Day 57 A conqueror’s bath tub? Alexander’s fortress in Uzbekistan

How did Alexander the Great subjugate rebellious provinces? Ancient sources say he had a series of fortresses built to keep the peace in Bactria, today Uzbekistan.

A unique find for Hellenistic central Asia: a bath tub made of fired clay. The joint director of the excavation, Nikolaus Boroffka, tests the size of the tub (Photo: DAI)

One of the six fortresses from the 4th century BC is at Kurganzol, about 100 km north of Termes. Discovered in 2003, it was excavated in 2008 in collaboration with the DAI’s Eurasia Department. An unexpected find was a bath tub made of fired clay. It’s unique in Hellenistic central Asia and was probably introduced by the Greeks.

After Alexander and his successors had finally pacified the region, the fortress was abandoned in the 3rd century BC. Until then it had been an important base, as is suggested by thick burnt layers, which could be the result of military action.