The Site of Ancient Town of Baitudasht IV
Off. of Preservation and Restoration of Monum. of History and Culture, Artistic Ex. Min. of Culture
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The site of ancient settlement has oval - rhombic form, area is 10 hectares. From three sides it is cut through with river-beds, reaching the valley to the west. They are 40-50 m. deep. There is an only narrow way in the gully from the east side. There are remains of a town wall in the form of a mound there. It's 40 m. long, 9-10 m. wide, 2-3 m. high. Situation of the gates isn't found. There are 7 semicircular ledges in the form of towers along the north edge of the hill. A surface of the site of ancient settlement is smoothed out with ploughing. Only in the west part there are contours of ploughed hills. There is a higher round hill of 10 m. in diameter and 1,5-2 m. high there. As a result of three field seasons the hill was excavated completely. It was a complex of cult building which consists of two isolated and two neighboring rooms with entrance into the corridor extended from the south to the north. Two isolated rooms were situated in the west part of the corridor. There were sufas (right-angled dais, interlocutors were situated on its surface) of 0,5-1 m. high and 0,9-1,2 m. wide in the rooms along the perimeter. There was a wide sufa with an altar pedestal in the form of caisson in the north room between the side sufas. These rooms were central. Two neighboring rooms were situated in the north part of the passage with a drop of the level of the floor on the corridor. The first room has the same planning. There was a wide sufa with an altar pedestal in the form of a caisson between the side sufas too. In all probability this room was a depository of eternal fire, and the rooms in the west part had function of storehouse of temple stock, where along the walls there were long narrow pits with cruched vessels. The depository of eternal fire has functions of ceremony premices. A central entrance into the corridor was situated from the south side. There was a sufa with a border along the east part of the corridor. There were spots from fire, especially around the caisson in all rooms and in the corridor. It's evidence about long time of the burning. This complex is a cult building - temple of the sacred fire. There are no analogue temples after the model of planning among known cult of the sacred fire. It is a new type among known cult building of Central Asia of VI-IV centuries B.C. The site of ancient settlement is dated by totality of ceramic materials of VI-IV centuries B.C. The excavations,