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Ochus

(40 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Ὦχος/ Ô chos). Unidentified river in Hyrcania or Bactria (Str. 11,7,3; 11,11,5; Apollod. FGrH 779 F 4. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography J. Sturm, s.v. Ochos (2), RE 17, 1668-1770  H. Myśliwiec, s.v. Oaxus lacus, RE Suppl. 11, 1027.

Namazga-Tepe

(88 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] The largest tell (50 ha) in the foothills of the mountains of southern Turkmenia, to the southeast of Ašḫābād. Excavations since 1949. Basis for the structure of southern Turkmenian Chalcolithic and Bronze Age cultures (NMG strata I-V: 5th-2nd millennia BC) and the early Iron Age (NMG stratum VI: 1st millennium BC). The excavations so far encompass only part of the site, and the interpretations are somewhat disputed. Abandoned since the Achaemenid period. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography P.L. Kohl, Central Asia. Palaeolithic Beginnings to the Iro…

Cyrtii

(84 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Κύρτιοι; Kýrtioi, Lat. Cyrtii). Mentioned at Str. 11,523; 727 as nomads in northern Media and Persia. Pol. 5,52,5 mentions the C. as reserve troops of the Median governor Molon in the struggle against Antiochus III. Liv. 37,40,9 mentions them as opponents of the Romans in the battle of Magnesia (190 BC); at Liv. 42,58,13 they appear as Roman mercenaries with Callinicus (171 BC). On the basis of their name, they are seen as the ancestors of the Kurds. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Aral Sea

(79 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Inland body of water between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan; it receives hardly any precipitation and the only water supply is from the Syr-darja and Amu-darja. The area covered by water in antiquity was more than double the size than that in 1962. The areas abandoned after the departure of nomads moving to Bactria (140-120 BC) have become desertified since then, in the same way as the western and north-eastern parts of Chorezmia. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Cirik-Rabat-Kala

(72 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Oval city site east of Lake Aral (800 × 600 m), with a citadel and six funerary buildings of the 4th-2nd cents. BC. Interpreted as the capital city of the  Apasiaci, abandoned in the late 2nd cent. BC. In the 3rd (?) cent. AD a rectangular fortification of the Khorezm state was built on the city site. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography S. P. Tolstov, Po drevnim del'tam Oksa i Jaksarta, 1962.

Sacae

(338 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Σάκαι/ Sákai, Σάκκαι/ Sákkai: different variants of the name, e.g., in Aristoph. Av. 31; Xen. Cyr. 8,3,25-32; 8,3,35-50; Hdt. 7,64; Sacae: Plin. HN 6,50, among others). Derived from the Persian name for the nomads of central Asia, possibly called after the tribal group's name for itself. For Str. 11,8,2, “most of the Scythians” east of the Caspian Sea are S. According to the ancient Persian inscriptions, there were several leagues, the Sakā haumavargā (= Σκύθαι Ἀμύργιοι/ Skýthai Amýrgioi, approximately ‘haoma-drinking S.’) and the Sakā tigraḫaudā (Σκύθαι Ὀρθοκορ…

Alexander's Wall

(97 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Legendary term for the border fortification from the coast of the Caspian Sea 200 km inland to the mountains of Pishkamar. Probably Parthian and Sassanid in origin. Today still 175 km long, 2.5 m high, and 10 m wide; ditches 3 m deep and 30 m wide, various auxiliary walls. Forty forts continue at distances of 0.4-6 km south of the wall. Excavated forts: Qaleh Kafar, Qaravol Tappeh. Provided protection for c. 500 villages and cities. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography M. Y. Kani, Parthian Sites in Hyrcania, in: A M I, Suppl. vol. 9, 1982.

Treasure of the Oxus

(227 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] or Amu Darya treasure; hoard taken from the area of this river (Araxes [2]) to India, and since 1897 exhibited in London. It comprises some 1,500 coins, worked gold and silver, a number of roll seals and gems. Coins: Achaemenid period  Greek imports and recoinings, and about 100 tetradrachmai and 100 drachmai of  Alexander III, Seleucus I, Antiochius I and II and Diodotus I. The gold works form several groups: statuettes, sumptuous bracelets in various styles, brooches, pot handles in the shape of a Bezoar ibex, a model quadriga, fragments of the sheath of an akinákēs (Pers…

Merw

(112 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (also Alexandria [5], later Antioch [7]), principal town of Margiana; an oasis at the delta of the Murgab (or Margus); 30 km east of modern Mary in southern Turkmenistan. Inhabited since the Neolithic. First blossom in the 2nd millenium. The citadel of Erk-/Ark-Kala was built in the Achaemenid period; in Hellenistic times a town with rectangular grid pattern was attached to it. M. belonged to the Parthian and later to the Sassanid kingdom. It was conquered by the Arabs in 651 AD. Excavations have uncovered both Parthian and medieval remains. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bi…

