Sisem-ata Necropolis represents all existing architectural variety of tombstones of the Kazakh people. Complex of domed mausoleums and without it wonder visitors with beauty, unusual design, wonderful epigraphy and variety of architectural forms. Sisem-ata Necropolis is for local people of Mangystau region, and expensive, because of prominent Kazakh leaders were buried here.
One of the largest and most ancient necropolises of Mangystau is located 30 km north from the Say - Utesh station, on the western Ustyurt escarpment, on the flat landscape of semi-desert near the ancient caravan roads, wells and winter houses. It was mentioned first in literature, in the report of the first Russian military reconnaissance expedition in 1825-1826 years. It is said in a brief journal report about the necropolis: "This is a sacred graveyard, which consists of several conical stones and embankments, but there is no information about the past. However, according to collected scientific materials over the last years, the date of the monument is around 11-12 centuries.
The main complex is formed around the grave Sisem-ata - one of the preachers of Islam. There is no information about his personality. However, legends refer him to the Oguz-Kipchak period, the middle ages. Besides the ruins of the grave of Sisem-Ata, this time can be attributed stone helmet sculpture and tombstones with pictures of weapons, related military and political events of Kipchak-nogay period of the region.
Necropolis Sisem-ata is pantheon of batyrs. Mangystau people were buried on the territory of the monument at different times. Many glorious representatives of tribes, talented akyns (poets), and national heroes were buried here. This necropolis has many graves, which were built in the form of helmet. Researcher of the Western Kazakhstan M. Mendikulov suggested that this form appeared in the form of stone sculpture before the foundation of the necropolis, and noted the tomb of the hero, who was killed in the war in the XIV century, and later was transferred to form of dome of mausoleums with military nobility.
On the territory of the necropolis are 1328 a wide variety of monuments, including 22 domed mausoleums, 155 saganatams, 382 kulpytas with koytas, 129 sarcophagi and other remaining objects of stone fences. All monuments erected to the necropolis from local sandstone by clay solution without foundation.
Mausoleums at the necropolis are divided into three types by design features. The first of these was the construction, which was built of roughly processed slabs of limestone-sandstone, stacked on clay solution. They were monumental in form, had a conical dome ceilings, which were laid out by false arch technique. Entrance had arched shape. The second type of mausoleums has lining facades with large slabs of limestone. Domes were not lined. They had carved finial. The third type of mausoleums refers to the middle of the XVIII- XIX centuries. Walls were erected of sawn slabs and blocks, with an inner layer of rough stone. The dome began to acquire more elegant helmet shape, due to the constructive facing sawn slabs. On the surface appeared ornamental painting on the contour thread. Saganatams, which were erected at the necropolis in the XVIII century, had a constructive wall and decoration, similar to the mausoleums of that period.
Necropolis Sisem-ata presents a complex of monuments of the memorial architecture and stone-cutting art. Monuments reflect the processes of architectural development of the region and art, religious beliefs. In addition, the necropolis is still a historical monument, as soon as here are many monuments related to the historically well-known personalities such as: Suyunkara batyr Urgeshbayuly, Tulep batyr Anetuly, Konay batyr Kenzheuly, Zhetimek Zhanuzak batyr - who dedicated their lives to the fight against Khiva khans and other invaders; Kozhanazar bay Zhanayuly, Eskeldi Sanazar bay Kudaynazaruly, Begey Dauyldyr bay Kozybakuly, Sengir myrza Dauldyruly, Zharylgap bay Sengiruly, Seyit bi Esenuly, Anet bi Tekeyuly, Tolepuly Mambetniyaz bi, Bayboz Bokkarayuly, sons of the founders of the famous tribe Zharyuly Nazar (Shotan batyr, Tastemir bay, Maylan, Kudaibergen), Zhanboz (Matay, Oteuly, Zhamankara), Zorbayuly Otegul, Karzhau Tolekeuly and others. Sisem Ata Necropolis is a valuable source for the history, ethnography and history of architecture in Mangystau. It started to be called the open air museum of folk architecture of the XIII-XIX centuries.
Sisem Ata Necropolis was taken under state protection as a monument of national importance in 1982. According to scientists and reserve staff, Sisem-ata deserves an international protection. Today, documents are preparing for transferring the monument under protection of UNESCO. Sisem-ata deserves to be added to the World Heritage List.