The Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project 
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Soviet Sources

Outline of Soviet Scholarship (Prepared by Nicholas Evans, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford with guidance from Frantz Grenet)

The Soviet and post-Soviet scholarship relevant to the BACH project is extensive, and the attached bibliography is not exhaustive. The largest body of material here relates to the archaeology of North Bactria (southern Uzbekistan), on the right bank of the Amu Darya, much of it from the pre-Islamic period. A summation of much of this work, providing a general historical overview, with a particular focus on material culture, can be found in a volume published by G. A. Pugachenkova (1917-2007) and E. V. Rtveladze (b. 1942), from which many of the publications in this bibliography were drawn (Pugachenkova, Rtveladze, 1990). Pugachenkova, who led a branch of the South Turkmenistan Archaological Complex Expedition from 1946-1961, and the Uzbek Art-Historical Expedition from 1959 to 1984, referred to M. E. Masson (1897-1986), to whom she was married, as the founder of the 'Central Asian School of Archaeology'. A number of publications by M. E. Masson, and his son, V. M. Masson (1929-2010), head of the Institute of Material Culture of the Academy of Sciences from 1954, are listed below.

More materials on the history of Soviet scholarship in 'Middle Asia' ('Sredniaia Aziia' rather than 'Tsentral'naia Aziia' is the more usual geographical designation in Soviet publications) can be found in the publications of S. P. Tolstov (1907-1976).Tolstov was the director of the Institutes of Ethnography and Oriental Studies, and the leader of the Khwarezm Archaeological-Ethnographic Expedition (1937-1991), one of whose major discoveries was the site of Toprak-Kala in Uzbekistan (Tolstov, 1948; Tolstov, Zhdkanko, 1952; Tolstov, Zhdanko, 1958; Tolstov, 1962; Vinogradov et al., 1968; Rappoport, Nerazik, 1984).

Soviet archaeology in North Afghanistan in particular is possibly most associated with the work of V. I. Sarianidi (b. 1925). Sarianidi coined the term Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex for a Bronze Age archaeological culture centred on Balkh and Merv and stretching from southern Turkmenistan (where he continues to excavate to this day) to western Tajikistan (Sarianidi, 1974). He is most famous for his discovery of Tillya-Tepe shortly before the Soviet invasion (Sarianidi, Koshelenko, 1982; Sarianidi, 1983; Sarianidi, 1989). A collection of materials from the Soviet-Afghan Archaeological Expedition (SAAE), established in 1969, was published between 1976 and 1984 (Kruglikova, 1976-1984; see esp. Kruglikova, Sarianidi, 1974). Two recent articles on the work of the expedition are also listed below (Kruglikova, 2005; Koshelenko et al., 2010). Further bibliographical material on Sarianidi's work can be found in recent publications by Litvinskii and Muradov (Litvinskii, 2004; Muradov, 2009). Sarianidi has been outspoken in a recent interview about the political context for his work in Afghanistan, and for archaeological work in the region to this day. V. V. Bartol'd's (1869-1930) review of a series of publications on the region from the late nineteenth century provides a longer-term context for these questions (Bartol'd 1965d). A more recent commentary is provided by G. Nikitenko (Nikitenko, 2011).

Urban Development

The numerous works of Bartol'd collected in his multivolume Sochineniia provide an introduction to the historical framework for Central Asian history within which Soviet archaeologists interpreted their material, from the Achaemenid period to the Mongol invasion, and later. It should be noted Bartol'd was critical of the assumption that Islamic conquest necessarily led to destruction of earlier monuments (Bartol'd, 1966c). Tolstov recognises Bartol'd's influence in his Po drevnym del'tam Oksa i Iaksarta (Tolstov, 1962). Pugachenkova and Rtveladze offer a more up-to-date overview (Pugachenkova, Rtveladze, 1990). A recent post-Soviet reinterpretation of the Hellinistic period appeared in the new journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia (Sverchkov, 2008), while Rtveladze's article on the information provided by Xuanzang for the seventh century CE gives further useful references for both Soviet and more recent work (Rtveladze, 2011).

Srednevekovyi gorod Srednei Azii [The Medieval City of Middle Asia] synthesises Soviet work on urbanism in Central Asia from the sixth- to thirteenth-centuries. V. M. Masson's introduction implies a greater discontinuity between pre-Islamic and Islamic periods than is argued by the authors (Belenitskii, Bentovich, Bol'shakov, 1962). In the list below are many articles, monographs and multi-author publications on individual towns from the Bronze Age to the Mongol conquest. Naturally, the materials of SAAE are relevant, with articles on the settlements of the Dashly oasis, on Dilberjin and Jiga-tepe (Kruglikova, 1976-1984; Kruglikova, 1982). For questions of continuity and discontinuity in urban structure in the pre-Islamic period, see for instance the article of 1969 on the fortified settlement of Sasanokhur in Southern Tajikistan addresses, which argues that the artisanal quarter survived the decline of the palace and temple in the early centuries CE, and presents evidence for a distinctive North Bactrian architectural school (Litvinskii, Mukhtdinov, 1969).

