The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Sugnak), a medieval city, now ruins at Sunak-Ata, 18 km northeast of the Tiumen’-Aryk station of the Kazakh Railroad (Kazakh SSR).

Sygnak is first mentioned in sources dating from the tenth century, which describe it as one of the cities of the Oghuz state. In the mid-llth century, Sygnak became an important commercial and crafts center and the capital of the Kipchaks. In 1219 the city was destroyed by the Mongols. During the second half of the 13th and the early 14th century, Sygnak underwent a revival, and in the mid-14th century it became the capital of the White Horde. In the 15th century, Sygnak often came under the control of the Uzbek and Kazakh khans, and in the 16th century it was controlled by the Kazakh khans. Sygnak was last mentioned in documents dating from the first half of the 17th century.

The ruins of Sygnak include remnants of walls with 15 towers that surrounded the city proper (shakhristan), which had an area of about 10 hectares. Also preserved is the earthen bank that protected the city’s suburb (rabad), which was about 13 hectares in area, and the ruins of several buildings dating from the 14th to the 16th century.


Iakubovskii, Iu. A. “Razvaliny Sygnaka (Sugnaka).” In Soobshcheniia Gos. Akademii istorii material’noi kul’tury, vol. 2, 1929.
Margulan, A. Kh. Iz istorii gorodov i stroitel’nogo iskusstva drevnegoKazakhstana. Alma-Ata, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.