Kaunchi Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kaunchi Culture


an archaeological culture widespread along the middle course of the Syr Darya and along its tributaries (Angren, Chirchik, Keles) from the first century B.C. to the early eighth century a.d. It is named after the ancient town site of Kaunchi-Tepe, which was first investigated in 1934–37 by G. V. Grigor’ev.

The Kaunchi culture is characterized by settlements located near water sources and surrounded by mounded burial grounds (catacombs with a long dromos, crypts, burial vaults). Well balanced modeled pottery was typical: khums (large vessels for storing water and food), pots, pitchers, and cups with handles topped with an image of a ram’s head. In the late third century and early fourth century the image of the ram’s head on certain ceramic objects was replaced by an image of a bull’s head. Weapons also began to appear in the burials during this period. The people of the Kaunchi culture engaged in nonirrigated farming (barley, millet, wheat, rice, cotton, melons, and fruits) and pastoral livestock breeding (chiefly cattle). The Kaunchi culture exerted a considerable influence on the cultures of many regions in Middle Asia.


Grigor’ev, G. V. Kaunchi-Tepe (raskopki 1935 g). Tashkent, 1940.
Drevnosti Chardary. Alma-Ata, 1968.
Levina, L. M. Keramika nizhnei i srednei Syrdar’i v 1 tys. n. e. Moscow, 1971. (Trudy Khorezmskoi arkheologo-etnograficheskoi ekspeditsii, vol. 17).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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