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The Site of Ancient Town of Shahristan (Kahkakha)

Date of Submission: 09/11/1999
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Off. of Preservation and Restoration of Monum. of History and Culture, Artistic Ex. Min. of Culture
Coordinates: The site of ancient town of Shahristan is situated at 25 km to the south-west of town of Ura-Triube, near the settlement of Shahristan, on the bank of the river of Shahristansai.
Ref.: 1387

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The site of the ancient town of Shahristan (Kahkakha) was a capital of ancient Ustrushana of VI-IX centuries. It consisted of the complex of castles, united in a system encircled with defensive wall with towers. In the north part there is Sharistan proper with the palace of governor (its name is Kalai Kahkakha I). There is an old fortress in the south part (its name is Kalai Kahkakha II). They are separated by wide and deep moat of natural origin. There is Rabad (Kalai Kahkakha III) there. Side by side with dwelling houses in the territory of Shahristan it was found a cult temple of idols. After Arab conquest it became the mosque. The territory of the site of ancient town was devided by wall into two parts. There was a defensive complex in the west part. It consisted of guard buildings and barracs and a drill ground. There was a sardoba (reservoir) there. The site of ancient town had two gates. The north one was main, and west one was reserve. There was a palace of Bungikata in the east part of the site of ancient town (the highest part). The territory of the palace was 38x47 m., and it rise above the river bed on 57 m. The palace was built of raw-bricks. Interiors were covered with adobe plaster. The palace had about 20 premises, in that number the main three-storeyed hall (17.65 x 11.77 m.) with throne loggia, a small hall (9.65 x 9.5 m.) for meetings, a donjon, some dwelling and house-hold premises, a large system of wide and long corridors, conducting them. There were temple and arsenal in the palace. It was found 5000 stone balls of 32-48 kg. Weight and stone balls for slings. The palace was encircled with defendence wall, there was a gate in the west wall of the palace. The halls, rooms and corridors had sufas (right-angled dais, interlocutors were situated on its surface), tambours with wooden screens, which in combination with wall painting, carving of columns, frieses and ceilings gave smart appereance to the interior of the premises. The hall of the palace is many-columned, with a wide entrance; it was decorated with carving and a beautiful carved wooden tympanum. The tympanum was situated in front of the trone loggia near the north wall. A planning of the hall is reminiscent of basilicas of Ancient Rome. Walls of a corridor leading to the hall is decorated astonishing subjects of many-colored painting. It's a picture of shewolf, nursing babies. Other subjects are warriors, fighting against demons, etc. Thus the site of ancient town of Shahristan (Kahkakha) is a unique archaeological monument, where the elements of structure of towns of IX-XII centuries is expressed very clearly. Kahkakha was political, economical and cultural center of Ustrushana.