Zar Tepe monastery, (towards) Angor, Surxondaryo Viloyati, UZ

Raw data

"Even so, Bactria appears to have prospered during the Kushan period. Thanks to trade expansion made possible by the prevalence of peace, Bactra became a major commercial center. The city was one of the chief halts on the silk road and the crossroads of routes leading westward to Marv, northward to Termeḏ, Čaḡānīān, and Kāšgar, and south-eastward to Kondūz, Sorḵ Kotal, Begrām, and thence to India. People were able and willing to travel, and among them were Indian monks who brought the religion of the Buddha to Bactria with the encouragement, so it seems, of the powerful Kushan king Kanishka. Numerous monasteries were founded in the region at that time: at Termeḏ (Qara Tepe), Zar Tepe, Kondūz, Bāmīān, Begrām, and elsewhere. […] Zar Tepe on the right bank of the Oxus" - Leriche & Grenet (1988).

"The Buddhist chapel and a stupa at Zar Tepe (25 km from Termez) should also be mentioned" - Melikian-Chirvani (n.d.)

"Approximately 26 kilometers northwest of Termez in southern Uzbekistan is the site of Zar-Tepe, a fortified settlement dating from the Kushan period (1st-3rd centuries A.D.)" - Niekum (2002).

Architectural & Archeological Monuments - Urkhandarya Province - Anghor
Balalyk Tepe - Castles of feudal period (5th to 7th AD)
Djumalak Tepe (5th to 6th century)
Khaidarabad Settlement (1st to 4th century)
Zar Tepe Settlement (3rd century BC)

Most likely it is NOT a place called Zortepa, Uzbekistan Page
World:Uzbekistan:Surxondaryo Viloyati, Lat 37.4433 Long 67.3894

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 30, 2010

“Zartepa surviving strong fortification walls with semicircular turrets rise not far from Old Termez site. As far back as the 2nd century BCE this ancient settlement was a large trading town, occupying the area of 16 hectares. […]
For seven centuries Zartepa was not only a center of commerce and craft but also an important religious center in Bactria. Archeologists unearthed a Buddhist chapel right on Zartepa fortification wall. Scholars believe that by the time this chapel was built, the wall had dilapidated. Several premises including living quarters and utility rooms were built in the wall. A few marble steps led to one of the rooms which served as a chapel. At the entrance there were two stone pedestals with bronze cups which were probably used for kindling the fire. The ceiling of the structure was made of wood. During the conflagration, which destroyed the town, the ceiling collapsed. In the thick layer of burned wood archeologists found the fragments of a gilded clay statue of Buddha, with only its head having remained intact. Near Zartepa lie the ruins of another Buddhist shrine called Kuyov-Kurgan.
Beyond the eastern fortification wall of the settlement, at a distance of 250 kilometers [meters, I presume - tmciolek], under a small hill archeologists unearthed a stupa. The lower part of the stupa is made of mud with adobe brickwork on top. The stupa was mounted on a 2-metre-high platform aligned with the four cardinal points of the compass. In the south side there was a flight of steps leading to the top of the platform where the base of stupa, six meters in diameter, was placed. The height of the stupa itself was originally seven meters.
In the northern part of the stupa the archeologists found a secret compartment for relics. It contained jewelry, a piece of cotton fabric and a ceramic pot which probably served as a container for incense. There were also 503 golden coins minted at the court of the last Kushan kings. The researchers dated both the stupa and the chapel in the fortification wall to the same period - the 3rd century.
[…] For the last time it was populated in the early Middle Ages. But after the Arabs had conquered Bactria-Tokharistan, the settlement was deserted for good.” -
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 13, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 01 Aug 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Zar Tepe monastery, UZ.

General location of the Zar Tepe monastery, UZ.
Lat 37.5333 Long 67.1167
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20UZ)&ll=37.5333,67.1167&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Zar Tepe monastery - Leriche & Grenet (1988).

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Uzbekistan:Surxondaryo Viloyati

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • [missing data]

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • 1st-3rd centuries CE - (Niekum 2002)

MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p - tmciolek 01 Aug 2014 
<=0200 0200-32p 0233-66p 0267-99p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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