Fortification of Takhti Sangin

Takhti Sangin is fortification in the juncture of River Vakhsh in River Pyanj (Kabadian region of Khatlon State). It is consisted of the strongly fastened citadel (165 x 235 m) and adjacent parts from north and south, each of which is elongated by 500 m. From the western side the fortification adjoins the foot of Teshiktash ridge. From the east it is limited to the flood area of Amu-Dariya.

Excavations in western half of center section, which consists of several hilly areas, revealed monumental construction - the "temple of Oxa" (Oks - the Greek transfer of "Vakhsh" - ancient name the River Amu-Dariya on one of the sources).

In the temple, the square four-column "white hall" (12 x 12 m) is completely excavated, whose walls were preserved to the height to 5 m (original height of about 6 m). From the south, the west and the north, "white hall" was enveloped by two rows of corridors - internal and external.

"White hall" was oriented along the sides of light. Entrance was located in the eastern side. After the entrance, i.e. directly before the "white hall", was located the portico - Ayvan with two rows of columns - on four in each number. From the lateral sides the portico was limited from the north and the south by the protrusions, each of which consisted of two connects together accommodations, one of which had an exit into Ayvan.

To the east from the portico, the court of temple began. In the late stage of existence of temple the portico was isolated from the court by brick wall with the passage.

The walls of building were originally piled with the large-format square brick (50 x 50 x 15 cm), then they were repeatedly repaired by the attached walls (of the bricks of smaller size), were plastered, and their thickness at present reaches 3m. Columns had bases, which are consisted of stepped pedestal and Tor, composite stems, well dressed Ionic capitals. The height of column reached 6m. Doorways were decorated with stone thresholds and pilasters (in the side). In the "white hall" (in one of its corners, on the special stone cover with the supports) and in the portico, Hellenistic type large stone composite altars were established. These altars here were local types.

Apparently, statues decorated the temple with the special pedestals. One large bronze statue stood in the external (late) wall of portico.

Temple was built before 3C BC and there existed, reconstructed and repaired by 3C ? 4C AD. Judging from the findings, the visitors of temple sacrificed various objects and coins, which were placed in the special ground-based or underground depositories. Gifts, which became into the decrepitude, and adornments of temple itself fell down to the floor of the separate sections of corridors, and then they were immured in this section, treasure houses. The total number of findings exceeds five thousands, hundreds are works of art among them.

Among the findings there are many metal wares (gold, silver, bronze, iron), the articles made of the ivory, the usual bone, the horn of alabaster, unbaked and fired clay, stone and glass. There are especially many objects of the armament: the tips of arrows, darts and copies, swords, daggers, details of shielding armor (including bronze helmets) and so on. Silver and bronze were some adornments and even statues. Gold was used for the production of adornments, garlands, carvings, facings and many bronze adornments were gilded. The repertoire of objects from the ivory is very great and diverse. These are various everyday articles, and handle, and the scabbards of daggers (swords), and adornment, and the work of art, moreover the works of art and some articles, which connected with the armament. Articles made of the ivory were decorated with the engraved figures, relief and high relieves by images, took shape in the form of sculptures. Major portion of the sculptures was alabaster or clay with the bright coloring. The various species of precious, semiprecious and imitated stone adapted for preparing of utilitarian objects, pedestals of small sculptures, works of art, etc., sometimes inlaid.

The part of the findings from Takhti Sangin relates to the time, which preceded the establishment of temple ? of 5C ? 6C BC, when Bactoria was Satrap of Achaemenes. And program for the local art was the imperial art of Persepolis and Susa.

The imported and captured works of Greek art, and also entered by component the imperial style Hellenic art directly and mediately influenced the culture of Bactoria.

By basic push of ancient Greek of the art of Bactoria for a period of two centuries after 329 BC was the direct and at times forced transfer of Hellenic traditions in the process of the establish of new Hellenic municipal. Now it is possible to speak objectively because of the carried out excavations about Bactoria of Hellenistic time, relying on excavation in Ay-Khanum and on the fortification of Takhti Sangin the monuments of architecture, epigraphy, the work of art and material culture.

