Sarazm kishlak, located 15 km to the east of Penjikent is believed to be around 5,000 years old. Covering an area of more than 70 hectares the site is thought to have been the largest metallurgical centre in Central Asia. The site was abandoned after the Indo-Iranian invasion around 2,000 BC. Historians and archeologists believe that the city was established as a mining point to collect the turquoise found locally. The city was also an important regional centre for agriculture and the production of copper. Excavation of the site began following its discovery by a local farmer in 1976. Archeologists discovered decorated ceramics as well as items made from stone and bronze such as daggers, knives and axes.
In July 2010 the site was inscribed into the world Heritage List as "an archaeological site bearing testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia, from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE". http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1141/
Ruins of Ancient Penjikent
The ruins of ancient Penjikent were discovered over a hundred years ago. The town, built in the 5th century was a major settlement of the Sogdian people. The site is thought to have been one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the Silk Road. The remains have not been built upon since it was abandoned in the 8th century and it is still possible to see the foundations of the houses. Archeologists have also unearthed two temples and a shop lined bazaar. These have helped to characterize the activities and social structure of the town’s people. In some of the workshops discovered, the remains of furnaces, bellow nozzles and casting moulds were found. The town also had developed a water system using ceramic pipes.