Sites & cities that bear the name of Goňur depe

Goňur depe

Today in : Turkmenistan
First trace of activity : ca. 25th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 17th century B.C.E
Recorded names : Gonur-depe

Description : Gonur Depe (Turkmen: Goňur depe) is an archaeological site located about 60 km north of Mary (ancient Merv), Turkmenistan consisting of a large early Bronze Age settlement. It is the "capital" or major settlement of the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) dated from 2400-1600 BCE Scholars believe that the ancient Oxus river culture (Bactria-Margiana) may have its origin at sites like Anau, on the northern slopes of the Kopet-Dag mountains. Anau dates back to 6500 B.C. Later settlements like Gonur may have been founded by people who moved there from the Kopet-Dag area because of changing climate. There were increasing incursions of nomadic encampments of the Andronovo culture at the site during the period 1800-1500 BCE. According to Lamberg-Karlovsky, presence of Andronovo pottery at Gonur, the characteristic ceramics of the Eurasian steppes where the modern horse was domesticated, certainly implies that the horse was known to the BMAC. However, Sarianidi disregards the steppe connection for the presence of the horse in BMAC. Mallory (1997) points out that the BMAC fortified settlements such as Gonur and Togolok resemble the qila, the type of fort known in this region in the historical period. They may be circular or rectangular and have up to three encircling walls. Within the forts are residential quarters, workshops and temples. The site was most likely abandoned after the course of the Murghab River shifted to the west.

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