Diverse contributions to the history of urban development in Balkh and in other cities of the region can be found in articles on fortification, building techniques and architectural decoration. Epigraphic and numismatic evidence features extensively, as does the investigation of ceramics, metalwork and armaments. Two methodological interventions, on ceramics by Marshak and on architectural history by Nemtseva, are especially interesting. The former challenges dating of monuments based on the faulty dating of the ceramic layers IV, V, VI at Tali-Barzu in Sogd, and notes the distortions created by historical assumptions about Islamic iconographic prohibitions (Marshak, 1971); the latter combines critical remarks on the relationship between conservation, restoration and investigation of architectural monuments with an explicit (but uncritical) linking of the discipline to the progress of nineteenth-century Russian imperial expansion in Turkestan (Nemtseva, 1981).

Sacred Landscape

The geographical spread and dating of Buddhist monuments, questions about their state at the time of, and in the period following, the Islamic conquests of Central Asia in general, and the Balkh region in particular, are addressed in a number of the Soviet materials listed below. Rtveladze's recent article provides a helpful guide to these issues (Rtveladze, 2011) as does a monograph on Buddhism in the region from the 1st to 10th centuries CE. Mkrytchev (Mkrytchev, 2002). Zeimal' dates the decline of the Buddhist monasteries in Termez to the late 4th – early 5th century CE, but emphasises the contrast with other sites, such as Ajina-Tepe and the shrines at Kafyr-Qala and Kalai Kafirnigan, which she claims were in operation in the 7th – 8th centuries (Zeimal', 1987). Pugachenkova's comparison between stupas located at Old Termez and Airtam and those of Shakhri-Folak and Tepe-Rustam in Balkh has obvious relevance (Pugachenkova, 1967).

Buddhism was not the only pre-Islamic influence on the sacred landscape of Bactria. A recent article suggests the resilience of the fire-cult into the early Islamic period, although it questions its association with Zoroastrianism (Beliaeva, 2011). Thirty years earlier, Sarianidi attempted to reconstruct an earlier cosmography (he found evidence of a tripartite conception of the world) on the basis of Bronze Age mirrors found in burial sites around Balkh (Sarianidi, 1981); Soviet articles on other Bronze Age burial sites from the region also interpreted evidence of fire cults (e.g. Khlopin, 1971). An extended attempt to analyse the 'funerary ideology' of the ancient population of Kushan Bactria-Tokharistan was made on the basis of materials from the burial of Top-Khona on the western edge of Gissar kishlak in southern Tokharistan (Litvinskii, Sedov, 1984).

Relations to Hinterland

Another key objective of the BACH project is the assessment of the relationship between Balkh and its agricultural hinterland. Once again, Bartol'd's articles on the history of irrigation systems are important (Bartol'd, 1965c; Bartol'd 1965e), as are Tolstov's general comments (Tolstov, 1962). A number of the articles below show a continued sensitivity to the relationship between ecological constraints, the development of irrigation systems and urban development (e.g. Pugachenkova, 1971). Individual articles reflect debates on the antiquity of particular irrigation systems and of settlement patterns in pre-Islamic Bactria (e.g. Abdullaev, 1987; Rtveladze, 1975). The materials of SAAE provide further context for the earlier period (Kruglikova, 1976-1984).

Soviet and Post-Soviet Bibliography

(1966), Keramicheskoe proizvodstvo i antichnye keramicheskie stroitel'nye materialy [Ceramic production and antique ceramic building materials] (Moscow).

(1971), Material'naia kul'tura Turkmenistana [The Material Culture of Turkmenistan] (Ashkhabad).

(1971), Ocherki istorii zemledeliia i agrarnykh otnoshenii v Turkmenii (s drevneishikh vremen do prisoedineniia k Rossii) [Outline of the history of agriculture and agrarian relations in Turkmenistan (from the earliest times to unification with Russia)] (Ashkhabad).

(1971), Sredniaia i Tsentral'naia Aziia. Geografiia, etnografiia, istoriia [Middle and Central Asia. Geography, Ethnography, History] (Strany i narody vostoka) [Countries and Peoples of the East], vol. 10; (Moscow).

(1971), Epigrafika Vostoka [Epigraphy of the East], vol. 20.

(1971), Material'naia kul'tura Tadzhikstana [The Material Culture of Tajikistan] (2; Dushanbe).

(1974), 'Literatura po arkheologii Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana v 1971 godu (obzor) [Publications on the Archaeology of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan in 1971]', SA, 2, 295-317.

