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T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....


T. I. Zeymal'

Early medieval settlement, probably founded in the 2nd or 3rd century ce, on the western outskirts of the modern town of Kolhozabad in Tajikistan. The site, which has been excavated since 1956, has been identified as the main town in the Vakhsh domain (Chin. U-sha), one of the twenty-seven domains in Tokharistan. Three periods in the history of the town have been identified: before the mid-6th century ce, mid-6th century to mid-7th, and late 7th century to mid-8th. The town was apparently destroyed and abandoned c. 740, when the Arab invasions devastated many other sites in northern Tokharistan, such as Adzhina Tepe. A main irrigation canal extending more than 100 km supplied water to the town and surrounding area. The square town (300 × 300 m) was surrounded by powerful mud-brick walls with embrasures and towers and by a large moat (50–60 × 5 m), beyond which lay other buildings and a necropolis to the east. A main street linked the city gates on the east and west. One building within the town had a large ceremonial room (17 × 7 m) with a niche in the end wall flanked by three-quarter columns made of finely ground clay on a wooden frame. The room was decorated with ornamental wall paintings, much deteriorated from the salinity of the soil. The citadel (70 × 70 × 12 m), containing suites of ceremonial and residential rooms, occupied the northeast corner of the town, from which it was separated by a moat (12–15 × 6 m). Flat roofs were reserved for large rooms (e.g. the ceremonial room in the citadel; 10 × 10 m), and different kinds of vaulting were used extensively. A round room dating from the middle period, several rooms in the towers, and the Buddhist chapel were domed. A stone head of the Buddha and a stone altar pre-date the founding of the town. Finds from the late period include a ceramic tile (450 × 340 mm; 7th–8th century) showing a rider shooting an arrow at a mountain goat, another ceramic tile (140 × 130 mm) showing a rider hunting a lion, a cornelian seal with falcon hunting, and a fragment of a ceramic chalice (125 × 85 mm) with a central medallion containing a walking deer with branching antlers. In the later period the domain issued silver coins imitating Sasanian drachmas of Peroz (...


Patsy Vanags

Site of a Roman temple incorporated into an Early Christian or early medieval church, c. 15 km north of Spoleto, Italy. The River Clitumnus, with its numerous springs, was sacred in Roman times, and there were many shrines along its course. Spolia from these may have been used in the existing structure. It has some traits in common with Roman temples, most notably its four-columned façade with a pediment above. The framing of the columns with two apparently contemporary square section columns is uncommon, but other aspects of its design mark it out as an Early Christian building (4th or 5th century ad) or an early medieval one (8th or 9th century). The interior has a narrow horseshoe arch in the apse and carved mouldings with early medieval characteristics. The building stands on a podium, but instead of a staircase at the front, a flight of steps on either side leads to a small pedimented doorway giving access to the interior. This unusual arrangement may be due to the siting of the building on a sloping bank, but its bold form, with miniaturized Hellenistic grandeur reminiscent of the Roman sanctuary (late ...