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Altin-depe and the Bull Cult

  • V. M. Masson

On the resumption of excavation in the autumn of 1972, a funerary complex belonging to a community of priests was discovered among a group of religious buildings in the early urban Bronze Age centre of Altin-depe in South Turkmenia. All the material found there dates from the early stages of Namazga V, or, using the accepted chronology, from the end of the third millennium BC (Masson, 1973, 481). It had previously been established that the chief building of this religious group was a stepped, tower-like edifice which had clearly been built in the style of the Mesopotamian ziggurats and had been rebuilt three times in the course of its existence (Masson and Sarianidi, 1972, 117–18). The funerary complex excavated in 1972 corresponds chronologically to the first, relatively small, ziggurat and was situated southeast of it.

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