Abduallaev, A (2005), 'Dushanbinskoe gorodishche v antichnyi period (raskopki 2001-2003 gg.) [Dushanbe fortress in Antiquity (excavations 2001-2003)]', ART, 30, 152-72.

Abdullaev, A. (1976), 'Otchet o raskopkakh Tamosho-tepe v 1972 g [Report on the excavations of Tamosho-Tepe in 1972] ', ART, 12, 38-48.

Abdullaev, A. (1987), 'Pamiatniki rannego zhelsnogo veka v Piandzhskom raione', Proshloe Srednei Azii [Middle Asia in the Past] (Dushanbe).

Abdullaev, K (2001), 'Tetradrakhma Antiokha I i kishlaka Kharnin' [Tetradrachma of Anitoch I from Kharnin kishlak]', NTSA, 5, 11-13

Abdullaev, K.A. (2001), 'Raskopki na Paenkurgane v Baisunskom raione (Severnaia Baktriia) [Excavations at Paen-Kurgan in the Baysun Region (North Bactria)]', Arkheologicheskie Issledovaniia v Uzbekistane v 2000 g [Archaeological Investigations in Uzbekistan in 2000] (Samarkand).

Abudallaev, A., Bubnova, M. A., P'iankova L. T. (1975), 'Otchet o rabotakh Iavanskogo otriada v 1971 godu [Report on the works of the Iavan detachment in 1971]', ART, 21, 250-62.

Abudallaev, A., Bubnova, M. A., P'iankova L. T. (1975), 'Otchet o rabotakh Iavanskogo otriada v 1971 godu' [Report on the works of the Iavan detachment in 1971]', ART, 21, 250-62.

Aksarov, A. A. (1976), 'Raspisnaia keramika Dzhar-Kurtana [Painted ceramic ware of Jar-Kutan]', Baktriiskie drevnosti. Predvaritel'nye soobshcheniia ob arkheologicheskikh rabotakh na iuge Uzbekistana [Bactrian Antiquities. Preliminary notices on archaeological work in south Uzbekistan] (Leningrad).

Aksarov, A. A. (1977), Drevnezemledel'cheskaia kul'tura epkhi bronzy iuga Uzbekistana [Early agricultural bronze age culture of southern Uzbekistan] (Tashkent).

Aksarov, A. A., Al'baum, L. I. (1979), Poselenie Kuchuk-tepe [The settlement of Kuchuk-Tepe] (Tashkent).

Aksarov, A. A. (1982), 'Raskopki Psahktepe na iuge Uzbekistana [Excavations of Pshak-Tepe in the South of Uzbekistan]', IMKU, 7.

Aksarov, A. A. (1987), 'Stepnoi component v osedlukh kompleksakh Baktrii i voprosy ego interpretetatsii [The steppe component in the sedentary complexes of Bactria, and questions of its interpretation]', Vzaimnodeistvie kochevykh kul'tur i drevnikh tsivilizatsii [Interactions Between Steppe Cultures and Ancient Civilizations] (Alma-Ata).

Al'baum, L. I. (1960), Balalyk-tepe. K istorii materail'noi kul'tury i iskusstva Tokharistana [Balalyk tepe. A contribution to the history of the material culture and art of Tokharistan] (Tashkent).

Al'baum, L. I. (1963), 'Raskopki zamka Zang-tepe [Excavations of the castle of Zang-Tepe]', IMKU, 4.

Al'baum, L. I. (1965), 'Zang-tepe (raskopki 1962 g.) [Zang-tepe (excavations of 1962)]', IMKU, 6.

Al'baum, L. I. (1966), 'Gorodishche Dal'verzin-tepe [Dal'verzin-Tepe fort]', IMKU, 7.

Al'baum, L. I. (1982), 'O tolkovanii karatepinskikh kompleksov (V svete raskopok Faiaz-tepe) [On the interpretation of the Kara-tepe complexes (in the light of excavations at Fayaz tepe]', Kara-Tepe (5; Moscow).

Al'baum, L. I. (1985), 'K voprosu ob istoricheksoi topografii gorodishch Starogo Termeza [A contribution to the question of the historical topography of the fort of Old Termez]', Tvorcheskoe nasledie narodov Srednei Azii v pamiatnikakh iskusstva, arkhitektury i arkheologii [The creative legacy of the peoples of Middle Asia in artistic, architectural and archaeological monuments] (Tashkent).

Alpatkina, T. G. (2009), 'Tokharistanskaia arkheologichekaia ekspeditsiia, 1999-2009. Stranitsy istorii' [Tokharistan archaeological expedition, 1999-2009. Pages from history.], in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (Tashkent).

