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Kampir Tepe

Kampir Tepe — photo 1

Within the Surxondaryo Region, on the right bank of the Amu Darya, the largest river in Uzbekistan, 30 kilometers from Termez there is one of the oldest cities in the region — Kampir Tepe. Its entire territory is about 400 square meters.

The name of the settlement means “Old Woman Hill”; however nobody knows why it was named so.

This Bactrian settlement was a huge impregnable stronghold in the form of an ideal square 80 by 80 meters and weakly protected adjacent buildings. Today, the fortress is included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A fortress wall lies throughout the whole territory. In the residential area there is a large architectural complex with more than 20 rooms. The Zoroastrian burials were discovered in the “suburbs” of the settlement.

During excavations archaeologists found unique artifacts which can tell about the life of local residents. These artifacts include coins dated fiftieth years of the 2nd century AD and manuscripts indicating the existence of 4 different nationalities here at different periods of time. These are the Seleucid, Greco-Bactrian, Kushan, and Bactrian communities.

This attraction played a major role in the past. Initially, at the end of the 4th century BC, it was built in order to maintain the Amu Darya crossing and protect it from the enemies. Moreover, initially it was just a small outpost, which turned into a fortified fortress only five hundred years later. Later, this place became a transit point for the merchants on one of the Great Silk Road routes.

In the first half of the III century BC, when Bactria was part of the Seleucid Empire, the craftwork was born on the territory of Kampir Tepe, and by the beginning of the 2nd century AD, many residential premises were converted into warehouses.

In 2019, the world was shocked by the sensational news from Uzbek scientists – they suggested a bold theory that Kampir Tepe is the part of the legendary Alexandria on the Oxus. Officially, today this name is born by the ruins of the ancient city of Ai-Khanum in Afghanistan, but not all archaeologists agree that this Afghan city is the Alexandria of Oxiana, since it is very likely that Hellenistic buildings in this place were built years after the death of Alexander the Great.

There are also no conclusive proofs that Kampir Tepe is the legendary city, but excavations are still underway, and early archaeological layers testify that the construction of the city coincided with the conquest campaigns of Alexander the Great in Bactria.

Perhaps soon we will witness the unraveling of one of the ancient legends. Canaan Travel invites all travelers to visit Kampir Tepe and see with their own eyes one of the oldest archaeological sites in the East.