Home Region:  Turkestan (Central and Northern Eurasia)

Sarazm

EQ 2020  tj_sarasm / TjSaraz

This polity is named after an ancient settlement site at Sarazm, located in modern Tajikistan. The period runs from its initial settlement around 3500 BCE to the site’s abandonment c. 2000 BCE. [1] This period at Sarazm represents the first urban phase in Sogdiana and has yielded evidence of ceramic production, agriculture, irrigation and metallurgy. [2] Ceramic evidence, along with the presence of seashells, suggests that contacts were maintained with different areas of Central Asia. [3] [4]
Population and political organization
Due to the nature of the remaining evidence, the political organization of Sarazm is not known. While 100 hectares have been excavated at the site, the settlement area expanded and contracted throughout its existence, making a definite population estimate difficult for this period. [2]

[1]: (Anthony 2010, 420) Anthony, David W. 2010. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/7MNNVQRA.

[2]: (de la Vaissière 2011) Vaissière, É. de la. 2011. “Sogdiana III: History and Archeology.” Encyclopædia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sogdiana-iii-history-and-archeology. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/9AS4QQVB.

[3]: (Masson 1992, 232) Masson, V. M. 1992. “The Bronze Age In Khorasan and Transoxania.” In History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume I: The Dawn of Civilizations: Earliest Times to 700 B.C., edited by A. H. Dani and V. M. Masson, 225-46. Paris: UNESCO. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JZ5DSUEB/q/masson.

[4]: (Isakov 1994, 4-5) Isakov, A. 1994. “Sarazm: An Agricultural Center of Ancient Sogdiana.” Bulletin of the Asia Institute 8: 1-12. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/NWVCFNW7.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
42 S  
Original Name:
Sarazm  
Sarazm  
Capital:
Sarazm  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[3,500 BCE ➜ 2,000 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Andronovo  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[750,000 to 1,000,000] km2  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[1,750 to 7,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]  
Professions
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred absent  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
unknown  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
unknown  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
unknown  
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
unknown  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
inferred absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
unknown  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
unknown  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
unknown  
  Spear:
unknown  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
unknown  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
unknown  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
unknown  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
unknown  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Sarazm (tj_sarasm) was in:
 (3500 BCE 2001 BCE)   Sogdiana
Home NGA: Sogdiana

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Sarazm

"Before the arrival of Iranian peoples in Central Asia, Sogdiana had already experienced at least two urban phases. The first was at Sarazm (4th-3rd m. BCE), a town of some 100 hectares has been excavated, where both irrigation agriculture and metallurgy were practiced (Isakov). It has been possible to demonstrate the magnitude of links with the civilization of the Oxus as well as with more distant regions, such as Baluchistan." [1]

[1]: De la Vaissière, Encyclopedia Iranica online, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sogdiana-iii-history-and-archeology

Original Name:
Sarazm

"Before the arrival of Iranian peoples in Central Asia, Sogdiana had already experienced at least two urban phases. The first was at Sarazm (4th-3rd m. BCE), a town of some 100 hectares has been excavated, where both irrigation agriculture and metallurgy were practiced (Isakov). It has been possible to demonstrate the magnitude of links with the civilization of the Oxus as well as with more distant regions, such as Baluchistan." [1]

[1]: De la Vaissière, Encyclopedia Iranica online, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sogdiana-iii-history-and-archeology


Capital:
Sarazm

most important known site


Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[3,500 BCE ➜ 2,000 BCE]

Sarazm "is an archaeological site bearing testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia, from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE." [1]
"Sarazm probably was abandoned around 2000 BCE, just at the Namazga V/VI transition. On the lower Zeravshan, the smaller villages of the Zaman Baba culture probably were abandoned about the same time as Sarazm." [2]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141

[2]: (Anthony 2010, 420) Anthony, David W. 2010. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press.


Political and Cultural Relations


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[750,000 to 1,000,000] km2

km squared. "Before the arrival of Iranian peoples in Central Asia, Sogdiana had already experienced at least two urban phases. The first was at Sarazm (4th-3rd m. BCE), a town of some 100 hectares has been excavated, where both irrigation agriculture and metallurgy were practiced (Isakov). It has been possible to demonstrate the magnitude of links with the civilization of the Oxus as well as with more distant regions, such as Baluchistan." [1]

[1]: De la Vaissière, Encyclopedia Iranica online, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/sogdiana-iii-history-and-archeology



Language

Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[1,750 to 7,000] people

Inhabitants.
35ha at Seshat conversion 50-200 per ha would give a range of 1750-7000 people.
Sarazm was a mudbrick city that eventually covered 35ha. [1]
"This was a long-lasting and prosperous proto-urban metropolis, at the north-eastern extremity of a vast area stretching from Mesopotamia to the Indus and the Iranian plateau" [2]

[1]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 63) Anthony, David W. Brown, Dorcas R. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. in Mair, Victor H. Hickman, Jane. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvanian Press.

