Ancient settlement of Kanka near Tashkent

Location - Tashkent

The famous historical place in the Tashkent region - the fort of Kanka is shrouded in a lot of legends. According to one of them, the ancient settlement of Kanka was the central city of the Kangyu state, the first mention of which dates from the Chinese sources то the II century BC. In Chinese chronicles, the city of Kanka was known under the names "Yuni" and "Shi", and in the Middle Ages was called "Harashket". There are reports that the ancient city existed between the III century BC and the XIII century of our era. During these long years, it was repeatedly rebuilt and changed its boundaries.

But the most interesting version of the origins of the city of Kanka considers that it is in fact the famous city of Antiochia in Scythia, which was built exactly in the 3rd century BC on the right bank of the Yaksart river (as Syrdarya river was called in ancient times) after the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire. The city was named after the Syrian king Antiochus.

Ancient settlement of Kanka near Tashkent

Architectural appearance of the city

As it should be, the fortress of Kanka corresponded to the architectural traditions of Central Asia and consisted of 3 parts:

  • a huge citadel (an inner fortress defending the city)
  • shahristan (the very territory of the city inside the city walls, but outside the citadel)
  • rabad (suburbs adjacent to shahristan)

An unusual feature of the site was the presence on its territory of 3 shahristans, one inside another serving as a powerful defensive force that protects the citadel.

Our days: what remains of the site of ancient settlement and what to see?

Until now, of the city, with an area of 500 hectares, only the remains of walls and hilly peaks have remained. On one of them there is a cone-shaped hill 50 meters high - this is a former citadel. Nearby are the walls of Shahristan, the remains of the four towers and the Aryan temple, which once supported the sacred fire as a symbol of state welfare. By the way, during the archaeological excavations in 2010, scientists found this very hearth walled in one of the walls. Besides it, a lot of ceramic and glass products, coins, plates, lyagans, terracotta figurines and much more were found.

Kanka hillfort attracts people with its high historical importance, excavations are still being conducted here, and many tour companies include visiting ancient ruins in its program with the aim of acquainting you with the history of this part of the Tashkent oasis. You can independently reach it by crossing 70 km to the southwest from Tashkent, to the Akkurgan district of the Tashkent region.

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