Name: Proto-Urban site of Sarazm
Date of inscription: 2010
Criteria: (ii) (iii) It must demonstrate interchange of human values over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world. It also must show architecture, town planning, and landscape design. It also needs to show testimony to a cultural tradition and/or a civilization that’s still living or disappeared.
# of sites: This is one of 17 sites in Tajikistan. 11 cultural, 1 mixed, and 5 natural.
Size of site: 16 ha with buffer of 142 ha
Time period: 4th millennium BCE to end 3rd Millennium BCE
Cultural period: Between pastoralism and agrarianism. It is also between the Bronze Age and the development of handicrafts.
Sarazm means “where the land begins” and is a site of one of the oldest settlements in Central Asia. The Site of Sarazm is located between a mountainous region worthy of raising cattle and a large valley suitable for agriculture and irrigation by the first settlers in this region. This site demonstrates cultural and commercial trade between the settlers of the site and the entire geographic region. The exchanges made by them can be noted as taking place from the steppes of Central Asia and Turkmenistan, the Iranian plateau, the Indus valley, and all the way to the Indian Ocean. The early rise of proto-urbanization in this region is illustrated by the Sarazm site along with archeological findings, their infrastructures, and the complex dwellings. The town of Sarazm demonstrates the working of different tools and the making of various items including: metals (tin and copper), ceramics, jewelry, tools, and the saw. The trans-Eurasian trade routes were also developed here.
The proto-Urban site of Sarazm has legal protection of “historical and Agricultural reserve” and is looked after by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. The site is under the supervision of The Institute of Historical, Archeology, and Ethnography of the Academy of sciences, while the Penijikent Archeology base manages the site.