Capisa

(96 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: India, trade with (Καπίσα; Kapiša-kaniš, Behistun inscription [1. D]), now Bagrām. City in the Ghorband Valley, 45 km north of Kabul, known since 1833. Capital city of Indo-Grecian kings (2nd-1st cents. BC), summer residence of the  Kushanians). Two rooms in the ‘palace’ contained inlaid works of art: Chinese lacquer work, Indian ivory and Hellenistic work. Plaster moulds for pouring metal reliefs are regarded as Alexandrian imports but prove the production of Hellenistic art works in Bactria. Brentjes, Burchard (Berl…

Gedrosia, Gadrosia

(220 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Area in south-eastern Iran and south-western Pakistan, roughly equivalent to modern Baluchistan. Now a largely arid mountainous area with deep valleys, known from Arrian's account of the difficulties encountered by Alexander's army on its return march. The coast is described in detail in the Voyage of Nearchus (Arr. Anab. 6,22-26; Str. 15,723). Bearers of various cultures since the 8th millennium, they were possibly the ancestors of the Brahui, who are linguistically close to the …

Pendzhikent

(143 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (ancient name and date of foundation unknown). Sogdian city of Pantcakat on the Serafsan, northern Tadjikistan; trading and artisan centre with gold extraction. A citadel, the inner city with two temples, suburbs and a necropolis are preserved. Wall paintings with local, Indian and Graeco-Roman motifs were found in temples and private houses, e.g. the fable by Aesop of the goose that laid the golden eggs. In addition, bracteates with the Roman she-wolf based on Byzantine coins wer…

Uxii

(45 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Iranian tribe, mentioned in Diod. Sic.  17,67, Curt. 5,3,1-15, Arr. Anab. 3,17, Str. 16,1,16-18 and Plin. HN  6,133. It is mentioned among the inhabitants of Ḫuzestān (in Iran) in accounts of Alexander the Great's campaign. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography H. Treidler, s. v. U., RE 9 A, 1313-1319.

Bishapur

(220 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Sassanids ‘The fair (city) of Shapur’, rectangular seat of residence of Shapur I (241-272,  Sapor), in south-west Iran. Constructed by Roman prisoners of war after Shapur's victories over Gordianus, Philippus Arabs and Valerians, consequently using Roman stonemasonry techniques (clamping hewn stones with iron ‘swallowtails’). I.a., a temple of  Anahita has been excavated, a square hall with an outer corridor on each side. The central, domed hall (22 × 22 m, c. 25 m high) of the quarry-stone palace was extended …

China

(298 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] (Σῖνα; Sîna). C. comprises within its modern borders several ancient cultural zones, with various traditions and ties looking to the west and the south. The steppe zone in the north was in continuous contact with western Siberia and eastern Europe from at least the 2nd millennium BC, always under the influence of the central Chinese cultures of the Yellow River region and the coastal zone. Southern China was orientated towards the south and south-east. Traffic along the ‘silk roads…

Acadra

(73 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Coastal area of Indo-China A coastal area of Indo-China mentioned by Ptol. 7,2,6. Excavations in Arikamedu indicate that this region enjoyed trade with Rome during the 1st cent. AD. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) [German version] [2] City of southern China City of southern China recorded only by Ptol. 7,3,5, possibly associated with the πόλις Ἀσπίθρα ( pólis Aspíthra) and the Psitharas river mentioned by Plin. HN 6,35. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Apasiaci

(63 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] From Âpaçaka = ‘Water Sacae’ (?), in Str. 11,6-7,513 and Pol. 10,48. Possibly in the Šany-darja delta, their residence  Cirik-Rabat-Kala (?). Babiš-Mulla 1 is a fortified palace, the funeral monuments Babiš-Mulla 2 and Balandy 2 are domed buildings and represent a preliminary stage of the development of Islamic mausoleums. The region was abandoned in 150 BC. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)

Bâmyân

(124 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Resting-place for pilgrims and caravans between  Balkh and Peshawar ( Peucelaotis). Described by the Chinese pilgrim Hsüan Tsang in the 7th cent. AD; known in Europe since 1824; explored by a French expedition in 1922-30. Oldest remains of the city in the valley of B. date from the 5th cent. AD. Important Buddhist monastery, which was chiselled into a steep rock-face between the 5th and 7th cents. Large Buddhas (one 53 m, the second 35 m high), which were cut out of the rock, were…

Buchara

(33 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Medieval capital of the Buchara oasis, inhabited from the time of the Kushan dynasty (2nd cent. AD), successor to Varachsa. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography G. A. Pugacenkova, Samarkand -- Buchara, 1975.

Dahistan

(53 words)

Author(s): Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin)
[German version] Landscape on the lower  Atrek, western Turkmenia, named after the  Dahae. In the late Bronze and early Iron Age between 1500 and 600 BC, a well-developed irrigation culture with more than 30 attested settlements. Brentjes, Burchard (Berlin) Bibliography P. L. Kohl, Central Asia, Palaeolithic Beginnings to the Iron Age, 1984, 200-208.
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