|First settled||10–9th century BC|
|• Akim (mayor)||Bauyrzhan Baybek|
|• Total||682 km2 (263 sq mi)|
|Elevation||500–1,700 m (1,640–5,577 ft)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+6 (UTC+6)|
|Area code(s)||+7 727|
|License plate||02 (A - on older plates)|
Almaty was the host city for a 1978 international conference on Primary Health Care where the Alma Ata Declaration was adopted, marking a paradigm shift in global public health. In 1997. The city is in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 2,300–3,000 feet (700–900 m), where the Bolshaya and Malaya Almaatinka rivers run into the plain.
The name Almaty has its roots in the medieval settlement Almatu, that existed near the present-day city. A disputed theory holds that the name is derived from the Kazakh word for 'apple' (алма), and is often translated as "full of apples". Originally it was Almatau which means Apple Mountain. The Russian version of the name was Alma-Ata (Kaz. Father of Apples), however, since independence Russian has tended to use the Kazakh Almaty.
There is great genetic diversity among the wild apples in the region surrounding Almaty; the region is thought to be the apple's ancestral home. The wild Malus sieversii is considered a likely candidate for the ancestor of the modern domestic apple.
During 1000–900 BC
in the Bronze Age, the first farmers
and cattle-breeders established settlements in the territory of Almaty.
During the Saka
period (from 700 BC to the beginning of the Common
Era), these lands were occupied by the Saka and later Wusun
tribes, who inhabited the territory north of the Tian
Shan mountain range. Evidence of these times can be found in the numerous
burial mounds (tumuli) and ancient settlements,
especially the giant burial mounds of the Saka tsars. The most famous archaeological
finds have been the "The
Golden man", also known as "The
Golden Warrior", from the Issyk
Kurgan; the Zhalauly
treasure, the Kargaly diadem, and the Zhetysu arts
bronzes (boilers, lamps and altars). During the period of Saka and Wusun
governance, Almaty became an early educational centre.
During the Middle Ages (8–10th centuries), a city culture developed in Almaty. There was a transition to a settled way of living, the development of farming "Greater Almaty" became part of the trade routes of the Silk Road, which reached from China to western Asia and Europe.