Day 41 Bronze Age city on the “grey hill”

Gonur Depe (“grey hill”) is a Bronze Age city in Turkmenistan. It’s the most widely investigated archaeological site of the Oxus Civilization, with extensively excavated settlement districts and grave fields.

Gold figure with turquoise inlay from a grave robbed in antiquity. The thin gold sheet is mounted on a thicker panel of silver. It may have been a pendant (Photo: Nikolaus Boroffka, Eurasia Department)

In particular the rich and artistically expressive finds from the so-called “royal tombs”, but also finds from the urban area, are evidence of the inhabitants’ high technical expertise and of contacts that reached as far as Iran and the Indus Culture of present-day Pakistan.
One example is the small figure of a monkey that came to light in Sector 19. It is made of faience and either didn’t interest the grave-robbers or they missed it. It is thought to be an import from the area of the Indus Culture (Pakistan), like many ivory objects that were found in the same tomb.

The site of Gonur Depe has been under investigation for many years by the late Viktor Sarianidi and his team. The DAI’s Eurasia Department has taken part in research there since 2010.

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