Vardanze archaeological site represent the remains of a Medieval fortified town of Vardana, which controlled the territories along Samarkand-Bukhara (Shāhrāh) section of the Silk Roads. It was one of the political centers of Western Sogd: in the 4th-8thcenturies, it was the capital of an ancient agricultural land of Bukhara, which cultivation was based on the water resources of Shafirkan, a medieval canal leading from the Zarafshan river. It was the residence of Vardan-Khudats (Kings of Vardana), competing for the supremacy in this area during Hephthalites, the Turkish Khaganates, and the Arabs in the 4th-8thcenturies; they were the rulers of the whole of Bukhara oasis in the early 8thcentury; their palace with traces of decoration is being excavated on the Citadel. Vardanze settlement was also a strategic trading and production point in the frontier between the steppe and the territories along the Silk Roads, which ensured the export and import of goods with nomads in the 4th-13thcenturies.

The site of Vardanze

The site of Vardanze is considered one of the most prominent monuments of the region.
The site of Vardanze is considered one of the most prominent monuments of the region.
In the early Middle Ages, it was the capital, albeit of a small, but rich and strong principality of Obavia. The rulers of Vandanze (Vardanhudats) competed on equal terms with the kings of Bukhara – Bukharkhudats. An-Narshahi mentions Vardana in the Сhapter 6 of the book. According to the description, Vardana was a large town with a powerful fortress, which in ancient times was the residence of the kings, but at the time of the historian himself, the residence was no longer there. Vardana was founded by Malik (king) Shahpur (Shapur). It was located on the border with Turkestan and therefore was of great importance as a strategic, commercial and industrial point. A weekly bazaar was held here, and the famous "zandaniychi" type fabric was made – a type of fabric valued as high as the Chinese silk. Obaviya was located on the border with the nomadic steppe and those agricultural territories along where the main Bukhara-Samarkand route of the Great Silk Road – "Shahrokh" ("Main Way") passed.
The citadel of the monument, which for centuries was the residence of the early medieval principality of Vardanhudats, was represented by a palace hall with a rectangular layout with the remains of paintings on the base of the walls.

The archeological site is located in the village of Vardanzi in the Shafirkan district of the Bukhara region. The settlement consists of a citadel and a shahristan; at the foot of the hill there is a mausoleum where St. Burka Sarmast was buried. A memorial mosque was built there later. It is a place of pilgrimage for the local population. The area of the surviving ruins of the shahristan is 76 hectares. This includes the 7910 sq. m Vardona - "Orkoni Vardonze" citadel, 70 × 108 m on the outside, 33 × 70 m on the inside, 15-16 m high.
The following data was collected as a result of documenting the site within the framework of drafting the nomination dossier "The Great Silk Road: Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor":
§ 2079 photographs (including detailed aerial photographs of facades and roofs of architectural elements, perspective and artistic aerial photographs, panoramic photographs, as well as photographs revealing visual points in the context of the surrounding urban environment at the level of the human eye);
§ 2 video fly-overs, conveying a complete picture of the volume of the monument and the town-planning (urban) context;
As a result, the following has been obtained:
§ detailed orthophotomosaics and 3D-model of the territory of the monument, where the architectural, infrastructural, household and other elements are available for detailed visual examination;
§ digital elevation model (DEM), which allows the most complete assessment of the features of the urban and natural landscape, as well as obtain a detailed topographic map of the territory;
§ detailed 3D models of architectural objects, fully transmitting the entire spectrum of visual perception, both of the object as a whole, and of its individual elements (high accuracy of shape and geometry in real scale with georeference, high-resolution texture that allows for visual assessment of the state of conservation of minor details, etc.)

Made on