Tuesday, November 27, 2012

500 So'm 2011 UNC Commemorative: 20th Anniversary of Uzbekistan's Independence

On September 1, 2011 the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan  put out a commemorative coins of 500 (five hundred) som into circulation devoted to the twentieth anniversary of the independence of the state of Uzbekistan.

The coins are made of steel coated with a nickel alloy. Shape is round.The edge is plain. The diameter of the coin is - 25.0 mm., Thickness - 1.6 mm., Weight - 6.0 gm.

On the front side (obverse) the coin shows in the center the "Palace of international symposia" in Tashkent. Below the building is the denomination of the coin in two lines, "500" and "so'm" in the Latin alphabet. The denomination is incuse. On the outer edge of the coin in Latin capitals is the inscription "O'ZBEKISTON MUSTAQILLIGIGA 20 YIL". The beginning and end of the legend is marked by a convex point.

On the reverse side (reverse) of the coin is the emblem of the Republic of Uzbekistan, with the legend in the Latin alphabet "O'ZBEKISTON MARKAZIY BANKI". Under the emblem in the center is the year of issue "2011", between two convex points.

On the reverse side of the coin around the coat of arms is a circle of 72 points.

Acceptance at face value of the 500 som coin, along with notes and coins in circulation, is obligatory without restriction.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Узбекистан Нукус не так давно ( в 2002 году) отметил свой 70-летний юбилей, тем не менее, история этого поселения насчитывает тысячелетия. Этот край имеет более 1000 археологических и исторических памятников.

Нукус (Nukus) - город в Узбекистане, столица Республики Каракалпакстан (Каракалпакии). Расположен в центральной части Каракалпакии на правом берегу Амударьи, в 800 км к северо-западу от Ташкента (1255 км по дороге). Южная и восточная часть города окружена пустыней Кызылкум. Северная часть города граничит с дельтой Амударьи. Климат резко континентальный, сухой, с длительным малооблачным жарким летом. Через город проходят магистральный канал Кызкеткен и Каракалпакская автомагистраль, автомобильные и железная дороги. Нукусский аэропорт имеет республиканское значение. Площадь Нукуса - более 200 квадратных километров. Экологическая ситуация в Нукусе и во всём Каракалпакстане сложная из-за усыхания Аральского моря. Археологические раскопки городища Шурча на территории современного Нукуса показали, что люди жили здесь с IV века до н. э. до IV века н. э., поселение было опорным пунктом Хорезмского государства. В Нукусе расположены Государственный музей искусств имени И. В. Савицкого с богатым собранием русского авангардизма, краеведческий музей, музей Бердаха, памятники Бердаху, Улугбеку, Ажиниязу и др. В окрестностях города расположены археологические памятники Шылпык- зороастрийская Дахма, и некрополь древнего Миздахкана.

Source: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9D%D1%83%D0%BA%D1%83%D1%81

Почтовая марка - Нукус

Почтовая марка СССР 1960г. Нукус. Дом советов министров республики.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Receding Aral Sea sees some recovery

This image, taken on August 26, 2010, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, demonstrates the close connection between the Aral Sea and the Amu Darya River. It is the most recent image in a ten-year sequence published on the Earth Observatory’s World of Change: Shrinking Aral Sea. Photo Credit: NASA/Jesse Allen

The size of the Aral Sea has long hinged on the Amu Darya, which flows from the high Pamir Mountains in central Asia, across the desert, and into the southern sea. While two rivers empty into the lake—the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya—the Amu Darya is the largest and most fickle source of water. At times in ancient history, the river has bent its course to empty into the Caspian Sea, and the abandoned Aral Sea shrank. The Aral Sea has been at its largest when the Amu Darya feeds it.

Modern trends are no exception: when water began to be diverted from the Amu Darya for vast agricultural projects starting in 1960, the Aral Sea began to shrink.

Between 2000 and 2009, the Aral Sea steadily shrank. In 2006, severe drought settled in over Amu Darya Basin. Very little water reached the Aral Sea in 2007, and nothing flowed from the Amu Darya to the Aral Sea in 2008 and 2009. Without water from the Amu Darya, the southern Aral Sea rapidly dwindled, the eastern lobe all but disappearing in 2009.