[2]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]

levels.
"Proto-urban Site of Sarazm" [1] "The ruins demonstrate the early development of proto-urbanization in this region." [1]
There were other settlements in addition to Sarazm. [2]
"All those findings prove that Sarazm, following the first nucleation of the mid-to-late fourth millennium BC, developed into a proto-urban centre supplying manufactured goods to its own population as well as those of a vast hinterland." [3]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141

[2]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 63) Anthony, David W. Brown, Dorcas R. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. in Mair, Victor H. Hickman, Jane. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvanian Press.

[3]: (Sarazm Management Plan 2005, 22)


Professions
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

"Buildings remains are numerous at Sarazm. They comprise housing, workshops for craftsmen, storage (granaries), as well as palatial and cult buildings. All are mainly built with earth-brick (adobe) that allowed flexibility in the architecture with a variety of uses, sizes and shapes." [1] Three types of monumental buildings were found at Sarazm: a religious building, a palatial complex and a communal granary. [2]

[1]: (Sarazm Management Plan 2005, 17)

[2]: (Razzokov and Kurbanov 2005: 19) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/IDTTJNJT.



Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown

Full-time specialists



Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

"Sarazm also demonstrates the existence of commercial and cultural exchanges and trade relations with peoples over an extensive geographical area, extending from the steppes of Central Asia and Turkmenistan, to the Iranian plateau, the Indus valley and as far as the Indian Ocean." [1] "Sarazm demonstrates the existence of inter-regional trade and cultural interchanges over long distances across Central Asia. This was a long-lasting and prosperous proto-urban metropolis, at the north-eastern extremity of a vast area stretching from Mesopotamia to the Indus and the Iranian plateau." [1] "The Proto-urban Site of Sarazm is one of the places that gave birth to and saw the development of the major trans-Eurasian trade routes." [1]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141


Irrigation System:
present

"This centre of settlement, one of the oldest in Central Asia, is situated between a mountainous region suitable for cattle rearing by nomadic pastoralists, and a large valley conducive to the development of agriculture and irrigation by the first settled populations in the region." [1] "perhaps at other settlements, eating bread made from wheat grown in irrigated fields (Isakov 1994, Isakov et al. 1987, Lyonnet 1996)." [2]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141

[2]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 63) Anthony, David W. Brown, Dorcas R. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. in Mair, Victor H. Hickman, Jane. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvanian Press.


Food Storage Site:
present

"Buildings remains are numerous at Sarazm. They comprise housing, workshops for craftsmen, storage (granaries), as well as palatial and cult buildings. All are mainly built with earth-brick (adobe) that allowed flexibility in the architecture with a variety of uses, sizes and shapes." [1]

[1]: (Sarazm Management Plan 2005, 17)


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

"The town played a regional role over a long period and on a very large scale in the working of metals, particularly tin and copper, and the associated development of handicrafts to produce tools, ceramics, and jewellery." [1]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Sacred Text:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Religious Literature:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Practical Literature:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Philosophy:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


History:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Fiction:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Calendar:
absent

"The Achaemenids brought writing to Sogdiana, and the written language long remained the Aramaic of the Achaemenid Empire." [1]

[1]: (De la Vaissière 2005, 17)


Information / Money



Article:
present

"The Proto-urban Site of Sarazm had connections with the steppes of Central Asia, and in addition with the Turkmenian, proto-Elamite, Mesopotamian, and Indus worlds." [1] "The Proto-urban Site of Sarazm is one of the places that gave birth to and saw the development of the major trans-Eurasian trade routes." [1]

[1]: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141


Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

Sintashta culture is also in Central Asia (essentially follows the Sarazm 2100-1800 BCE) but I don’t think there is enough here to infer present as Sarazm was not between the northern steppe and the forest zone:"One of the signature innovations of the Sintashta culture was the appearance of heavily fortified permanent settlements, with ditches, banks, and substantial palisade walls, in the steppes southeast of the Urals, beginning a shift from mobile to settled pastoralism that was adopted soon afterward across the northern steppe zone both to the east and the west. The late 3rd milennium BC was a time of intensified conflict and intensified interchange between the people of the northern steppes and the forest zone. Conflict and competition for shrinking marsh resources essential for wintering-over pastoral herds probably led to the sedentarization of the formerly mobile pastoralists of the steppes." [1]

[1]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 66) David W Anthony. Dorcas R Brown. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. Victor H Mair. Jane Hickman. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Philadelphia.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

Inferred absent for defensive stone walls. A stone wall has been found surrounding a funerary enclosure but this may be considered part of a building: "No large necropolis has yet been found at Sarazm, but excavation IV led to the discovery of a funerary enclosure with a round plan (15 m in diameter) surrounded by a stone wall. (see general plan of the excavation IV)." [1]

[1]: (Sarazm Management Plan 2005, 20)