Annaev, T. Dzh. (1979), 'Ranniaia arabskaia nadpis' s iuga Uzbeistana [Early Arabic inscriptions of S Uzbekistan]', ONU.

Annaev, T. Dzh. (1984), 'Raskopki rannesrednevekoi usad'by Kuevkurrgan v Severnom Tokharistane [Excavations of early mediaeval villas in Kuyev Kurgan in Northern Tokharistan]', SAU, 2.

Annaev, T. Dzh. (1984), Rannesrednevokye poseleniia Severnogo Tokharistana [Early mediaeval settlements in northern Tokharistan].

Arshavskaia, Z. I., Rtveladze, E. V., Khakimov, Z. A. (1982), Srednevekovnye pamiatniki Surkahndar'i [The medieval monuments of Surkhan-Darya] (Tashkent).

Arshavskaia, Z. I. (1987), 'K evoliutsii tipologicheskoi skhemy 'dvor s obvodom iz koridorobrazhnykh pomeshchenii' v Severnom Tokharistane i Sogde [Contribution to the evolution of a typological scheme 'courtyard surrounded by corridor-like structures' in Northern Tokharistan and Sogdia]', ASU, 4.

Arshavskaia, Z. I. (1987), 'Zametki ob arkhitekture Baktrii epokhi bronzy – rannego zheleeza (K kharakteristike tipologicheskikh skhem) [Notes on the arch of bronze age and early iron age Bactria (contribution to a characterisation of the typological schemes)]', in A.S. Sagdullaev (ed.), Usad'by Drevnei Baktrii [Estates of Ancient Bactria] (Tashkent).

Askarov, A. A. (1973), Sapallitepa (Tashkent).

Askarov, A. A. (1977), Drevnezemledel'cheskaia kul'tura epokhi bronzy iuga Uzbekistana [The ancient agricultural culture of bronze-age south Uzbekistan] (Tashkent).

Askarov, A. A. (1977), Drevnezemledel'cheskaia kul'tura epokhi bronzy iuga Uzbekistana [The ancient agricultural culture of bronze-age south Uzbekistan] (Tashkent).

Askarov, A. A., Abdullaev, B. N. (1983), Dzhar-Kutan [Jar-Kutan] (Tashkent).

Askarov, A. A., Shirnov, G. (1985), 'Raskopki monumnetal'nogo khrama na Dzhar-Kutane – pamiatnike epokhi bronzy iuga Uzbekistana [Excavations of the monumental temple at Jar-Kutan, a bronze age site in South Uzbekistan]', Tvorcheskoe nasledie narodov Srednei Azii v pamiatnikakh iskusstva, arkhitektury i arkheologii [The creative legacy of the peoples of Middle Asia in artistic, architectural and archaeological monuments] (Tashkent).

Bartol'd, V. V. (1963), 'Istoriia Turkestana (Konspekt Lektsii) [History of Turkestan (Summary of Lectures)]', Sochineniia [Works] (2; Moscow), 107-66.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1963), 'Istoriia kultur'noi zhizny Turkestana [History of the Cultural Life of Turkestan]', Sochineniia [Works] (2; Moscow), 167-433.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1965), 'Chaganian', Sochineniia [Works] (3; Moscow).

Bartol'd, V. V. (1965), 'Termez', Sochineniia [Works] (Moscow).

Bartol'd, V. V. (1965), ''K istorii orosheniia Turkestana'', Sochineniia [Works] (3; Moscow), 95-231.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1965), 'Merverrud. [Review of] Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, New Series, vol. vii, 1885 – Major C.E. Yate, Northern Afghanistan, or letter from the Afghan Boundary Cmission, Edinburgh and London, 1888. – BGA, pars VI, Lugduni Batavorum, 1889. – V. A. Zhukovskii, Drevnosti Zakaspiiskogo kraia. Razvaliny Starogo Merva (St. Petersburg, 1894) [Antiquities of the Transcaspian region. Ruins of Old Merv]', Sochineniia [Works] (3; Moscow), 252-56.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1965), 'Dzhu-i Arziz (K voprosu ob istorii irrigatsii v Turkestane) [On the question of the history of irrigation in Turkestan]', Sochineniia [Works] (3; Moscow), 274-76.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1966), 'K istorii Merva [Towards a History of Merv]', Sochieniia [Works] (4; Moscow ), 172-95.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1966), '[Review of] N. I. Vavilov i D. D. Bukinich, Zemledel'cheskii Afganistan [Agricultural Afghanistan]', Sochieniia [Works] (4; Moscow), 293-99.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1966), '[Review of] A. Godard, Y. Godard, J. Hackin, Les antiquités bouddhiques de Bāmiyān. Avec des notes additionneles de M. Paul Pelliot, Membre de l'Institute Paris et Bruxelles (Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan. Tome II)', Sochineniia [Works] (4; Moscow), 300-04.

