Idea #637 – Visiting the ancient citadel of Toprak Qala in Ouzbekistan
The lands between the city of Urgench, the capital of Khorezm province, and the Aral Sea have been inhabited for thousands of years by peoples who had created great civilizations. These civilizations could not disappear without leaving the testimony of their culture and today we know their culture quite well thanks to the excavations of the cities and fortresses and the study of the objects of material culture found during these surveys. Archaeologists call Kala or Qala these “desert castles”, the overwhelming majority of which are located today on the right bank of Amudarya, in Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic that is part of Uzbekistan.
Toprak Qala is one of these castles, along with that of Ayaz Qala. It was founded in the 1st century BC and was the capital of the region until the end of the 3rd century AD In the 2nd century, the city suffered repeated attacks from the Hephthalite Huns who, by destroying the canals of irrigation, are right of the royal city. Towards the sixth century, it sinks definitively into oblivion.
The governors’ residence, 350 meters by 500 meters, the nucleus of the city, built on an artificial platform, dominated the rectangular city. Excavations have uncovered texts written on parchment, copper, wood and clay tablet, murals depicting dancing figures, statues … The excavations have also revealed: the Hall of Kings, the Hall of the Kings Victories with the status of Nike, the room of the Black Guards whose physical appearance is reminiscent of the Indian type. A sanctuary, with a temple of fire worshipers has also been identified. Large clan houses united under one roof families of more than one hundred members.
Where is it?
Topraq Kala, Noukous, République du Karakalpakstan