SPACH Photo Catalogue of Major Priority Sites and Monuments:

Provinces:

Badakhshan Badghis
Baghlan
Balkh
Bamyan
Farah
Faryab
Ghazni
Ghor
Herat
Helmand
Jawzjan
Kabul
Kandahar
Kapisa
Khost
Kunar
Kunduz
Laghman
Logar
Nangarhar
Nimroz
Nuristan
Paktika
Paktya
Parwan
Samangan
Sari Pul
Takhar
Uruzgan
Wardak
Zabu
l

SURKH KOTAL

LOCATION: Baghlan Province. On a hill to the west of the road to Haibak, 18.5 km north of Pul-i Khumr

DATE: Kushan & Kushano- Sasanian, 2st-4th C. (Ceramic, numismatic, stylistic).

DESCRIPTION: A major Kushan dynastic shrine complex on top of a hill overlooking the Baghlan plain. It is approached by a monumentral brick and masonry staircase, falnked by four massive terraces, cut out of the hillside. The temple itself -possibly a fire temple- is in the centre of a paved courtyard, and consists of a masonry altar with four Hellenistic column bases at each corner, in a sanctuary with massive mud walls. The most important finds have been inscriptions. The most noteable one is the foundation inscription, a monumental inscription in the Bactian language, made up of a series of stone blocks that originally lined the front of the third terrace. The other main inscription is the Nokonzoko inscription in three versions, that describes the construction and restoration of the complex, also in the Bactrian language. Other finds include a life-size headless statue of Kanishka, serveral more inscriptions, many coins and various sculptural fragments in stone and stucco."

From Ball, W. Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, Paris, 1982, p. 261


CONDITION: plundered. architectural elements looted for private use and natural deterioration

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