Bartol'd, V. V. (1966), 'Perevod nadpisei na grobnitse Termeza, sostavlennyi Prof. V. V. Bartol'dom [Translation of inscriptions on a grave in Termez, by Prof. V. V. Bartol'd]', Sochineniia [Works] (4; Moscow), 311-12.

Belenitskii, A. M. (1950), 'Istoriko-geograficheskii ocherk Khuttalia [Khuttal, historical and geographical survey]', MIA (15).

Belenitskii, A. M. (1950), 'Mavzolei seleniia Saiat [Mausolea of the Settlement of Sayat]', MIA (15).

Belenitskii, A. M., Bentovich, I. B., Bol'shakov, O. G. (1973), Srenevekoyi gorod Srednei Azii [The mediaeval town of Middle Asia] (Leningrad).

Beliaeva, T. V., Khakimov Z. A., (1973), 'Drevnebaktriiskie pamiatniki Mirshade [Early Bactrian Monuments of Mirshade]', Iz istorii antichnoi kul'tury Uzbekistana [From the History of the Antique Culture of Uzbekistan] (Tashkent).

Beliaeva, T. V. (2011), '"Dom ognia" v gorode Kaialyke ["House of fire" in the town of Kayalyk]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (8; Elets), 31-47.

Bernar, P (1986), 'Problemy grecheskoi kolonial'noi istorii i urbanizm ellinisticheskogo goroda Tsentral'noi Azii [Issues in Greek colonial history and the urbanism of the Hellenistic town of Central Asia]', in G. A. Koshelenko (ed.), Problemy antichnoi kul'tury [Issues in Antique Culture] (Moscow), 249-58.

Biriukov, D. V. (2004), 'Moneta v zhizni narodov Transoksian. Fakty, problemy, kontseptsii

[The coin in the life of the peoples of Transoxiana. Facts, issues, concepts.]', NTSA, 7, 7-19.

Biriukov, D. V. (2004), 'Moneta v zhizni narodov Transoksian. Fakty, problemy, kontseptsii [The coin in the life of the peoples of Transoxiana. Facts, issues, concepts.]', NTSA, 7, 7-19.

Bobrinskii, A. A. (1991), Goncharnye masterskie i gorny Vostochnoi Evropy [The ceramic workshops and kilns of Eastern Europe] (Moscow).

Bolelov, S. B. (1984), 'Rannesrenevekovyi mogil'nik na gorodskoi stene Dal'verzin-tepe [Early mediaeval tomb complex on city wall of Dalverzin-Tepe]', Pervaia konferentsiia molodykh istorikov Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana [First Conference of the Young Historians of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan] (Dushanbe).

Bolelov, S. B. (2001), 'Goncharnaia masterskaia III-II vv do n. e. na Kampyrtepe [A ceramic workshop of the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE at Kampyrtepe]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (2), 15-30.

Bolelov, S. B. (2006), 'Zhiloi kvartal kushanskogo vremeni na Kampyrtepe (raskopki 2000-2002 gg.)' [The Kushan-era living quarter at Kampyrtep (excavations 2000-2002)], in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (6), 15-81.

Bolelov, S. B. (2006), 'Goncharnye proizvodstva Srednei Azii vo vtoroi polovine I tys. do n.e. – pervoi polovine I tys n.e. (struktura i sistema razmeshcheniia) [The ceramic productions of Middle Asia from the second half of the first millennium BCE to the first half of the first millennium CE (structure and distribution)]', RA, 3, 116-27.

Bolelov, S. B. (2010), 'Goncharnye proizvodstva Baktrii antichnogo perioda [The ceramic productions of Bactria in antiquity]', in S. B. Bolelov (ed.), Drevnye tsivilizatsii na Drevnem Vostoke [Ancient Civilizations in the Ancient East] (Moscow), 26-29.

Bolelov, S. B. (2011), 'Kampyrtepa-Pandakheon v epokhu ellinizma [Kampyr-Tepe Pandakheon in the Hellenistic Era]', VDI, 4, 29-48.

Bolelov, S. B. (2011), 'Proizvodstevennyi tsentr epokhi ellinizma na tsitadeli Kampyrtepa [Industrial centre of the Hellinistic Era at the Citadel of Kampyr-tepe]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (8; Elets), 48-79.

Brykina, G. A. (1979), 'Kul'turnye sviazi Fergany v I tys. n. e. [The cultural connections of Ferghana in the 1st millennium BCE]', Etnografiia i arkheologiia Srednei Azii [The Ethnography and Archaeology of Middle Asia] (Moscow).

