Feature: Mangistau Necropolises

All of Kazakhstan is dotted with picturesque cemeteries or necropolises set outside villages and towns, and Mangistau has a notable concentration of them: locals boast the figure 362. Many of these date back to nomadic times, when tribes would bury their dead at special sites. Fascinating carvings adorn many of the older stone monuments – the most common forms are the kulpytas, a carved stone column, often with pictures carved into it that depict the life of the deceased; the koitas, a stylised ram; the koshkar-tas, a more realistic ram; and the sarcophaguslike sandyk-tas. One of the most interesting necropolises is Koshkar Ata.