the south-western segment of the wall. One of segments was exposed to the south-east gate. In addition, many small streets and alleys could trace two main streets, which constituted one complex branched street. At the distance of 210m from the north-eastern entrance, from the left side of the main street, was sub-triangular with dimensions of 100 x l00m. It was covered with pieces of broken burnt bricks and Kyra - remains of monument. Remains of estates, which form total construction, were located around the central ruins within 1400-1600m.
Medieval Sauran city is one of the most significant monuments of the medieval culture of Kazakhstan, and it is a unique according to degree of preservation, in the archaeological term.
Experts believe that remains of the city are in danger. Despite to the gradual destruction, the city, which was protected from enemies, is not able to resist the onslaught of time. Thus, Sauran is under of complex archaeological works. Conservative and restorative works are carried out in order to preserve remains of the ancient city for generation.