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Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Description
  2.   2.  Culture
  3.   3.  References

Territory Statistics

StatusOPEN ?
Alternate TextАқтау or Актау
Name Meaning"White Mountain"
Name OriginKazakh
Date of Founding1958
Primary SpeciesWIP
Luperci DominantNo

Aktau (Kazakh: Ақтау, Aqtaý) is a city in Kazakhstan, located on the east bank of the Caspian Sea. It was originally created as a camp for oil workers to live in. Its current name means "white mountain" in Kazakh, which may be due to its cliffs that overlook the Caspian. From 1964 to the viral apocalypse the city was known as Shevchenko (Russian: Шевченко, Kazakh: S'evc'enko). Its former name was given due to the eponymous Ukrainian poet's period of exile in the area. It is located on the Mangyshlak Peninsula and is the capital of Mangystau Region.

1.  Description

The territory of what is now Aktau was once inhabited by ancient tribes of Scythians. Archeological finds in the area include old settlements and utensils. The current territory of Mangystau hosted a spur route of the northern silk road, which resulted in the founding of several Sufi shrines in Aktau's vicinity. However, the area had very little population prior to Soviet times and no cities of any relevancy, almost certainly due to the scarcity of fresh water. In 1958, uranium prospectors settled the site of modern Aktau, naming the settlement Melovoye (Меловое) after the bay on which it stood. After the development of the uranium deposits was started, the settlement was closed and renamed Guryev-20 (Гурьев-20). In 1963, its closed status was lifted, and the name was changed to Aktau. However, in 1964 it was given yet another name, Shevchenko (Шевченко), to honor the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko who spent 1850–1857 in political exile in Novopetrovskoye, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) to the northwest. This Ukrainian name for the city may have been granted due to the large number of Ukrainian workers who settled in the city.

Aktau experiences a cold desert climate (Köppen BWk), with dry summers and mild winters, with a mean January temperature of +0.5 °C (32.9 °F), and a mean July temperature of +25.55 °C (77.99 °F). It is notable that most of the city of Aktau lies below sea level in the Caspian Depression and is proximate to the lowest point in Kazakhstan and the former Soviet Union at Karagiye.

The beach season lasts from May to September, with an average sea temperature of +21 °C (70 °F). Aktau has both rocky hills and sandy beaches along the seashore.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aktau

2.  Culture

Aktau's presence on the Caspian Sea means that it is sometimes visited by fishermen and those traveling into Russia. Russians and the city-born canines still know it as Shevchenko, while those moving in and/or who identify as Kazakh prefer to call it Aktau. Canines trying to escape polluted Baku have passed through here, with a few settling and joining the local population. A couple of fishing ships are moored at a crude dock, but most of the area's food and trade revenue is generated by horses. The two largest and most important families tend to a shared herd of semi-feral horses, who they call the Taw Jılqısı and guard zealously. A single Jılqı can cost up to a month's worth of supplies to trade for, and most closely resembles the rare Caspian horse in appearance, temperament, and coloration. The starkest difference is that, while Caspian horses are usually only 12-13 hands, a Jılqı can grow up to 14.3 hands tall.

3.  References

Category: Open Territories