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Ancient Pap

Date of Submission: 18/01/2008
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Namangan Region
Coordinates: N40 50 E71 02
Ref.: 5294

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A site of ancient settlement Ancient Pap and adjoining urban burial ground are located on the right bank of Syrdarya River. A site of ancient settlement has entered into the scientific literature under the name - Balandtepa (local population calls as Munchaktepa - Ayritom city). A site of ancient settlement Balandtepa (Bab-Pap) - ruins of ancient city, the area of more than 9 hectares, it is destroyed, especially from side of Syrdarya River and consists of two parts. Collected archeological materials chronologically covered the period from the I to VIII centuries. Ancient Pap structurally consisted of following parts: 1. A citadel - the raised and strengthened southeast part of the site of ancient settlement. 2. Internal city - more lowered part around the arc. The remains of ancient ditch were preserved between arc and internal city. 3. The suburb (rabad) was in the northern part of Balandtepa (Munchaktepa or Ayrtom city). Definition is conditional since there are materials no earlier than the IX century in this part, and most likely, is territory of medieval city. At last, the city necropolis Munchaktepa I, II - to the west from suburb, between internal city and necropolis formed a deep ravine. The City necropolis - Munchaktepa adjoins to the northwest part of Balandtepa. In Munchaktepa I are opened single burials soil tombs and tamping pick. Altogether 14, 9 of them are in soil tombs and 5 - burials in tombs with tamping pick. Inventory in tamping pick burials are more various. Vessels (one or two) were put to the legs or heads, on the right or left side of buried. Spindles, rests of leather products are revealed only in female burials. Iron knifes, knifes-daggers were observed in both men and female burials.

In Munchaktepa II were found out the unique funeral constructions in the form of the underground crypts, which have been cut down in the sand-loess adjournment. They are located by the chain on the line of the west - east in the natural oblong hill. In total, it has opened eight crypts. Underground crypts can be divided into two groups according its dimensions: small groups (the area about 5 sq. m.) where have been buried from one to four persons (crypts 2, 3, 4) and big one (6 sq. m. and more) where have been marked about 50 burial places (crypts 1, 5, 7, 9). In the design of the crypts is clearly visible its three-private structure: 1.A front of the entrance platform; 2. A corridor (dromos); 3. The funeral chamber.

Thus, burial ground of Munchaktepa is the unique most investigated city necropolis in the earlier medieval epoch of Ferghana. Importance of the burial ground consists of good safety of its materials and variety of types of burials for period V-VIII centuries. All this gives the unique opportunity for studying a facilities and economy of townspeople, and restoration funeral ceremonies and customs too.

The city of Pap or Bab in the medieval sources being arisen on the place site of ancient settlement Balandtepa and gradually expanding has moved up to the southern part of the modern regional center. From all mentioned follows, that Pap developed as the city at the certain place and archeological supervision testifies its two thousand-year history. Pap during several centuries played the important role in the trade and economic relations of Ferghana with the neighbor regions. It was promoted by its favorable geographical position of vivid trading-caravans on the lines of the Great Silk Road. It is interesting to note of confirming these toponymy and ethnographic materials. So, preserved road name «Ulug' yol - Great Road» that specifies its importance up to now. Besides traces of the passage (the ferry on Syrdarya) to Qoqon (Hokand) it was preserved near to Balandtepa and (ancient part of Pap).

The city necropolis of Pap possesses an exclusive historical value: here organic remains were preserved. It is possible to consider these opened crypts as underground "museum" with unique ethnographic finds (in total more than 5000).

This monument is one of few monuments where better and much preserved textile products. In the necropolis of the city of Pap textile products were fixed in 25 cases, little entirely kept silk dresses from them. There are many ornaments have found among the most numerous beads, they are about 10000. Gracefully woven baskets are found out also here (a peach, dried apricots) etc. All this allows investigating musical instruments, wooden vessels, the rests of fruit more authentically to beat and culture ancient Ferghana citizens. Valuable materials have received about funeral ceremony and religious system earlier medieval population. Such monuments have been kept very seldom. The safety of the remained parts of city and necropolis are satisfactory.

Comparison with other similar properties

Territories with preserved areas of relict tertiary forests have not been taken under protection at national and international levels yet. Moreover, this nomination at present time is the only proposal from these forest landscapes.