In 2010, however, the drought broke. Snow in the Pamir Mountains was normal, and enough water flowed into the Amu Darya that the river reached the Aral Sea. The muddy pulse of water settled in a shallow layer over the bed of the eastern lobe of the South Aral Sea, making it look much larger than it had in 2009.

Before 1960, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world. However, much of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya have been diverted for agriculture, limiting the flow of water into the sea. Since 1960, the Aral Sea has lost 88 percent of its surface area and 92 percent of its water volume.

Water withdrawal and availability in Aral Sea basin

Millions of years ago, the northwestern part of Uzbekistan and western Kazakhstan were covered by a massive inland sea. When the waters receded, they left a remnant sea known as the Aral.

The Aral as an inland salt-water sea has no outlet being fed by the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers. The fresh water from these two rivers once held the Aral’s water and salt levels in balance. However after the 50ies and 60ies when a series of major irrigation schemes were undertaken on the two rivers by Soviet Engineers the water started to recede.

The schemes were based on constructing a series of dams on both two rivers to create reservoirs from which eventially 40.000 km of canals would be dug to divert water to field crops. Afterwards however there was little or no water left in the riverbeds to flow to the Aral Sea. Consequently the water level in the last 50 years in the Aral has dropped by approximately 23 metres and the volume has been reduced by nearly 90%.

Whilst triggering what is considered one of the 20th Centuries greatest ecological disasters; these schemes are however unlikly to be removed as they are the main source of income and food for millions of people in the region.

Photo: Around the remaining sea is a vast salt plain now known as the Aralkum Desert, a result of the sea's evaporation. The desert is a roughly 15,444-square-mile (40,000-square-kilometer) zone of dry, white salt and mineral terrain. Each year sandstorms pick up at least 150,000 tons of salt and sand from Aralkum and transport them across hundreds of miles, causing severe health problems for the local population and altering the region's climate.

Reference: Micklin, P. (2010, September 16). The past, present, and future Aral Sea. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research & Management, 15 (3), 193-213. Sources: http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2011/07/26/receding-aral-sea-sees-some-recovery/ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=46685

ED: Sadly this was short lived read National Geographic article from October 2014 - "Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Is Dry for First Time in 600 Years" go to http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2014/10/141001-aral-sea-shrinking-drought-water-environment/

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic - The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979).

Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

REFERENCE - THE GREAT SOVIET ENCYCLOPEDIA 1979 - An important source for those interested in the history, geography and cultures of the peoples of the former Soviet Union.

Some excerpts:

Natural features.

Kara-Kalpakia occupies the northwestern portion of the Kyzylkum Desert, the southeastern part of the Ustiurt (Ust-Urt) plateau, and the Amu Darya Delta. The southern part of the Aral Sea is located in Kara-Kalpakia. The northwestern part of the Kyzylkum is a vast, flat plain (elevations of 75–100 m), inclined toward the Aral Sea and covered primarily by tracts of ridged sands and barchans. There are isolated mountain massifs (the largest is Sultanuizdag in the southeast with elevations to 473 m). There are many channels, small lakes, tugai (gallery forest) and reed thickets, and swampy areas in the Amu Darya Delta. The right-bank section of the delta has more irrigated land and irrigation canals. The Ustiurt plateau, located in the west (elevations to 292 m, Karabaur), has a number of depressions, the largest of which—Barsakel’mes and Assake-Audan—are at elevations of 29–101 m. The plateau breaks off in steep scarps toward the Aral Sea and the Amu Darya Delta. The northern edge of the Sarykamysh Depression is located to the southeast of the Ustiurt plateau. There are deposits of common salt, Glauber salt, mineral building materials, and minerals.

Architecture and art.

