According to ancient records and ancient maps, it seems that Mangyshlak was initially called a specific place – the extensive entrance to the Karakahuak gorge, where a sea pier was established in ancient times. Right there, high on the mountain, there are the ruins of a fortress named Binkishlak, mentioned in Birunis work. Based on archaeological excavations, it was once a significant and well-known trading point, and over time, name extended to the entire region. Perhaps, it is the ancient city of Mangyshlak.
The first mention of Mangyshlak as a geographical object appears on Mahmud al-Kashkaris map (when some of our leaders wish to celebrate the millennium of introducing the name Mangistau into maps of civilizations, they are not far from scientific truth). The first scientific description of this area is credited to Karelin; it was discovered at the end of the last century by Andrei and Murat.
The first etymological definition of the word маң (mañ) is also given by Mahmud al-Kashgari: a sheep that has reached the age of four. Indeed, Karakauaq (қауақ is a vessel with high, concave mouths, the name ковш-ladle, apparently, from here) is surrounded by rocky faces, resembling a warm nest, just suitable for the wintering of an aging, heat-loving sheep. By the way, the people of Mangystau also call such high ridges қаркескен (snow cutter); the snow that falls at the top falls as rain at the bottom. For example, this is also the name of the valley between Beket аta and the Zhabai ushkan mountains.