Bukinich, D. D. (1940), 'Kratkie prevaritel'nye sobrazheniia o vodosnabzhenii i i irrigatsii Starogo Termeza i ego raiona [Short preliminary remarks on the water supply and irrigation of Old Termez and its region]', Trudy UzFAN SSSR [Works of the Uzbekistan Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR], 1 (2).

Bukinich, D. D. (1945), 'Kanaly drevnego Termeza [The canals of ancient Termez]', TAKE, 2.

Bykov, A. (1879), Ocherk perprav cherez Amu-Dar'iu [Survey of the crossings of the Amu-Darya] (Tahskent).

D'iakonov, M . M. (1961), Ocherk istorii drevnego Irana [Outline of the history of ancient Iran] (Moscow).

Davidovich, E. A. (1970), 'Klad saganianskikh monet vtori chetverti XI v. kak istoricheskii istochnik [The Hoard of Coins from Saganian from the Second Quarter of the 11th century as a Historical Source]', Pis'mennye pamiatniki Vostoka. Ezhegodnik, 1968 [Written Monuments of the East. Annual] (Moscow).

Davidovich, E. A. (1976), 'Pervyi klad tetradrakhm kushantsa 'Geraia' [The first hoard of tetradrachmas of the Kushan named 'Geraia']', VDI, 4.

Denisov, E. P. (1980), 'Otchet o rabote Dangarinskogo otriada [Report on the work of the Dangarin group]', ART, 15, 100-09.

Dolgorukov, V. S. (1984), 'Oboronitel'nye sooruzheniia Dil'berdzhina [Defensive implacements of Dilberjin]', Drevniaia Baktriia. Materialy sovetsko-afganskoi arkheologicheskoi ekspeditsii [Ancient Bactria. Materials of the Soviet-Afghan Archaeological Expedition] (3; Moscow), 58-92.

Dovutov, D (1997), 'Drakhma Selevka s gorodishcha Shakhri Munk [Drachma of Seleukis from the fort of Shakhri Munk]', NTSA, 2, 5-8.

Druzhinina, A. P. (2005), 'Predvaritel'nye rezul'taty raskopok na gorodishche Takhti-Santin v 2004 godu [Preliminary results from excavations on the fort of Takhti-Santin in 2004]', ART, 30, 86-105.

Dvurechenskaia, N. D. (2006), 'Itogi arkheologichekikh rabot 2004-2005 gg. v zhilom kvartale-bloke 5 v severo-zapadnoi chasti Kampyrtepa [Results of the archaeological work of 2004-2005 in the living quarter – block 5 in the north-west part of Kampyr-tepe]', in E. V. Rtveladze, Solov'ev, V. S. (ed.), MTE (6; Elets).

Dvurechenskaia, N. G. (2008), 'Terrakotovaia plastika srednei azii iv v. do n.e. – iv v. n.e.' [Terracotta sculpture of Middle Asia, 4th century BCE – 4th century CE] Avtoref. Diss... kand. ist. nauk [Doctoral thesis]

Dvurechenskaia, N. D. (2011), 'Arkheologicheskii kompleks na iugo-zapade zhilogo bloka-kvratal I "Nizhnego goroda" Kamyprtepa [Archaeological complex on the south-west of residential quarter I of the 'Lower town' of Kampyr-tepe]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (8; Elets), 102-21.

Federov, M. N. (1969), 'Numizmaticheskie dannye k istorii Saganiana [Numismatic data shedding light on the history of Saghanian]', IMKU, 8.

Gorin, A. (2011), 'Stratigraficheskii shurf na gorodishche Ialangtushtepa v 2006 g. [Stratification trench at the fort of Yalangtush-tepe in 2006]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (8; Elets).

Grantovskii (1983), 'Baktriia i Assiriia [Bactria and Assyria]', Baktriia-Tokharistan na drevenem i srednevekovom Vostoke [Bactria-Tokharistan in the ancient and medieval East] (Moscow).

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Sagdullaev, A.S. (1981), 'Drevnie puti na iuge Uzbekistana [Ancient routes in the south of Uzbekistan]', ONU, 17.

Sagdullaev, A.S. (1985), 'O sootnoshenii drevnezemledel'cheskikh kompleksov Fergany i Baktrii [On the correlation between the Ferghana and Bactrian early agricultural complexes]', SA, 4, 21-32.

Sagdullaev, A.S. (1985), 'Baktriia i Sogd (evoliutsiia drevneishikh granits osedleogo naseleniia) [Bactria and Sogdia - The evolution of the earliest boundaries of sedentary populations]', Tvorcheskoe nasledie narodov Srednei Azii v pamiatnikakh iskusstva, arkhitektury i arkheologii [The creative legacy of the peoples of Middle Asia in artistic, architectural and archaeological monuments] (Tashkent).

Sagdullaev, A.S. (1987), Kul'tura iuga Srednei Azii VII-IV vv. do n. e.(Tashkent, 1987) [The culture of southern Middle Asia in the 7th to 4th centuries BCE] (Tashkent).

