The role of trees in the life of ancient population of Gonur-Depe (the Bronze Age, Turkmenistan)

Sataeva L.V. (Ufa, Russian Federation), Sataev R.M. (Moscow, Russian Federation)

                      page 134142


The article is aimed to clarify the role of woody plants in the life of the ancient population of Gonur-Depe (Turkmenistan), the proto-urban center of Ancient Margiana, which was located in the South-Eastern Karakum (Turkmenistan) and belonged to the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAK). Remains of monumental architecture (a Kremlin with a central palace and a temple complex, surrounded by robust defensive walls with towers) and an adjacent unfortified suburb were found in the settlement. According to the radiocarbon datings, the settlement functioned in the time period of 2500 to 1500 years BC. he results of our research show that the population of Gonur Depe widely used wood and wood products. Microscopic analysis of wood showed that saxaul (Saxaul sp.) was used as main fuel. Shrubby types of thistle (Salsola sp.), tamarisk (Tamarix sp.), camel-thorn (Alhagi pseudalhagi) were not so widely used. The coal collected in the territory of the Palace-temple complex belongs to tamarisk, saxaul, Calligonum, poplar (Populus sp.), maple (Acer turcomanicum), Spireantus Shrenk's (Spiraeanthus schrenkianus). Poplar and willow (Salix sp.) were used for construction purposes. Pro-ducts of different function (wagon wheels, tools, jewelry) were made of elm (Ulmus sp.), maple (Acer sp.), willow (Salix sp.), ash (Fraxinus sp.), leather smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria), exochorda (Exochorda sp.), chaste tree (Vitex sp.). A part of the wood and/or wood products were received from the outside, which again confirms the existence of well-established trade contacts of the inhabitants of Gonur with neighboring regions which were situated at different distances from it.


Key words: archaeobotanical research, use of woody plants, Ancient Margiana, Gonur-Depe.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-36-1-134-142




L.V. Sataeva

Bashkir State Agrarian University, 50-letiya Octyabrya st., 34, Ufa, 450001, Russian Federation 



R.M. Sataev

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science,  Leninsky Prospect, 32a, Moscow, 119991 Russian Federation