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194. Shortughai

Takhar Province. Approximately 17 kilometers north-northeast of Dasht-i Qal'a, along the road from Khwaja Ghar to Yangi Qal'a, between this road and the Oxus (Amu Darya) River, south of the village of Shortughai.

Dates:  Bronze Age, late 3rd - early 2nd millennium BC;
           Hellenistic, 3rd-1st century BC

A dense collection of mounds (height: 2 to 4m), lying next to an
ancient meander of the Oxus (Amu Darya) River. The excavation provides evidence of (A) a Bronze Age settlement and (B) a partially recover farm of the Hellenistic period.

(A). In the first, two principal levels notably distinguished by different styles of ceramics. The oldest presents the ties with the Indus civilization: the settlement is interpreted as a commercial center founded by Harappan colonizers. The findings included work with metal (gold, leather), and precious stones (lapis lazuli was abundant): Harappan seals. Other nearby sites at least 2km from this tepe, carried out on the surface of the harappien ceramics.

(B). Farm or manor of the Hellenistic /period (8 x 16m at the least), made of many rooms oriented longitudinally, constructed with soft rocks. The main room containing a silo, is enclosed by local little ones, with foyers, grinding stones, and balances. Abundant ceramics, many finds including figurines, lamps, schist vases, iron-made objects, a bronze coin; storage jars in an annexed building on the East side.

Site description by H.-P. Frankfort, in Warwick Ball, Archaeological Gazetter of Afghanistan, n. 1089



  37º 18' N
  37.3º N
  69º 30' E

69.5º E


Shortughai is located at the above coordinates on JOG map