The interrelations of Bactoria with the Greek Mediterranean cities were wide and regular during the entry of Bactoria into the state of Selevkia. Intermediary trade in gold and by ivory contributed to the bloom of jewelry and ivory craft (borne craft) in the south of modern Central Asia. Commercial channels served simultaneously and as the ways of cultural exchange.

Formation of architectural and artistic eastern- Hellenistic style in the gigantic territory contributed to the development of depictive art and to the bloom of the local schools, where the ethnic, religious and cultural components of Greek and Bactoria traditions merged into united unique Greco-Bactoria phenomenon. The coins of Greco-Bactoria of die serve as the universally recognized masterpieces of small plastic and portrait art. But now together with them we know the authentic models of Greco ? Bactoria sculptorfs art.

Special reference deserves miniature altar with the sculpture, which depicts playing on the dual flute Marsiya (Greek deity, one of functions of whom is patronage to rivers). The pedestal of altar is stone, sculpture from the bronze. On the pedestal there is Greek inscription "on the vow dedicated Atrosok, Oksu". The discussion deals, undoubtedly, with the "temple of Oxa" - the deity of Amu-Dariya. Atrosok is local Bactoria name, which indicate "that burning by the sacred fire". Language and the formula of inscription is Greek, the donor mentioned in it was people of Bactoria, gift was brought to the temple of the deity of the main river of Bactoria, but figurine is Greek deity. Findings from Takhti Sangin entered in the history of culture and art of Tajikistan as new very bright chapter, and enriched our knowledge about the monumental architecture of antique Bactoria with its material culture, art, religious ideas, etc.

***

Above all the Tokhara-Yuehshih period (end of 2C BC - 1C AD) is known in the territory of southern Tajikistan on the excavated here funeral construction - the tumulus and ground tombs. Beginning of their research was established by M. M. Dyakonov. The first burials of the ground tomb of Tupkhon (1946 - 1948) were revealed under his management. And A. M. Mandelshtam discovered and studied tombs of Tulkhar, Aruktau and other tumuli in the Valley Beshkent (1955- 1959). Then these works were continued under the management of B. A. Litvinskiy: On Tupkhon - in 1960 - 1961, 1969 and 1971, in the Valley Beshkent - in 1973 -1980 (I. N. Medvedskaya, A. V. Sedov). From the newly excavated monuments, represented on this exhibition, should be mentioned the excavation of ground tomb near Parkhara (1973 - 1974) by K. Y. Mukhitdinov, E. P. Denisovthe excavated tombs of tumulus Dangar on Ksirov region.

The Valley Beshkent, which always served as the favorite place of the wintering of the cattle, has rainy season in summer in the high mountain region of Gissar ridge and Peter 1 ridge. There is the largest accumulation of the tombs of tumulus in southern Tajikistan. In central and southern parts are recorded more than ten large tombs and the small groups of tumulus; more than 500 tumuli are excavated. The largest tombs are Tulkhar (348 tumuli, excavated - 219), Aruktau (286 tumuli, excavated - 125), tomb BM-IV (about 250 tumuli, excavated - more than 30), BM-V (about 150 tumuli, excavated - 76) and BM-VI (about 60 tumuli, excavated - 38). The grave constructions of the tumuli of Valley Beshkent are hemispherical rock mounds or stone fences of circular plan. Usually under the center of mound or fence - single burials in the ground pits with the side opening along one of the long sides, or in the ground pits without the side opening (clearly the first predominate), more rarely are encountered pits with "close to". Special group is burial in the ground pits, bottom of that was built "rock box" (in one case in the tomb BM-VI "brick box"). In some side openings of burial, the remainders of wooden coffin were recorded (tomb BM-IV). Those buried lay on their back, in the elongated position, by head to the north, northwest or northeast (deviations were rare). Accompanying equipment is rather scant - ceramics (1 or 2 vessels, rarely 3), objects connected with the clothing (buckle, fibulas, button); with the female burials - adornment (bracelets, jeweled rings, rings, earrings, bushing), with the man - weapon (swords, daggers, the tips of arrows).

