GONUR DEPE ANCIENT KILN AND POTTERY SITE, TURKMENISTAN. PHOTO: MARGARET WHITE, 2011 – TAASA Review December 2012

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This article was originally found in the December 2012 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 21, Issue 4, Page 24).

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Since the early 1970s, pioneer archaeologist in Central Asia, Professor Viktor Sarianidi, has headed the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Expedition, gradually uncovering the site.

He has hypothesised what life may have been like in the extensive, high, mud walled, maze-like palace with its sophisticated water supply and sewage system, its temple and necropolis complex showing evidence of animal sacrifice, as well as a craftsmen’s quarter surrounding a central fortified complex with corner watch towers (Zadneprovsky 1995: 155).

Sarianidi has also postulated some controversial theories concerning Gonur’s religion and customs, speculating that it may even be the birthplace of Zoroastrianism. In order to protect the site from further crumbling, conservation of the site began in 2003...