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Staviskii, B. Ia. (1982), 'Osnovye itogi izucheniia Kara-tepe v 1974-197 gg. [The main results of the study of Qara tepe from 1974-1977]', Buddiiskie pamiatniki Kara-tep v Starom Termeze [The Buddhist monuments of Qara Tepe in old Termez] (Moscow).

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Sverchkov, L. M. (2005b), 'Baysun. Opyt istoricheskoi rekonstruktsii [Baysun. Experience of Historical Reconstruction]', Trudy Baisunskoi Nauchnoi Ekspeditsii [Works of the Baysun Scientifice Expedition], 2, 56-86.

Sverchkov, L. M. (2006), 'Opyt sinkhrnoizatsii keramicheskikh kompleksov epokhi ellinizma (Kampyrtepa, Termez, Dzhigatepe, Kurganzol) [Experience of synchronising the ceramic complexes of the Hellenistic era (Kampyr-Tepe, Termez, Dzhigatepe, Kurganzol)]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (5), 15-125.

Sverchkov, L. M., Voskovskii A. A. (2006), 'Stratigrafiia, periodizatsiia i khronologiia nizhnikh sloev Kampyrepa [Stratification, periodisation and chronology of the lower layers at Kampyr-Tepe]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (5), 21-43.

Sverchkov, L. M. (2007), 'Ellinisticheksaia krepost' Kurganzol. Raskopki 2004 g. [The Hellenistic fortress of Kurganzol. Excavations of 2004]', Trudy BNE, 3, 31-37.

Sverchkov, L. M., Boroffka, N. (2007), 'Arkhaeologicheskie issledovaniia v Bandikhane v 2005 g. [Archaeological investigations in Band-i Khan in 2005] ', Trudy Baisunskoi Nauchnoi Ekspeditsii. Arkhaeologiia, istoriia i etnografiia. [Works of the Baysun Scientific Expedition. Archaeology, History and Ethnography] 3, 97-141.

Sverchkov, L. M. (2010), 'Nekotorye osobennosti arkheologicheskogo kompleksa kontsa IV v. do n. e. (Krepost' Kurganzol) [Some particular features of an archaeological complex from the late 4th century BCE (Kurganzol fortress)]', in S. B. Bolelov (ed.), Drevnie tsivilizatsii na drevnem Vostoke [Ancient Civilizations in the Ancient East] (Moscow), 87-89.

Tarn, V. (1949), Ellinisticheskaia tsivilizatsiia [Hellenistic civilization] (Moscow).

Tikhonov, R. (2011), 'K voprosu o datirovke ranneellinisticheskikh keramicheskikh kompleksov Baktrii [On the question of dating Bactrian early Hellinistic ceramic complexes]', in E. V. Rtveladze (ed.), MTE (8; Elets), 202-16.

Tolstov, S. P. (1948), Po sledam drevnekhorezmiiskoi tsivilizatsii [In Search of the Ancient Civilization of Khwarezm] (Moscow-Leningrad).

Tolstov, S. P., Zhdanko, T. A. (ed.), (1952), Arkheologicheskie i etnograficheskie raboty khorezemskoi ekspeditsii 1945-1948 [Archaeological and Ethnographical Investigations of the Khwarezm Expedition, 1945-1948], ed. S. P. Tolstov, Trudy khorezemskoi ekspeditsii (1; Moscow).

Tolstov, S. P., Zhdanko, T. A. (ed.), (1958), Arkheologicheskie i etnograficheskie raboty khorezemskoi ekspeditsii 1949-1953, ed. S. P. Tolstov, Trudy khorezemskoi ekspeditsii [Works of the Khwarezm Expedition], 2; Moscow).

Tolstov, S. P. (1962), Po drevnym del'tam Oksa i Iaksarta [Along the Ancient Deltas of the Oxus and Yaxartes] (Moscow).

Trever, K. V. (1940), Pamiatniki greko-baktriiskogo izkusstva v sobraniiakh Ermitazha [Monuments of Greco-Bactrian art in the Hermitage collections] (Leningrad).

Trever, K. V. (1961), 'Baktriiskii bronzovyi falar s izobrazheniem Dionisa [Bactrian bronze 'falar' with image of Dionysis]', Kul'tura i iskusstvo Vostoka [The Culture and Art of the East] (Trudy Gosudarstvennogo Ermitazha [Publications of the State Hermitage Museum], 5; Leningrad).

Turgunov, V. A. (1973), 'K izucheniiu Airtama [Toward the study of Ayr-tam]', Iz istorii antichnoi kul'tury Uzbekistana [From the History of the Antique Culture of Uzbekistan] (Tashkent).

