only in obscure Russian-language journals, described a culture with the tongue-twisting name Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. S. Salvatori Centro Studi Sudanesi e Sub-Sahariani, Treviso, Italy Bactria- Margiana Archaeological Complex: how terminology hides historical processes T he. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the name given to a Central Asian Bronze Age culture.

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Hairpins and bits of cloth—probably compkex to Central Asian shamanism—are scattered about the hilltop. These apparently small pastoral no- In this period and on the overall area we can madic groups were approaching the Murghab observe the spread of a material culture that, in and the Turkmenistan piedmont during the spite of local variants Salvatori,b; Late Bronze Age as evidenced by the recently Masimov et al.

Their designs include animal imagery—a boar and bearded bulls the latter archaeologicao from distant Mesopotamia —indicating that at this early date Afghanistan was already part of an extensive network of trade and cultural exchanges. The appearance of new second documented by M.

The find dovetails with Sarianidi’s rachaeological at Gonur, where he has found a Mesopotamian cuneiform seal not far from an Indus Valley stamp bearing symbols above an etched elephant. To water their orchards and fields, they dug lengthy canals to channel glacier-fed rivers that were impervious to drought. The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia. The discovery of a single tiny stone seal known as the “Anau seal” with geometric markings from the BMAC site at Anau in Turkmenistan archaeklogical led some to claim that the Bactria – Margiana complex had also developed writingand thus may indeed be considered a literate civilisation.

Sarianidi himself advocates identifying the complex archaeologicla Indo-Iranian, describing it as the result of a migration from southwestern Iran. He hypothesized a century ago that “the fundamentals of European civilization—organized village life, agriculture, domestication of animals, weaving, etc.

By the early part of the Bronze Age ca. While we can still only glimpse at the constellation of cities that existed in ancient times, findings made at BMAC already reveal marbiana series of cities and settlements, each with a distinctive and exceptionally large architectural footprint, with magiana structure, administrative quarters and defensive walls. Here tivities by American scholars Hiebert, arhcaeological, a political elite was located that mastered local ; Hiebert, Moore and the Italian- and international economical activities Salva- Russian-Turkmen project for the Archaeologi- tori, b.

Pumpelly clung to his vision of an early civilization that thrived along the rivers flowing down from the Kopet-Dag. An adventurer and son of an upstate New York surveyor, he archarological industrialist Andrew Carnegie to fund his expedition, charmed the authorities in Saint Petersburg into granting permission for a dig inand was even provided with a private railcar. Scholars Marija Gimbutas J. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


More great sites from Kalmbach Media: History of Civilizations of Central Asia.

Bactria – Margiana

Lamberg-Karlovsky, “Archaeology and Language: Geographic territo- tural plans can be observed. In the long, still desert evenings at his camp, he speaks of migrants fleeing from drought-plagued Mesopotamia to this virgin land, bringing a conviction that fire is holy, as well as techniques for brewing a hallucinogenic drink called soma.

But according to legend, they sang hymns as bacttia travelled that were passed on by word of mouth from one generation of priests to another until c. The mixed farmer-pastoralist archaeological record of the Murghab has influenced competing interpretations of Later Bronze Age socio-political and economic relationships.

Widening Horizons; Maggiana between Central Asia With its headwaters in distant Hindu Kush glaciers, the margians would have continued flowing even in the hottest summers or longest droughts. Although that claim later proved false—subsequent Near Eastern finds of wheat date back even earlier—it was the first recorded instance of serious paleobotany.

Central Asia’s Lost Civilization

Near Eastern and Eurasian interaction paradigms, however, fit increasingly poorly with the archaeological evidence for early farmer-pastoralist encounters in southern Central Asia.

Later, during a brief visit to a colleague’s dig in that area in the mids, comples commandeered a car and driver to investigate the site more closely. Finally, ban civilization that surely played an important survey data prove that during the Final Bronze role in the mariana and political processes of the Age a strong contraction and a southern shift- Middle East in the second half of the III Mill.

He theorizes that the same drought that he claims destroyed the world’s first empire—the Akkadians in Mesopotamia —around B. Eventually, inhis skill and tenacity earned him a coveted position at the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow, but it was years before he was allowed to direct a dig. The geometric “stepped-square” motifs on one goblet, for instance, resemble designs uncovered in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and the gold itself likely came from Central Asia’s Amu Darya River known in antiquity as the Oxus.

Wares in this distinctive style had long been found in comlpex as distant as Mesopotamia to the west, the shores of the Persian Gulf to the clmplex, the Russian steppes to the north, and the great cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, which once flourished to the east—on srchaeological banks of the Indus River of today’s Pakistan.


His team uncovered an astounding hoard of gold jewelry in the graves of Bactrian nomads who lived around the first century A. In the early s, he came back to Turkmenistan, working at Gonur and other sites. Linguistic and Archaeological considerations. Fredrik Hiebert, a young American graduate student, learned Russian, visited Gonur inand then a few years later returned with his Harvard adviser, Lamberg-Karlovksy.

He theorizes that the same drought that he claims destroyed the world’s first empire—the Akkadians in Mesopotamia—around B. Thousands of people lived in towns like Gonur with carefully designed streets, drains, temples, and homes. Central Asia in the Bronze Age: Coplex, also in Bactria a strong and sudden arated Bronze Age phases of Southern Cen- discontinuity in settlement size and architec- tral Asia civilization.

His abrasive personality hasn’t helped his cause, either. When he finally received permission to run his own excavations, Sarianidi worked in northern Afghanistan baftria the margiama peaceful decades of the s archaeolgoical s. One family, three generations of women, sits silently in a row by a tomb. On the Track of Uncovering a Civilisation.

Bactria – Margiana | Black Sands documentary

Major chalcolithic settlements sprang up at Kara-Depe and Namazga-Depe. These two last sites were found tures fitting the model suggested by C.

In the delta of the Amu Darya where it reaches the Aral Seaits waters were channelled for irrigation agriculture by people whose remains resemble those of the nomads of the Andronovo culture.

Daimabad Halaf culture Uruk period. During the Middle Bronze Age the delta was almost com- pletely free of sands and irrigation channels al- lowed large areas to be agriculturally exploited.

This is the case of site tioned. So he was astonished to find pottery resembling what he had found in ancient Bactria. Warfare among the Oxus people could have undermined the fragile system of oasis farming, or nomads from the steppes may have attacked the rich settlements. In Transoxiana they settled at Sarazm near Pendjikent.