|22 April 2004
Turkmen diggers find ancient temple of water
Archaeologists have made a sensational discovery in Turkmenistan: a temple of water dating back to the third millennium BCE.
The Margianskaya expedition has been digging on the site of an ancient settlement called Gonur in the delta of the Murgab River in the eastern Mary region, some 200 miles east of the country's capital, Ashgabat. Victor Sarianidi, a Russian archaeologist, leads the expedition, which discovered a rounded hollow about 55 yards in diameter and between eight and nine feet deep. The hollow is a short distance away from the royal palace dug out earlier. The scientists suspect the hollow was a man-made pool used for religious ceremonies. A system of gutters carried rainwater to it and there is evidence water also could flow into the pool from the Murgab.
It once was thought that tribes living there had been fire-worshippers, but the scientists said it is more likely they were water-worshippers, or perhaps worshipped both.
Sources: United Press International, The Washington Times (20 April 2004)
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