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Spirit yurts, like this one at Koshkurt-Ata, take on a wide range of forms and incorporate poetry, sculpture and painting to illuminate the lives of those who have passed on. These "cities of the ancestors" are in large measure the architectural heritage of the Kazakh nomads. A story recorded by the historian Herodotus perhaps best illustrates their power and meaning to the Kazkahs, in 513 B.C., Darius I, king of Persia, attacked the Scythians in what is now Kazakhstan. They continued to pull back, setting the Steppes afire as they went. Frustrated, Darius sent a messengter to the Scythians to ask why they would not stand and fight. Idanthyrsus, their ruler, responded with this threat: "I have never fled from a man in fear in days past or now...we have neither cities nor sown land for which we might fear...but if you needs must come to a fight with us quickly, there are our father's graves. Find them and try to ruin them, and you will discover whether we will fight you or not."