ISSN 1991-3087
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Роль судостроения в системе торговых отношений в Средней Азии


Хамраев Кувончбек,

магистрант Ургенчского государственного университета.


The role of boat-making in the system of trade relations in Middle Asia



The first year student of masters degree, UrSU (Urganch, Uzbekistan) .


It is known that the beginning of the use of water ways in association with the invention of water means transport and their state of perfecting. In the Mesolithic Age and the Neolithic Revolution, there appeared rafts and boats that were intended to sail in rivers and lakes. The appearance of ship-building in Middle Asia traces back to the ancient times. The image of a boat that is considered to be specific to the Bronze Age in cliff pictures in Beshtepa located twenty kilometers to the north of Nukus confirms that boat-making has a long history in Khorezm oasis [1, c. 15-75] . Images of boat in Afrosiyob wall pictures found in old Termiz Qoratepa monument gives important information regarding the shape and structure of ships used in the Middle Ages [2, c. 247-248].

Ship-building developed along the Amudarya river and the Sirdarya river in the Middle Ages. Major centers building ships like Kat and Termiz in the Amu-River were appeared. In the late Middle Ages, boats were built at fortresses (Kelif, Kerki, Chorjoy, and so on) by the essential crossings of central reaches of the Amudarya River and also in the villages of the khanate of Bukhara and Khiva. Khojand, Banokat-Shokhrukhiya, Chinoz cities had a great importance as huge ship-building centers in the basin of the Sirdarya River [1, c. 250].

In ship-building, the main raw materials were hard and durable to water fir-tree, mulberry-tree, pine-tree, and willow-tree. Choosing the wood to build ships, treating and making boats and ships were done by experienced masters and this process was inspected by the government. In the Middle Ages, ships and boats in the region were used to carry passengers and various goods and also for military purposes [3, c. 58, 78, 88].

On crossing rivers and sailing along the water flow, besides ships and boats, horses [4, c. 118] and wineskins made of a skin were used. Greek authors inform that the wineskins were widely used in the old East in the middle of the first millennium B.C [5, c. 88-89]. Furthermore, it is also clear that wineskins were utilized on crossing the Amudarya River and the Sirdarya river. Ships and boats were used not only as a means of sailing in water, but they were used in building pontoon bridges in mighty rivers [6, c. 122].

Transporting goods and passengers on ships along water ways in the region was carried out for some fare, this process was under the administration of the government. Utilizing water forms of transport and water ways were in relation to each other. Taking the possession of watery rivers and valleys of Middle Asia began during the Mesolithic Age and the Neolithic Revolution, this process was even more widespread in the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. The water way of the Amudarya River played a vital role in the system of trade relations in the region. It must be emphasized that changing its direction several times, the Amudarya River sometimes flew into the Aral Sea and sometimes into the Caspian Sea, every so often it flew into both of them at the same time [7, c. 15-94].

Written materials respecting the water way of the Amudarya River particularly are faced beginning with the Antiquity period. In the 5th -4th centuries B.C. the Amudarya River flew into the Caspian Sea by the riverbed of Sarikamish and Uzboy. The transportation of goods coming from India trade cities by the caravan routes from the Caspian Sea to the Caucasus and the Black Sea by the water way of the Amudarya River increased the importance of Khorezm oasis as a transit area [8, c. 9-13]. Tightened fortresses, Odoydepa, Kampirtepa [10, c. 93], Kelif, Kerki, Amul, controlling the water way of Uzboy in the middle flow of the Amu-River and fortresses by other significant crossings were strategically major locations in this water way [9, c. 29-31]. Khorezm people and the Sugdis had an active role in the development of ship-building in the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea [2, c. 243].

In the Middle Ages the Amudarya River water way was used broadly in economic relations and different agricultural goods were shipped on the ships. After Turkistan had been occupied by Russia, the importance of water ways in the region much more increased. The opening of the port of the Amudarya River in 1887 and putting big ships and steamers traffic into action in the river show that the Russian military-political circles had a big attention to the water way of the Amudarya River. Military scouts of the main headquarters of military constituency of Turkistan also learned deeply characteristics of the activity of ship-building and crossings on the water way of the Amudarya River shows the strategic significance of this water way in the communication system of the region.

The water way of the Sirdarya River played a crucial role in economic-cultural relations of northern parts of Middle Asia. The successive use of this water way commenced in the Antiquity period. Axsikas (Axsikent), Xojand, Benaket, Yangikent and other cities had an important part among enormous locations constructed on the banks of the Sirdarya River in the ancient times and middle Ages.

According to the sources, corn was carried on ships from Kat city to Yangikent along the water way of the lower flow of the Amudarya River, eastern shores of the Aral Sea and the water way of the Sirdarya River in the 10th-11th centuries [11, c. 99].

Water ways in Middle Asia did not limit with the Amudarya River and the Sirdarya river, ship-building had developed in other rivers in the region since the old times.Boat-making enhanced on the Zarafshon River and its channels (Barsh, Novkent, Vaqar and Barmish) in the 10th and 12th centuries. The usage of the water way of the Zarafshon River continued in the late Middle Ages too. In the late of the 19th century goods were transported on boats in the Surkhon-River too.

In the middle Ages, goods were carried on ships along the large channels especially dug to western direction of the Amudarya River such as Khazarasp, Gavkhar, Kardarankhash (Kardaran-khas), Madra, Vadak, and other channels in Khorezm.

The traffic of ships put into force on rivers that were the Sirdarya River’s tributaries. Ibn Khudardbekh gives information concerning the transportation of goods on boats on the Okhangaran, Chirchiq as well as Talas Rivers in the middle crossings of the Sirdarya River [12, c. 178]. It was stated in the work “Khudud al-olam” that boatmen lived in Nujakat city situated one farsakh far from Binkat (Tashkent) and they were engaged in boat-making on the water way of the Parak (Chirchiq) River and the Sirdarya River. The finding of wreckage of boats in Shovkat city (Uvayttepa monument) [13, c. 58] on the right bank of the Angren River proves that ship-building also developed in the Okhangaron River.

Enhancement of ship-building, carrying goods on ships changed in accordance with the season. Specifically, if the use of water ways stopped in the cold winter months, spring floods caused some problems in utilization of water ways and crossing the crossings. The level of using ships on rivers substantially increased in summer season.

In a nutshell, the use of water ways passed along the Amudarya River and the Sirdarya river and their tributaries began in the second and first millennium B.C. Water ways had a great part as a primary field of the communication system of the region in economic-cultural relations, trades connected with ship-building (building ships and boats, treating them) improved by the large rivers, cities and fortresses administrating crossings emerged, the activity of officials who were responsible for raising taxes and customs and other specific infrastructures were implemented.




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Поступила в редакцию 05.02.2015 г.

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