Origins of the Bronze Age Oasis Civilization in Central Asia
The Murghad River delta, the site of ancient Margiana, was extensively settled during at least part of the Bronze Age, between 2200 and 1750 B.C. Oases in an otherwise desert region, settlements were situated along deltaic branches of the river or canals dug from those branches. Excavations at one of the largest and most complex of these sites, Gonur depe, have been ongoing for many years under the direction of Victor Sarianidi. During the 1988-89 field season, Fred Hiebert excavated part of Gonur in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow. Published here, the results provide a key to understanding the large corpus of material of the Bactro-Margiana Archaeological Complex extracted over the past 30 years from this and neighboring sites of the Oxus civilization.
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Altyn depe archaeological artifacts Asian assemblage awls axes Bactria Bar-Yosef base bifaces bladelets BMAC bone bowls Bronze Age brown building complex burials burin Central Asia ceramics cm below datum context cores culture cupholes debitage deep sounding deposits desert domestic architecture Early Neolithic edge El-Khiam points excavations Figure figurines flakes flint floor foothill zone fragments giana Gonur depe Gonur south grey Hagdud truncations Israel Jericho Jordan Valley Kelleli Khiamian Kopet Dag late Namazga layer Lechevallier Levant Lisan loci Locus Margiana Masimov Masson microliths Murgab Nahal Namazga Natufian Netiv Hagdud oasis obsidian pair of notches Paleorient percent Period Phase PPNA PPNB Pre-Pottery Neolithic projectile points radiocarbon dates region retouched Room Salibiya samples Sarianidi settlement sherds sickle blades similar small finds south mound southern spalls species specimens steatite stone subtype Sultanian surface Takhirbai tion Togolok 21 tranchet Turkmenistan Upper Area Varia vessels wall