Period of the functioning of some tombs (BM-V, BM-VI of Tulkhar) is 1C BC - 2C AD; for others (BM-IV, BM-VII of Aruktau) are possible wider dates - 1C - 4C.

In the Valley of the River Ksirov (region of Dangarin), since 1977, E. P. Denisov started and conducted investigation of five closely spaced tombs of 1C BC - 2C AD, the number of tumuli in which changed from 12 to 59 (already excavated more than 40 tumuli). Grave construction here as in the Valley Beshkent, fence and the low mounds of tumulus (to 10 - 15 cm by height). Pits are oriented on the directly East-West, their depth is 1,2 - 1,7 m. All burials are single, elongated, on the back, by head to the West. The funeral equipment are the ceramic vessels (they predominate plastic), weapon, adornments, coins (imitation to Obol (when man died, tha Greece coin was put in his mouth) of Evkratid), etc.

From the ground tombs of southern Tajikistan is most fully investigated at present the multi-layer tomb of Tupkhon - in the eastern part of the loess hill, in 1,5 km to the east from the Gissar fortress (Gissar region), where entire more than 250 burials are excavated. The earliest burials (in crouched pose), apparently, relate to the epoch of bronze. Some burials (generally non-equipment) are perfected, apparently, on the Moslem rite. But the majority (more than 200) of burials are dated by time of Tokhara-Yuehshih. These are single burials, in the elongated position on the back, with the abundant accompanying equipment (ceramics, the instrument of labor, adornment, coin, etc.). Some burials are made in small tomb-Sagona (tomb build on the ground) from the raw brick, in the large vessels-jar and even in the clay coffins. Among the coins predominate the imitations to Obol of Evkratid, in two burials were found Obol "Geray", in filling in one of the graves was discovered the copper coin of Kanishka I.

Similar condition is given by another ground tomb - in the section of "Ittifok (name of village)" in the Farkhor region of the Khatlon State (on the slope of the elevation of Urtabuz, not far from the regional center), where more than 60 burials were excavated in 1973 - 1974 under K. Y. Mukhitdinovfs management. And here the earliest burials, judging by the ceramics, relate to the epoch of bronze, latest, non-equipment - Moslem (14C - 15C), and the bulk of burials are dated by time of Tokhara-Yuehshih and Kushan. All burials single, types of burials several: in the rectangular ground pits; in the pits, covered on the perimeter by raw brick; in brick box of underground charnel house with the gabled roof; in the vessels (jar, large pots or two-handled wide-necked vessels). In the latter case buried only the parts of the human skeleton. Accompanying equipment - ceramics, adornment, weapon, articles of daily life, coin (Obol "Geray").

***

FORTIFICATION SAKSANOKHUR

That located 7 km north of the regional center of Parkhar (region of Parkhar). This rectangular settlement had over the internal area (about 5 ha) significantly undulate (to 3m in height). Square in the undulate plan about 6m in height occupied the northeastern part of the settlement ("citadel"). Works of excavation were carried out on the fortification in 1966 - 1967 and 1973 - 1977 by K. Y. Mukhitdinov and by B. A. Litvinskiy. After that it was already completely leveled.

On the spot assumed citadel was revealed the large complex of palatial temple, composition center of which was the square court (27.7m x 27.7m), surrounded by U-shaped roundabout corridor and system of those connect together by the passages of accommodations. There were here obtained many details of the stone architecture (base of columns and pilaster, stone blocks, the drums of columns, capital), that were being used repeatedly. In particular, in the passage from four-column Ayvan (in the southern side of court) into the roundabout corridor floor was paved by plates from the sawn blocks, it was trunk of columns and bases.

Excavation approximately 150m from the "citadel" revealed the remainders of the handicraft block (two economic-habitable complexes were excavated, they were cleared the remainders of pottery kilns), which are stratigraphically divided into three construction horizons. The representative complex of ceramics is obtained in the refuse dump of pottery kilns - large collection of terracotta and models for their production (kalybov).

Construction of complex of palatal temple is dated by 2C BC (from this time mainly the stone details of architectural decor, including for a second time used, were preserved). But the basic materials, found on the settlement of Saksanokhur, occur from it is layer time of Kushan (2C ? 4C).