Despite its apparent size and length of its existence, the Dzhety-asar culture of Kazakhstan remains one of the great unknowns of Central Asian archaeology, comprising, as it did, several dozen now-ruined settlements with an almost thousand-year long occupational history. First settled around the 1st century BC and gradually abandoned in the second half of the 1st millennium AD, the Dzhety-asar towns and manors were located to the east of the Aral Sea within the Syr Darya delta, and may have functioned as a core element in Central Asia’s medieval trade networks. Despite past research efforts by the Khorezmian Archaeological Ethnographic Expedition (KhAEE), the cultural and political history of the Dzhety-asar people remains largely unclear, with as yet no consensus on the political structure or their ethnic, linguistic and religious make-up. The present paper does not presume to answer these questions at this stage, as it is the result of two fieldwork seasons documenting and surveying Dzhety-asar settlements. It is, instead, intended to lay out the preliminary findings, presenting a revised typology of sites, and suggest initial hypotheses regarding the structure and possible evolution of the culture.