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Proto-urban site of Sarazm
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 4000-3000 BC
Date of Inscription: 2010
Location: Asia, Tajikistan, Sarazm
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Description: Sarazm means “where the land begins” and this archeological site is one of the oldest in Central Asia, dating from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE. It is located between a mountainous region ideal for cattle rearing and a large valley suitable for irrigation and farming by its first settlers. Sarazm engaged in commerce and cultural exchange over a geographic area extending as far as the steppes of Central Asia and Turkmenistan, the Iranian plateau, the Indus Valley and the Indian Ocean, and local ruins show the regional development of proto-urbanization. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Sarazm is an ancient town and jamoat in north-western Tajikistan. It is located in Panjakent District in Sughd province. The archaeological site of the ancient city of Sarazm is located near Durman, a town situated in the Zarafshan Valley of north-west Tajikistan in the Sughd province near the border with Uzbekistan. The site indicates an early steppe presence in the Zarafshan Valley. About 5000 years ago it was "the largest metallurgical center of Central Asia engaged in export". It was abandoned after the arrival of the Indo-Iranians, around 2000 BC. The city is believed to have been revived as a mining point to collect from nearby sources of turquoise. Established no later that 1500 BC, the city also served as an important regional agricultural and copper production center. The town was discovered by a local farmer named Ashurali Tailonov in 1976 who found a copper dagger protruding from a nearby construction site. It was excavated by Abdullo Isakov and French archaeologists beginning in 1977. The proto-urban site of Sarazm was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2010 as "an archaeological site bearing testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia, from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE". It is the first World Heritage Site in Tajikistan. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center ( 2. Wikipedia.
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