Toprak-Kala - "treasure" of ancient Khorezm


Toprak-Kala or "Earth City" is one of the most valuable and majestic monuments of Ancient Khorezm. It is located on the territory of the Ellikkala region of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, 12 km. from the village of Buston.

The monument, like many other monuments of the ancient Khorezm civilization, was discovered by an outstanding archaeologist and historian Sergei Pavlovich Tolstov. It happened in 1938 during exploration work. The area of the settlement is 120 hectares and as it turns out later, there was once a full-fledged city and a magnificent castle-palace, surrounded by an imposing defensive wall and square towers.

The once magnificent castle was the core of the ancient city and was the residence of the Khorezm kings of the 2nd-3rd centuries AD. Here, behind the defensive wall, there were defensive galleries from enemy attacks, numerous streets and shopping arcades were located, and a wide front street ran in the center. The ancient city was so large that its territory included 10 quarters, with about 200 utility and residential premises. Each quarter had its own mini-centers, which housed sanctuaries and craft rooms. More than 2.5 thousand people lived in the city, half of them worked in the palace residence.

The palace deserves special attention. It will not be difficult to imagine how majestic and luxurious it was, because its height could reach 40 meters and consisted of a palace of 150 rooms decorated with sculptures and paintings. During the excavations, scientists noted an interesting detail of Toprak-Kala: art paintings in the Hellenistic style were used to decorate the premises of not only the palace, but also the houses of ordinary townspeople, which speaks of the high culture of the ancient city.

The castle consisted of three floors. A huge number of relics were found in his rooms: from food remains (bones, seeds) to fragments and whole parts of vessels, various dishes, decorations, sculptures (one of the most famous sculptures is the Statue of the Priest), paintings and even ancient Khorezmian texts.

The center of the luxurious palace, of course, was the throne room, decorated with monumental wall paintings and antique ornaments. In the "hall of the kings" were found sculptures of late Hellenistic art, various portraits and statues with very realistic faces.

The excavations of the Toprak-Kala castle became a sensation and yielded a huge amount of interesting material, which made it possible to conclude that in the III century the city was the progressive capital of Ancient Khorezm, ancient culture flourished on this land, and the streets and premises were so well designed that Toprak -kala can be called - the kingdom of geometry.

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