Adaptive Dynamics of Settlement Models in the Urban Landscape of Termez (Uzbekistan) fromc. 300 BCE to c. 1400 CE

Ariño, E.; Uribe, P.; Angás, J.; Piqué, R.; Portero, R.; Martínez-Ferreras, V.; Gurt, J.M. Adaptive Dynamics of Settlement Models in the Urban Landscape of Termez (Uzbekistan) from c. 300 BCE to c. 1400 CE. Land 2023, 12, 1550.

The archaeological site of Ancient Termez is located in southern Uzbekistan. Despite the
arid environment, the city benefited from its strategic position near two rivers, the Amu Darya and the
Surkhan Darya. Its significance was mainly related to the expansion of trade routes connecting Eurasia.
The city comprises several enclosures that attest long-term human-environment interactions. In order
to identify the adaptive dynamics of the settlement models during an extended chronology covering
the period from c. 300 BCE to c. 1220 CE (Greco-Bactrian/Yuezhi, Kushan, Kushano-Sasanian, and
Islamic periods), a multidisciplinary study has been carried out, which includes: (1) archaeological
excavations in several areas of the urban complex; (2) pedestrian surveying inside some enclosures
and in the urban periphery; (3) an aerial survey based on high-resolution satellite imagery; (4) AMS
dating of charcoal and bone samples; (5) archaeobotanical investigation through anthracological
analysis; (6) zooarchaeological studies. The results point to variations in the development of the
inhabited spaces, in which abandonment and occupation took place. The zooarchaeological and
archaeobotanical data demonstrate the exploitation of natural resources in different environments
(i.e., arid areas and irrigated land) and a certain evolution during the period considered.

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