Nukus is located 76 meters above the sea level. The whole city is pierced by the main canal Kizketken at a distance of 800 km northwest of Tashkent and the City is surrounded by Kyzylkum desert from its southern and eastern sides. The area of the city is more than two hundred square kilometers and Amu Darya delta is located on the north of the city. The climate in this area is dry, continental with a hot and long summer.
Nukus lays on the top of Amu Darya delta, in 110-180 km from the shore of the Aral Sea. The cost of the area where Nukus is located is considered as one of the exceptional shores of the Amu Darya for its stability subterranean and the height that is not affected by the destructive influence of Amu Darya, and in the means of the spate and flooding, which is by no means guaranteed by the shore, where Khodjeyli village is located.
The name of the city comes from karakalpakian family Nukis, part of which settled in this area. However, according to some scientists, the name of the city comes from the word “Nuzkat” (“Nuzkas”), that could be translated as “New settlement, Fortress”. Moreover, there is also a version claiming that the word Nukus comes from the ancient name if the Amu Darya- “Oxus”, and the settlement of Ogizaul, which later was called Oghuz, and then Nukus. The Oghuz tribes also lived in the East form the Caspian Sea, southern Russia and southern Siberia. Coming from this, the name Nokis is found in Russia, Mongolia and Moldova.
According to archaeological researches it was found that there was an ancient settlement of Shurcha in the territory of modern Nukus. People started settling here from the IV century B.C. and until the IV Century A.D. and this settlement was part of the Khorezm state, and were its stronghold.
Studies show that Nukus is now located in a territory where ancient settlements once existed, near the airport of the city- the area where an ancient settlement of Shurcha was located. The area of the settlement f Shircha is occupied by a modern Muslim cemetery, and is about 4 hectares. With a side lengh of 50-60 meters, there are traces of powerful fortress walls that form the shape of a square shaft, and they are located on the north-western outskirt of the city. The monument was repeatedly researched by archeologists and analysis of the results allows us to identify the stages of its development. The oldest stage of the settlement occurs in the early-ancient period of the history of Khorezm (IV-III centuries B.C.).
In the 4th century BC, a number of border fortresses appeared on the northern outskirts of the Khorezm state, such as Tok-kala, Gyaur-kala, Ayaz-kala, Burli-kala and others, which protected the agricultural oasis from the invasion of nomads. The settlement of Shurcha, most probably, owed its existence to such fortresses, in which the population could hide from the raids of nomadic herders. The materials that belong to I century B.C and I century A.D. were not found in the monuments, which indicates to a break in the habitat is this area. But numerous findings of pottery of II-IV centuries A.D. shows the revival of life in this period. Archaeological data claim that the settlement of Sharcha is more than two thousand years old.
In the 60s of the 19th century, on the site of the modern city, Nukus appeared in the form of a village. Because of the flood in Turtkul in 1930, it was decided to make Nukus the capital of Karakalpakstan. Thus, in 1932 Nukus became the city and capital of the Karakalpak ASSR.
However, only after one and a half thousand years, people revived researches in these territories. In the first half of the 18th century, Nukus (Norkus) fortress appeared on the territory of the old city, which was noted in the reports and entered to the map by the Russians.