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Temple of the Oxus

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Marnie Leven, Lex Ladge Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Mar 16, 2018 10:21 AM History
The Temple of the Oxus is a Seleucid-era temple situated within the citadel of Takhti-Sangin, a Graeco-Bactrian town between the Vakhsh and Panj rivers.

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The Temple of the Oxus is a temple inside the citadel of Takht-i Sangin, a Greco-Bactrian town between the Vakhsh and Panj rivers in modern Tajikistan. The Temple appears to be an early Seleucid foundation of the 3rd c. BCE, though there is evidence of activity from the Achaemenid period (6th-4th c. BCE) through the Kushan (1st-2nd c. CE). The temple was excavated by Soviet archaeologists, principally by Litvinskii and Pichikyan. There is debate as to whether the structure is Zoroastrian fire temple or a sort of hybrid structure with cult primarily focused on an image, but remains one of the best examples of religious architecture form the Hellenistic far east. Finds from within the temple include different types of sculptures, including a  monumental bronze, half-sized korai, silver and ivory reliefs, terra-cottas, and sculptures of unfired clay. Finds also included a bronze statuette of Silenus-Marsyas mounted to a small stone altar bearing a Greek inscription, dedicated by a certain Atrosokes (a Bactiran/Greco-Iranian theophoric name) to the Oxus as a river god. This altar dates to 2nd c. BCE. The Temple of the Oxus or its environs in Takht-i Sangin is the probable findspot of the Oxus treasure, a large votive deposit of silver and gold metalwork from the Achaemenid period now housed in the British Museum.

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Marnie Leven, Lex Ladge, Jeffrey Becker, and Thomas Landvatter, 'Temple of the Oxus: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2018 <> [accessed: 22 June 2024]

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