Almaty region unveiled memorial stone at birthplace of Alatau Tamchiboulac Atkinson (PHOTOS)

Temirgaliyeva Arailym
2 August 2016, 20:27

Almaty region unveiled memorial stone at birthplace of Alatau Tamchiboulac Atkinson   (PHOTOS)

LONDON. KAZINFORM The ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Almaty region's Governor's Office, the descendants of Thomas and Lucy Atkinson and the residents of the village of Kapal.

The unveiling ceremony launched with the traditional song dedicated in the honour of Alatau Tamchiboulac’s descendants, who came to Kazakhstan from the UK, the US and New Zealand to participate in the event. After the ceremony, participants of the event visited Tamchiboulac, the spring, which Thomas and Lucy Atkinson’s son was named after.

The event followed by a performance called ‘Shildekhana’, an event held in the honour of the newborn.

The memorial stone is made with granite and its height is 1,7 meters. Its width is 1,2 meters. The stone has the words about the birthplace of Alatau Tamchiboulac in Kazakh, Russian and English.

The visit of the descendants of Thomas and Lucy Atkinson to Kazakhstan was initiated by the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the UK and held to mark the 25th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan.

Air Astana became the National carrier of the delegation of the descendants of Thomas and Lucy Atkinson,the press service of the Kazakh Embassy in London reports.


Thomas and Lucy Atkinson were amongst the greatest explorers of the nineteenth century, travelling in parts of Central Asia and Siberia. They are the witnesses of many important historical events in the 19th century Kazakhstan. Their writings, letters and paintings provide a unique record of political system of the Kazakh society of that period and the social state of the Kazakh people in the period.

Travelling on horseback, the couple travelled hundreds of miles south from Siberia across the Great Steppe. In September 1848, they reached the village Kapal in the Almaty region near the Djungar Alatau Mountains where two months later Lucy gave birth to a son. They named their child Alatau Tamchiboulac Atkinson, after a famous spring in the village.

Thomas and Lucy both wrote fascinating books about their travels in Eastern Kazakhstan. Thomas also made a large number of unique and vivid paintings and drawings, which together with their books offer the only detailed descriptions of the lives of the steppe nomads in the middle of the nineteenth century. Among them are many paintings, including views of the Tamchiboulac Spring, the Ac-Sou River, the many kurgans surrounding Kapal, the remarkable Kora Valley, the Bascan River, the Terric-Sou and many other notable places in the region.

Atkinson’s portraits of the Kazakh leaders at that time are particularly important. He painted Sultan Soyuk, Sultan Bolen and many other significant leaders. No other contemporary paintings of this period in Kazakh history exist.

After nine months in Kapal, Thomas and Lucy Atkinson and their young baby returned north to Barnaul in the Altai region of Siberia. On their way they visited all the seven rivers that flow from the Djungar Alatau in the direction of Lake Balkash. They also visited Lake Ala-Kol and Lake Zaisan. They were the first Europeans to visit many of these places.

Thomas Atkinson described his trips to the territory of modern Kazakhstan in the two of his books ‘Oriental and Western Siberia’ (1858) and ‘Travels in the Regions of the Upper and Lower Amoor’ (1860). He is the author of about 600 paintings.

Lucy Atkinson also wrote a book about her travels titled ‘Recollections of Tartar Steppes and Their Inhabitants’.

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