Ayaz-Kala — photo 1

More than one hundred kilometers from the former shore of the Aral Sea, the sporadically well-preserved remains of the ancient fortress Ayaz-Kala were found. The archeologists date this site back to the 3rd or 2nd century BC. This is not just a fortress strengthening the city walls; this is a well-thought out military fortress which was guarding the routes of approach to the ancient cities of the Kushan Khanate. In fact, this is not a single fortress, but the cascade fortification consisting of three separate fortresses.

Ayaz-Kala 1 is the first fortress. It is fittingly considered to be one of the most beautiful fortresses of ancient Khwarasm. This fortress used to occupy almost three hectares. Today the walls up to ten meters high stayed only in some places. Many weapons of various kinds were found within the territory of this fortress, like arrows, bows and spears. Many signs indicate that a lot of fights took place under the fortress’s walls. Many weapon ports for archers equidistant from each other, towers and multistoried galleries were located along the whole perimeter. This all was the main part of the fortress defense. Also, many items made of gold were found within the territory of the fortress.

Ayaz-Kala 2 is the fortress, the construction of which started during the Kushan age and ended approximately during the V-VII centuries AD. This is a small elliptic fortress which had an exit leading right to the city on the one side. The fortress served as a fortification in front of the palace. The preserved fragments allow recognizing vaulted walls and domed passages inside the fortress. The upper part is crenellated walls with weapon ports for archers. Both the concept of construction and the material differ from the fortresses of the earlier period. Pressed air bricks, small rocks similar to gravel, and consolidating grout at the fortress foundation were used while building this attraction.

Ayaz-Kala 3 is the strongest fortress which was hiding a small town inside its internal part. Several manor houses, an enormous palace, and a lot of minarets and labyrinths were located within the territory of the fortress surrounded by numerous towers, a double wall and complex (from an engineering standpoint) gate construction. The territory with the general area of around five hectares used to be occupied with vineyards, agricultural plantations, and many residential constructions. The entrance with the labyrinth was constructed in a special way. The south wind blowing for the most part of the year in these lands carried dirt and garbage from the town due to the unique construction of the entrance.

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