Archaeo­lo­gical Discovery Con­firms…

10 September 2021
3217

Due to the special concern of Pre­si­dent Gurbanguly Ber­di­mu­ha­me­dov for the revival, stu­dy and pre­servation of ancient tra­di­tions, the Turk­men peop­le received an op­por­tu­ni­ty to stu­dy their his­to­ry mo­re deep­ly and comp­re­hen­sively. Un­doub­ted­ly, na­tio­nal tra­di­tio­nal ga­mes are part of the spi­ri­tual cul­tu­re of the Turk­men peop­le. Ma­ny sports ap­pea­red in ancient ti­mes. They have stood the test of ti­me and survived to this day. This has be­en proven by the work of a num­ber of re­searchers dea­ling with the his­to­ry of sports and by archaeo­lo­gical excavation da­ta from ancient sett­le­ments.

Nu­me­rous finds, inclu­ding dice as­hyk, ob­jects in the sha­pe of a sna­ke’s he­ad for the board ga­me pechiz and fi­gu­ri­nes of peop­le and ani­mals, so­me of which not on­ly played the ri­tual and ma­gical ro­le, but al­so served as to­ys for child­ren, we­re found at the mo­nu­ments of the IV-II mil­len­nium BC (Al­tyn-De­pe and Na­maz­ga-De­pe) in Sout­hern Turk­me­nis­tan and du­ring archaeo­lo­gical excavations at the ancient Mas­sa­get mounds. An in­te­res­ting ob­ject was discovered du­ring archaeo­lo­gical excavations at one of the me­dieval mo­nu­ments in the Se­rahs oa­sis – the si­te of ancient sett­le­ment Ge­ok-Te­pe, the ruins of which we­re stu­died last cen­tu­ry by the fa­mous Sout­hern Turk­me­nis­tan In­teg­ra­ted Expe­di­tion (STIAE) and iden­ti­fied by archaeo­lo­gists with the first stop on the Se­rahs–Merv secti­on of the Great Silk Ro­ad from the si­de of Se­rahs, men­tio­ned by travel­lers (Hor­dad­beh, Ku­da­my and Maqdi­si) – the Na­jar Cast­le, located 15 km north of pre­sent-day Se­rahs. A frag­ment of a burnt brick, on one si­de of which the li­nes we­re drawn to form three 3 squa­res inscri­bed in each ot­her, was found in the layers da­ting back to the 11th-12th cen­tu­ries. It was not­hing mo­re than a plan for playing duz­zum, eng­raved on the sur­face of the brick that served as a board. Cer­tain­ly, its grap­hic plan has un­der­go­ne so­me chan­ges over the long pe­riod of exis­tence of this ga­me. For examp­le, the dia­go­nal li­nes at the cor­ners have di­sap­pea­red in the mo­dern ga­me plan. The conven­tio­nal “apart­ments” have become smal­ler, and the moves have become simp­ler. Ho­wever, one thing is cer­tain – the ga­me exis­ted in the ter­ri­to­ry of Turk­me­nis­tan 800-900 years ago, and per­haps it has even mo­re ancient roots.

Ol­ga ADY­KOVA,
a re­search wor­ker at the Ins­ti­tu­te of His­to­ry and Archaeo­lo­gy, Acade­my of Sciences of Turk­me­nis­tan