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196. Surkh Kotal

Alternate names: Chashma-i Shir or Sar-i Chashma

Baghlan Province. On a hill to the west of the road to Haibak, 18.5 kilometers north of Pul-i Khumri. 

Date: Kushan & Kushano-Sassanian, 2nd-4th century AD;
         (ceramic, numismatic, stylistic evidence)

         

A major Kushan dynastic shrine complex on top of a hill overlooking the Baghlan plain. It is approached by a monumental brick and masonry staircase, flanked by four massive erraces, cut out of the hillside. The temple itself - possibly a fire temple - is in the centre of a paved courtyard, and consists of a masonry altar with four Hellenistic column bases at each corner, in a sanctuary with massive mud walls. The most important finds have been inscriptions. The most noteable one is the foundation inscription, a monumental inscription in the Bactrian anguage, made up of a series of stone blocks that originally lined the front of the third terrace. The other main inscription is the Nokonzoko inscription, an elaborate, very controversial inscription in three versions, that describes the construction and restoration of the complex, also in the Bactnan language. Other finds include a life-size headless statue of Kanishka, several more inscriptions, many coins and various sculptural fragments in stone and stucco.

Source: Warwick Ball, Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, 1982, n. 1123



Latitude
  36° 02' N
 
  36.033333° N
Longitude
  68° 33' E
 

68.550000° E

UTM x
  459459.5148634439
UTM y
  3987739.233000078
Zone
  42N
   
MGRS
  42SVE5945987739



Surkh Kotal is located at the above coordinates along the border between JOG map
1501CNJ4214_geo.pdf