The Form and Abandonment of the City of Kuik-Mardan, Otrar Oasis, Kazakhstan in the Early Islamic Period
Keywords:Islamization, Central Asia, urban archaeology
A joint Kazakh-British archaeological initiative undertook a survey and excavation of the city of Kuik-Mardan, one of the largest of the seventy or so known settlements in the Otrar oasis on the Syr-Darya river, Kazakhstan. Several complimentary field techniques were employed including unmanned aerial vehicle photomapping and an extensive programme of radiometric dating. The radiocarbon dates obtained are the first for any city in the oasis and allow more confident interpretations of the experience of the city to be ventured. Also undertaken was a geoarchaeological investigation of the surrounding irrigation and water supply canal system. Key results include its wholesale destruction during the 6th to 7th century and the form of the later occupation of the city.
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