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Inferred absent for defensive stone walls. A stone wall has been found surrounding a funerary enclosure but this may be considered part of a building: "No large necropolis has yet been found at Sarazm, but excavation IV led to the discovery of a funerary enclosure with a round plan (15 m in diameter) surrounded by a stone wall. (see general plan of the excavation IV)." [1]

[1]: (Sarazm Management Plan 2005, 20)






Earth Rampart:
unknown

Sintashta culture is also in Central Asia (essentially follows the Sarazm 2100-1800 BCE) but I don’t think there is enough here to infer present as Sarazm was not between the northern steppe and the forest zone:"One of the signature innovations of the Sintashta culture was the appearance of heavily fortified permanent settlements, with ditches, banks, and substantial palisade walls, in the steppes southeast of the Urals, beginning a shift from mobile to settled pastoralism that was adopted soon afterward across the northern steppe zone both to the east and the west. The late 3rd milennium BC was a time of intensified conflict and intensified interchange between the people of the northern steppes and the forest zone. Conflict and competition for shrinking marsh resources essential for wintering-over pastoral herds probably led to the sedentarization of the formerly mobile pastoralists of the steppes." [1]

[1]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 66) David W Anthony. Dorcas R Brown. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. Victor H Mair. Jane Hickman. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Philadelphia.


Sintashta culture is also in Central Asia (essentially follows the Sarazm 2100-1800 BCE) but I don’t think there is enough here to infer present as Sarazm was not between the northern steppe and the forest zone:"One of the signature innovations of the Sintashta culture was the appearance of heavily fortified permanent settlements, with ditches, banks, and substantial palisade walls, in the steppes southeast of the Urals, beginning a shift from mobile to settled pastoralism that was adopted soon afterward across the northern steppe zone both to the east and the west. The late 3rd milennium BC was a time of intensified conflict and intensified interchange between the people of the northern steppes and the forest zone. Conflict and competition for shrinking marsh resources essential for wintering-over pastoral herds probably led to the sedentarization of the formerly mobile pastoralists of the steppes." [1]

[1]: (Anthony and Brown 2014, 66) David W Anthony. Dorcas R Brown. Horseback Riding and Bronze Age Pastoralism in the Eurasian Steppes. Victor H Mair. Jane Hickman. eds. 2014. Reconfiguring the Silk Road: New Research on East-West Exchange in Antiquity. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Philadelphia.


Complex Fortification:
absent

"The reasons for the abandon of Sarazm by its inhabitants have not yet been identified. Hypothesis include migration of the population, epidemic disease, attack of this prosperous settlement which wasn’t fortified, ..., but none could really be verified." [1]

[1]: (Razzokov and Kurbanov 2005: 12) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/IDTTJNJT.



Military use of Metals


Copper:
present

required for bronze


Bronze:
present

"At any rate the Ferghana valley has yielded up a rich store of bronze and silver objects of clearly southern origin. The trove includes a pin with a double-helical head and a mace with a sculptural group representing the milking of a cow and the suckling of a calf. The residents of the southern oases may have been attracted to the Ferghana valley by its tin deposits so vital for metalworking in the Bronze Age." [1]

[1]: (Masson 1992, 242-244)


Projectiles

Sling Siege Engine:
absent

First use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE at Byzantine siege of Zevgminon. [1]

[1]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.



Self Bow:
present

"More than 150 metal artefacts (bronze: axes, arrowheads, knives, spears, hair pins, needles, lead blocks for export, lead stamps; silver and gold jewels) and numerous artefacts made of stone (grinding grains, leather, wood, showcases, bow and arrows, tools, marble cups and goblets) were found." [1]

[1]: (Razzokov and Kurbanov 2005: 22) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/IDTTJNJT.



Handheld Firearm:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

absent before the gunpowder era



Composite Bow:
unknown

"Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders." [1]

[1]: Sergey A Nefedov, RAN Institute of History and Archaeology, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Personal Communication to Peter Turchin. January 2018.



Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

"At any rate the Ferghana valley has yielded up a rich store of bronze and silver objects of clearly southern origin. The trove includes a pin with a double-helical head and a mace with a sculptural group representing the milking of a cow and the suckling of a calf. The residents of the southern oases may have been attracted to the Ferghana valley by its tin deposits so vital for metalworking in the Bronze Age." [1]

[1]: (Masson 1992, 242-244)





Dagger:
present

"The unusually rich metal inventory recovered from Sarazm [...] include daggers". [1]

[1]: (Isakov et al 1987: 90) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/EF2N2FE2.


Battle Axe:
present

"More than 150 metal artefacts (bronze: axes, arrowheads, knives, spears, hair pins, needles, lead blocks for export, lead stamps; silver and gold jewels) and numerous artefacts made of stone (grinding grains, leather, wood, showcases, bow and arrows, tools, marble cups and goblets) were found." [1]

[1]: (Razzokov and Kurbanov 2005: 22) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/IDTTJNJT.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.