A city and its landscape across time: Samarkand in the ancient Sogdiana (Uzbekistan)

Mantellini, S. (2017) A city and its landscape across time: Samarkand in the ancient Sogdiana (Uzbekistan). Archeologia e Calcolatori, 28 (2). pp. 333-342. ISSN 1120-6861

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Located in the heartland of Central Asia, Samarkand has always been an economic, cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious hub along the ancient Silk Road. A regional approach, based on a GIS remote sensing assessment followed by field validation, was used here to reconstruct the urban evolution of Samarkand in connection with its hinterland. The basic archaeological features in the landscape (anthropic mounds, canals and burials) allowed us to reconstruct the main forms of land use and resource exploitation according to site distribution and chronology. If Samarkand was established as early as the Achaemenid period (late 6th century BCE), the evidence dated to that time from its hinterland is scarce. A first significant increase occurred during the post-Hellenistic centuries (3rd-1st centuries BCE), and reached the peak at the time of the most intense trade along the Silk Road just before the major changes following the Arab conquest of the early 8th century CE. Data also demonstrated how the development of Samarkand must be closely linked with a proper exploitation of its territory. A massive and complex irrigation system in the floodplain ensured the supply of water necessary to develop extensive farming and daily-life activities, while rain-fed foothills were used as pastures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: GIS and cartography; survey and excavations
Subjects: 900 Storia, Geografia e discipline ausiliarie > 930 Storia dei mondo antico fino al 499 ca. > 930.1 Archeologia (Classificare qui la Storia fino al 4000 a.C., l'Archeologia preistorica, le opere interdisciplinari sull'Archeologia) > 930.102 Archeologia - Opere miscellanee > 930.1028 Archeologia – Tecniche, metodologie, apparecchi e strumenti (comprende: Archeometria) > 930.10285 Archeologia – Applicazioni informatiche (comprende: tecniche di datazione)
Depositing User: Dott.ssa Paola Moscati
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 14:12
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2018 14:12
URI: http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/id/eprint/17410

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