The Altyn Depe (also Altyn Tepe, which means “Golden Hill”) fortress dates back to the III – the beginning of the II millennium BC. It was connected with the formation of proto-town civilization. During the excavations a monumental cult complex with zikkurat dedicated to the God of Moon was opened.

In its structural relation “the town” consisted of living quarters of handicraftsmen with narrow (1-1,5 m) lanes between the close many-room houses of the ordinary communers, the quarters of wealthy townspeople, with more regular planning and lanes of 1,7-2,1 m and the quarters for aristocracy with strict distinct planning, wide and straight streets for those time (up to 2,5 m).

According to Al Makdisi Abiverd (the ancient town site of Peshtak between the stations of Artyk and Kaahka) was richer and more fertile than Parthian Nissa. It’s shakh-ristan was surrounded by the perimeter by the walls with rounded towers and the moat. A straight street connected the only town gates with the gates of the citadel. A monumental portal-and-dome mosque stood almost in the center /12th c.Main handicraft manufactures and baza.

Clay and bronze figures from Altyn Depe

Clay figures from Altyn Depe Bronze figure from Altyn Depe


It attracts attention with its ziggurat ruins. Altyn Depe is a monumental religious complex with a four-storey tower of the Mesopotamian ziggurat type. This structure has also been described as “proto-Zoroastrian”. The presence of the ziggurat clearly indicates close ties with the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia.

Reconstruction of the Altyndepe Ziggurat
Reconstruction of the Altyndepe Ziggurat

Namazga V and Altyn Depe were also in contact with the Late Harappan culture (ca. 2000 BC – 1600 BC). Many Indus Valley artefacts were found at Golden Hill, including ivory objects and Harappian-type stamp seals. At least one of these contained Harappian script.

Location of Altintepe on the map of the modern Middle East, and other Eneolithic cultures (Harappa and Mohenjo-daro)
Location of Altyn Depe on the map of the modern Middle East, and other Eneolithic cultures (Harappa and Mohenjo-daro)

Two-wheeled hand carts

Two-wheeled car models were found in Altyn Depe approximately B.C. It has been found around 3000 BC and is the earliest evidence of wheeled transportation in Central Asia, although the wheel models are probably primitive examples of this technology. Looking at the type of structure, it appears that the carts were first pulled by an ox or a bull. However, camels were domesticated within the BMAB. In Altyn Depe, approximately BC. A model of a chariot pulled by a camel was found, dating back to 2200 BC.