Woodcarving (the doors of yurts) with cloth and ivory inlays, leather stamping, carpet making, weaving, and embroidery have been practiced by the peoples of Kara-Kalpakia since ancient times. Rugs, felts, carpet braids (akkur), and broad fringes (zhanbau), with designs in soft tones of brown, pink, pale green, and yellow on a white background, have been extensively used to insulate and decorate the yurt. Twentieth-century articles are characterized by the combination of red and yellow with brown, green, and dark blue. Kara-Kalpak jewelers combine silver, sometimes gilded, with cornelian, coral, and turquoise to decorate women’s clothing, men’s belts, and harnesses for horses. Strict geometric and floral designs, the main motif of which is the muiiz (ram’s horn), are characteristic of Kara-Kalpak art.


The most popular musical instruments are the dutar, a two-stringed plucked instrument; the kobuz and gyrzhak, bowed instruments; the balaman (a reed pipe) and the nai and surnai (flute family), wooden wind instruments; and the dep (tambourine), a percussion instrument. The shynkobuz, made from a small piece of iron, is used by women.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ustyurt Plateau

 Illustration: Extent of the Ustyurt 

The Ustyurt Plateau, also spelled Ust-Yurt, Ust-Urt and Usturt (Kazakh: Üstirt, Turkmen: Üstyurt) lays between three Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The Ustyurt plateau in its entirety is some 200,000 square kilometres and stretches from the so-called "Western Chink" between the Gulf of Mangyshlak and the Karynzharyk Desert to the "Eastern Chink" on the west bank of the Aral Sea. It has an average elevation of 150 meters, and consists primarily of stony desert. The plateau’s semi-nomadic population raises sheep, goats, and camels. It also has a number of important Gas fields and production facilties on its perimeter and a growing population.

The Plateau's chalk escarpments, known as "chinks", are hugely impressive and starkly beautiful. The giant terraces stretch hundreds of kilometres to the north and south, reaching heights of up to 219 metres on the border with the Aral Sea, while those on the Caspian rise up to 341 metres high.

The plateau proper consists of a flat, waterless highland plain, covered with sand in some places and with gypsum crystal in others. It is the only place in the world where the Ustyurt urial can be seen. Four plant species and 33 animal species of the Ustyurt plateau are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Uzbekistan and 40 are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List because they are close to becoming extinct.

A type of black saksaul grows only in this region, in the form of proper trees rather than bushes. Relatively large groups of the unique Ustyurt moufflon (a rare type of wild sheep with a reddish coat) and kulan (asiatic wild ass) live on the plateau. As well as a small population of the lynx-like caracal which is threatened with extinction as are dwindelling populations of Indian porcupine, saiga antelope and dzheyran gazelle.

Many reptiles and rodents are endemic to the Ustyurt. Nocturnal animals such as the long-eared desert (Brandt's) hedgehog snuffles through the dark. Apart from the Houbara bustard, the large birds that live here are mainly raptors: the rare Turkmen owl (a subspecies of the Eurasian eagle owl), the Saker falcon, short-toed and golden eagles and scavengers such as the Egyptian vulture.

Every seven to nine years there is a time of glut for these birds when the zhut (a severe blizzard) leaves thousands of hoofed animals dead. This phenomenon, most feared by the local inhabitants, takes place when, after winter rains, temperatures suddenly drop sharply and the desert ground freezes over. Unable to find food, the animals swiftly die.

The continental climate of the region is extreme. Winters are harsh and windy and snow is rare. Spring is short, dry and windy. Summer is hot, cloudless and long lasting. Autumn is warm and long as well.

Annual average temperature is about +10.5 + 11.5°C. Absolute annual minimum temperature is +26 + 34°C; maximum + 43 +45°C; surface heat reaches +60 +70°C. The hottest period is from the middle of July to mid-August. Autumn frosts begin at the end of October, and the spring thaw starts in April.

Precipitation is poor. Annual average precipitation varies from 140-160mm in the north to 90-120mm in the south. Rain showers are common in spring and early summer; washouts and mudslides are common as there is often little vegetation holding the soil together.

Snow cover on the Ustyurt is thin (3-7 cm) and unstable. Not all areas are covered with snow. As a result of the high temperatures in the summer months, poor precipitation and windy weather, evaporation exceeds precipitation by 10-15 times and  humidity a low 40-60%.

Montañas extraordinarios paisajes blancos de Ustyurt

Paisaje hermoso inusual de la meseta blanca de Ustyurt de las montañas en Kazakhstan.