Turgunov, V. A., Lishvitz, V. A., Rtveladze, E. V. (1981), 'Otkrytie baktriiskoi monumental'noi nadpisi v Airtame [Discovery of Bactrian monumental inscription at Ayr-tam]', ONU, 6.

Turgunov, V. A. (1984), 'Novyi budiskii pamiatnik na territorii Uzbekistana [A new Buddhist monument on territory of Uzbekistan]', ONU, 8.

Turgunov, V. A. (1985), 'Raskopki na Dal'verzin-tepe [Excavations in Dalverzin Tepe]', AO 1983 goda (Mosocw).

Turgunov, V. A. (1987), 'Novye nakhodki iz Airtama [New finds at Ayr-Tam]', Gorodskaia sreda i kul'tura Baktrii-Tokharistana i Sogda [The Urban environment and culture of Bactria-Tokharistan and Sogdia] (Tashkent).

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  • Brief Timeline
  • Project Milestones
  • The BACH Project
  • Recent Articles

دری ]

Bactra—the Greek name under which pre-Islamic Balkh was known—encapsulated Bronze Age settlements around 2,000 BC when its ancient water systems were built.

It was a province of the Achaemenid Empire (sixth century BC), the capital of the Hellenistic kingdom of Bactria and a part of the Kushan Empire that flourished in the first to the third centuries AD.

The first surviving textual mention of ancient Bactria is in the Vendidad section of the Avesta, the Zoroastrian Holy Book. Bactria (Baxtri) is mentioned in the trilingual inscription of the Emperor Darius I (r. 522-486 BC) at Bisutun and Persepolis as one of the Achaemenid satrapies (provinces). According to varying traditions, Balkh was founded by the mythical Iranian kings Gusthasp, his father Luhrasp, or the first man, Gayumarth. The Zoroastrian Prophet Zoroaster is rumoured to have died in Balkh.

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September 2011 - Launch of the BACH project

5-6 January 2012 - First BACH workshop in Oxford. Participants on the first day were limited to team members and special advisors to discuss the parameters of the BACH project, its training agenda, and practicalities, logistics and context. Day 2 included a wider audience of key experts on Afghan art, archaeology, documentary and narrative history of Balkh and comparable cities. Participants included Philippe Marquis, Roland Besenval, Edmund Bosworth, Nicholas Sims-Wiliams, Geoffrey Khan, Deborah Klimburg-Salter, James Howard-Johnston, Étienne de la Vaissière, Frantz Grenet, and Chahriyar Adle (by video link). Presentations were made on the basic topography of Balkh, the Nuh Gunbad (Hajji Piyada) site, and Zadiyan in the northern confines of the Balkh oasis, on coins, and Chinese and Arabic sources on historical Balkh. Comparanda from cities like Samarqand and Dehistan (Turkmenistan) were also considered.

April 2012 - First visit by BACH Oxford to Kabul conducted by Michael Jackson Bonner, aimed principally at working out the key elements and modalities for BACH cooperation on the ground, together with the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA).

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The Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage project (BACH) is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is housed at the Oriental Insititute, University of Oxford.

This project focuses on the site of Balkh in the north of Afghanistan, south of the Oxus (Amu Darya) River. It analyses a selection of archaeological artefacts and unexplored texts against which hypotheses concerning the development of early Islamic cities can be tested. Balkh was in existence (as 'Bactra') since at least the fifth century BC, becoming a major economic centre and flourishing from the third century BC before being significantly reduced (but not abandoned) in the thirteenth century through the Mongol invasions.

The BACH project is not just about research. An essential element concerns training. Each of BACH's scholarly experts acts as a mentor and trainer to an Afghan trainee to analyse the material culture from, or textual finds on, Balkh. Trainees obtain daily on-the-job training during focussed visits to Kabul by BACH team members. The training follows a pre-determined curriculum, and includes reading lists of books and articles to be discussed during training. Trainees obtain stipends, and have the opportunity to engage with an international network through their mentors.

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Journal articles

Shaked, Shaul, "Early Persian Documents from Khorasan" Journal of Persianate Studies 6 (2013): pp 153-162

Azad, Arezou, "The Faḍāʾil-i Balkh and its place in Islamic historiography" IRANJournal of the British Institute of Persian Studies 50 (2012): pp 79-102

Azad, Arezou, "Female Mystics in Mediaeval Islam: the quiet legacy", Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient 56 (2013): pp 53-88

Siméon P., 2012."Hulbuk: Architecture and Material Culture of the Capital of the Banijurids in Central Asia (ninth–eleventh centuries)", Muqarnas, An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World, vol. 29, pp. 385-421.

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Banner Image: Tepe Rustam of Balkh, thought to be the old Buddhist temple site of Naw Bahar. Photo by Arezou Azad

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