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Boralday Burial Mounds

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Cultural Treasure

Long before the first caravans traversed the Silk Roads, the steppes of Kazakhstan were roamed by the Saka nomads, a people closely related to the Scythians. As nomadic people, their cultural legacy left little remains besides circular burial mounds, known as kurgan. Just outside the center of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, lies a vast and open grassland with 45 of these circular mounds dating from 2,500 years ago. The largest of these mounds is over 14 meters high and 100 meters wide, with well preserved objects excavated.

Remarkably, this culture and others in the region hints at a global trade with the east and west much earlier than previously thought, as Chinese silk and Persian carpets were found during excavations. These burial mounds are testaments to the very early periods of the silk roads, long before Zhang Qian first ventured to the west. The site is open to any visitor today, with no entrance fee as of 2024. You may, however, be the only visitor in the vast and open space.


Use the interactive map to also discover nearby treasures.



The site is on the northern outskirts of Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, on the banks of the Bolshaya Almatinka River..


The burial mounds date from around 600-400 B.C., and are associated with the nomadic Saka people.


An ancient necropolis for the wealthy and noble Saka people. Several of these sites are found around modern day Kazakhstan.


Seldom visited, the site is just a large grassy expanse nowadays, with very little information on what there is to see. The artificial mounds are very evident though.


Boralday Burial Mounds

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Cultural Treasure


Nearby Treasures:

     ➨  Ascension Cathedral - 10 km away

Read the Story:

     ➨  Step by Steppe - Kazakhstan and the Silk Road

Step Onto the Silk Roads:

     ➨  Almaty

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