One of the most enigmatic places of interest of Karakalpakstan is the ancient Khwarasm fortress called Koi-Krylgan-Kala, which means “the Fortress of Dead Rams”. The origin of such unusual name is still a mystery, as well as the reasons of the very peculiar construction of the fortress: the rounded perimeter of the fortifications does not resemble any similar buildings, as well as the shape of internal buildings, the palace and other constructions.
The shape of the fort was an almost perfect circle. Its towers served for defense and observing the surroundings. The citadel located in the center of the fort was inside the fortifications and the space remaining between the attraction and the wall was filled with various constructions. Despite the buildings being made of clay, they were so well-built that the fortress stayed at this place for about 400 years.
Many fragments of crockery also made of clay were found near the fortress and within its territory. Judging by the magnificence of the fragments, it used to belong to a nobleman. The ruler was guarded by the valiant warriors. The arrow heads and other fragments of weapons found here approve the good degree of readiness of the guard to encounter the enemies.
As of the moment of the fortress being found it was considered to be the most ancient discovery in Central Asia. It was accidentally discovered during the expedition to the region of the ancient Khwarasm kingdom in 1938. The archeologists were confused by the unusual construction of the fortress and became focused on studying its history. The statuettes of the Zoroastrian deities (Siyavash, the god of sun, and Anahita, the goddess of rivers and seas) were found at the place of the fortress; therefore, the scientists concluded that Koi-Krylgan-Kala is of Zoroastrian origin.
These very images are seen on the fragments of liquid vessels and crockery. The writings in ancient Khwarasmian also provided much information to the scientists, but they did not manage to learn anything about the purpose of the fortress and the reasons of its peculiar construction to the full degree. Besides, another fact discovered by the archeologists raises questions: it was determined that the fortress was partly destroyed in its central part shortly after its construction. The nature of the fire indicates that it could have occurred through negligence or could be the sabotage of plotters. The answer has still not been revealed.
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