07.06.04 21:28

A season of spring field excavations is over for the Margush archeological expedition under the leadership of famous Russian scientist Victor Ivanovich Sarianidi. Mass media of Turkmenistan and other states have on numerous occasions reported about his successful work this year. Today, the well-known archeologist sums up the results of spring season work. Prof. Victor SARIANIDI said in particular:

- Of course, I am satisfied with the results of our two-month staying in Karakums. As you see, we could achieve quite fundamental results even with those modest resources that we have today. First, I can now state with full confidence that remains of a construction with big water reservoir in its center, that we found, are exactly a Water Temple, which along with a Fire Temple, a Public Refectory Temple and a Temple of Sacrifice, that we discovered earlier, had made up an organic whole in a complicated group of buildings for religious purposes, situated around a king's residence.

Scientists are well aware of the ancient Oriental believes and rituals connected to water worshiping. According to linguists ancient inodaryys practiced making regular sacrifices to Fire and Water, the two elements that played a vital role in their every day lives. Now we have a full picture of a palace-temple facility of Northern Gonur that existed in the Bronze Age, i.e. in the second millennium B.C. - over 4,000 years ago. There was a so-called "kuruk" or, in other words, "a sacred territory" that included a king's palace and temples. It could be a kind of a "king's city" where the ruler's family resided and main sanctuaries of Gonur, a capital of the country of Margush, stood. The fact that there was a bypass (not defensive) wall is perfect evidence that there existed not an ordinary ancient city but a sort of restricted area to commons. It was a residence for major worshipping ceremonies.

Accidentally, digging out an exploratory ditch, we found an unusual room with extremely interesting content. After thorough examination we could find out that to all appearances it was a king's mausoleum. There are several important indications of that. In fact, there were found such symbols of sovereignty as stone rods, bronze harpoons, serving as attributes of power in the old world, pictures of an eagle made of mosaic and bones of elephants framed with gold, numerous mortuary gifts of excellent quality, traces of sacrifices and, most unexpectedly, a real chariot! It was made mainly of wood and its wheels had bronze rings. Wood eroded long ago, but bronze remained in good condition. All clinches on the rings and many other details are perfectly visible. Renovators will have to work scrupulously and for quite a long time to fix this fragile construction and pull it out. Only after completing all these operations it can be displayed in a museum. There were discovered remains of a horse and a camel near the chariot, but this four-wheel chariot doesn't seem to have been used as a means of transportation but rather a kind of catafalque to carry the dead king to the mausoleum.

I cannot but also tell about true masterpieces of the ancient art of jewelry that were found during this spring excavations. There are two miniature statues that stand out among others: a stature of jeyran made of gold and a stature of lionet made of lazuli, quite a unique stone in those places. Their size is less than one centimeter, but one can see all the details of these amazing creations by ancient craftsmen through a loupe. It is really hard to imagine how they could depict so authentically and on such a small scale a dynamic of animals' poses that lived in the country of Margush. Today we hand over these precious findings to the National Museum of Turkmenistan, and I hope that very soon everyone will be able to acknowledge what great skills distant ancestors of the Turkmen people had.

Based on reports of the Turkmen State News Agency.