Dalverzintepa settlement in Termez
Dalverzintepa - the main city of the region in ancient times
Dalverzintepa (or Dalvarzin Tepa) is a mysterious terrain occupying almost 47 hectares of the fertile valley of the Surkhandarya River between the Baysuntau and Babataga ranges, located 60 km north of the modern Termez, in the Shurchin district. This ancient settlement represents the ruins of the once prosperous ancient city of Northern Bactria, the earliest settlement of which arose in the II-III centuries BC.
Dalvarzin (d'al + varzin) from ancient Sogdian is translated as "scarlet, red hill".
According to the assumptions of archaeologists, Dalverzintepa settlement was surrounded by a fortress wall, which was later destroyed by the Saxons in the II century BC. It was restored already during the reign of the great Kushans (from the 1st century BC. to the 5th-6th centuries AD.). It was that period that the formation of a city-type civilization took place there.
The results of archaeological excavations and studies, which were started in the 1930s and already systematically conducted since the 60s of the XIX century, allow us to believe that Dalverzintepa was the main city of the region in ancient times. It was surrounded by a 10-meter thick fortress wall about 2.5 kilometers long and a wide ditch filled with water. In the walls at a distance of 30-40 meters from each other towers with platforms for shooters and stone-throwing guns towers were.
From the high fortifications of Dalverzintepa settlement, originally reaching 10 meters of thickness at the base and once surrounded by a moat, only a wide shaft is preserved. And from palaces and temples, houses and streets, handicraft quarters and market areas, there are only shapeless sags, overgrown with scanty vegetation.
Findings of archaeologists on the territory of Dalverzintepa
The territory of the site is full of artifacts. Here, during the excavations, a temple of the Bactrian goddess with sculptures of deities and amazing examples of wall painting was discovered. A temple of the II-III centuries AD., once decorated with clay and plaster sculpture, was found.
More than 30 magnificent sculptures in height from 0,5 m to 3 and 4 m, including statues of Buddha, as well as a remarkable sculptural image of the head of the Kushan ruler in a pointed helmet were found in Surhandarya settlement Dalverzintepa. In one of the houses built up by the quarters of the rich townspeople of the center of the ancient settlement, in 1972 the largest treasure of gold items weighing about 36 kg. was found. It belongs to the I century AD. and represents a huge historical value. Archaeologists have found many items of ivory, including the world's oldest chess pieces (1st-2nd century AD). Many art objects of the time were found, including figurines of musicians. These discoveries of archeologists are of undoubted interest for contemporaries, tourists and visitors of the ancient settlement, the ruins of which still contain many treasures and secrets of Kushan rulers. After all, Termez and the adjacent areas are truly an archeological paradise filled with history and artifacts of the past.
Not so long ago, in Dalvarzin-tepa city researchers found a seal with images of men on both sides. The experts established that this was the great Kushan emperor Vima Kadfiz, the successor of the Kujula Kadfiz dynasty, who was in power around 110-127 AD.
The discovery is absolutely unique because previously no seal of the Kushan emperors was found on the territory of the South and North Bactria. The only similar seal was found in India about 50 years ago and it belongs to the son of Vima Kadfiz, Kanishka.
The seal was found in the eastern part of the site, not far from the place where the main Buddhist temple of Dalverzintepa was located. The hill of 50x50 meters still retained the outlines of the walls. The archaeologists have unearthed five rooms of different area, built of raw bricks. In addition to the imperial press, copper coins, ceramics, terracotta figures of men and women, a carved image of an animal and a whole perfume bottle were found there.
The second excavation, laid alongside the so-called houses of wealthy townspeople, revealed ten premises, as well as corridors between them. Here, in addition to coins and terracotta figurines, spindle and several thin gold ornaments were found. This excavation also pleased the archaeologists with a unique find - a copper candlestick in the form of a deer. All other candlesticks discovered in Dalverzintepa settlement were made of simple clay, ceramics, stone or iron.
Dalverzintepa treasure was a find of world significance. Besides material, it is of great scientific and cultural value. It allowed to judge about the culture, art, artistic styles, skill level and aesthetic preferences of the ancestors of the Central Asian peoples, their connections with North-West India and the cultures of the nomadic steppe. Dalverzintepa finds helped to a considerable extent to rethink the history of art culture of the Surkhan Valley as a bright and original phenomenon of the ancient period, which had specific Bactrian features.
Legend about Dalverzintepa settlement of Termez
Not only the objects, but also legends and tales give an idea of the ancient Termez settlement of Dalverzintepa. One legend says that this place was a blooming city. It was ruled by the wise king Dal (Zal), who possessed the gift of a magician, but he professed paganism. The tsar had only one daughter. At that time, the Prophet Ali, the nephew of Mohammed, the head of the Arab army came to the Surkhana Valley. He almost captured Termez and approached Dalverzin, the city of Dal. But it was not easy to take the city. The walls were high, and the ditch filled with water was unassailable. The warriors tried to withdraw or cut off the water, but the water again filled the ditch. Then Ali set off on a trick. He knew that the king had a daughter. Opposite the fortress, where there was a royal palace with balconies, from which a female figure sometimes looked, he stuck poles and pulled ropes. Ali began to walk on the ropes, as a skilled rope-walker. The princess could see how good a tightrope walker was. And then Ali sent a note with a confession of love for the princess. The girl answered with a confession about what she wrote on the fruit of a pomegranate, thrown to the side of the ditch. In one of the notes, the young man asked why the water did not drain from the ditch. Then the girl in love told a secret about the fact that 60 km north of Dalverzintepa there is a whirlpool, from which the water goes into the subsoil layer and reaches the moat. One just need to block it.
Ali immediately sent a detachment of companions there. They blocked the water in the spring. When the water drained, Ali's men rushed to storm the fortress walls. They broke into the city and saw that there was not a single person inside, only animals. Ali understood that this was the witchcraft of Tsar Dal, who turned the inhabitants of the city into animals. Ali ordered all large animals to be killed, realizing that the king himself was among the big animals. A small beast ran through the broken city walls. When Ali entered the palace, the princess rushed to him in embrace. She persuaded her father not to change her face. The princess knew that all the animals were killed, that her father, in the form of a lousy dog, fled to Guzar.
Guzar at that time was a well-fortified city, sprouting around the reeds. The princess suggested to Ali that it was necessary to set fire to the reeds on the leeward side. The flame will can open the way for an army that can take the city. So did Ali. And then he ordered the princess to be cut off, realizing that if she could betray her own father, she would betray him. When Ali captured Guzar, he himself killed the King Dal, and then installed the Muslim faith in Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya. Since Dalverzin has been permanently abandoned - no one dared to settle in this place, as a lot of blood was spilled there. The city turned into a fortification - tepe. There is much plausible about Dalverzintepa settlement: that it was a powerful, fortified city, that its death came with the arrival of the Arabs.
Undoubtedly, the above material is of interest to tourists and visitors, who, taking advantage of the Uzbekistan tours from Peopletravel, will find many new and interesting things.