The Proto-urban site of Sarazm comprises the archaeological site of the ancient city of Sarazm. About 5000 years ago it was "the largest metallurgical center of Central Asia engaged in export".
The city is believed to have been revived as a mining point to collect from nearby sources of turquoise. Established no later that 1500 BC, the city also served as an important regional agricultural and copper production center.
It was abandoned after the arrival of the Indo-Iranians, around 2000 BC.
Map of Sarazm
- ●● Cultural
Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland 01.08.17
Site visited in July, 2017. Located around 2 km from Sarazm village, 14 km from Penjikent, north-western part of Tajikistan. There is no direct public transport to the place, although there are marszrutkas from Penjikent to Sarazm village (not very frequent, mostly in the morning). The most convenient way to get there from Penjikent is to take a local taxi. Standard fare for such a trip is around 20 somoni (one way) plus 10 somoni for waiting time on the spot.
The whole area is fenced and can be visited free of charge. It consist of 5 excavation places, all covered by steel roofs for protection. In fact apart from walls measuring up to 1 meter high there is not much to see but have in mind that the city is 5500 years old. Small museum located nearby was closed during my visit, probably there is much more to see in the museum in Penjikent.
The site is pretty similar to Shahr-i Sokhta in Iran (similar semi-desert location, comparable age and material used for construction) althouhg the latter one is much bigger and by far better exposed and prepared for visiting (visitrs centre, plaques, walking paths, tables with English description).
Martina Ruckova Slovakia 18.05.16
The ancient site of Sarazm is to be found about 15 kms west off Penjikent in north-western part of Tajikistan. Travelling from Dushanbe, it takes about 4-5 hours to reach Penjikent and let me tell you, even though you might think otherwise, that's one of the best roads to be found across the country. The site itself is well-marked, behind a small fence and the excavations are protected by a roof. Some basic information is provided, but not very much. Info booklet can be bought in the Rudaki museum in Penjikent. I really missed a local tour guide here who would give us some context of the culture and the excavation works, as, for example in Cattalhoyuk in Turkey. Some of the artifacts that have been excavated from the ancient Sarazm can also be found in the Rudaki museum, so I'd recommend visiting that first.
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Full name: Proto-urban site of Sarazm
Unesco ID: 1141
Criteria: 2 3
- 2010 - Inscribed
- 2007 - Deferred To "Explore further the values and significance of the property" and add more protection to the site
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