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Altyndepe location on the modern Middle East map, also other Eneolithic cultures (Harappa and Mohenjo-daro)

Altyndepe (Алтын-Депе, the Turkmen for "Golden Hill") is a Bronze Age (BMAC) site in Turkmenistan, near Aşgabat, inhabited in the 3rd to 2nd millennia BC, abandoned around 1600 BC.

Namazga V and Altyndepe were in contact with the Late Harappan culture (ca. 2000-1600 BC), and Sarianidi affiliates the site with Indo Iranians. Masson (1988) views the culture as having a Proto-Dravidian affiliation. The site is notable for the remains of its "proto-Zoroastrian" ziggurat.[1]

Models of two-wheeled carts from c. 3000 BC found at Altyn-Depe are the earliest complete evidence of wheeled transport in Central Asia, though model wheels have come from contexts possibly somewhat earlier. Judging by the type of harness, carts were initially pulled by oxen, or a bull. However camels were domesticated within the BMAC. A model of a cart drawn by a camel of c. 2200 BC was found at Altyn-Depe.[2]


  1. ^ V. M. Masson and V. I. Sarianidi, Central Asia: Turkmenia before the Achaemenids (trans. Tringham, 1972); review: Charles C. Kolb, American Anthropologist (1973), 1945-1948
  2. ^ LB Kirtcho, The earliest wheeled transport in Southwestern Central Asia: new finds from Alteyn-Depe, Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia, vol. 37, no. 1 (2009), pp. 25–33.

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Coordinates: 36°51′28.50″N 60°25′56.55″E / 36.8579167°N 60.4323750°E / 36.8579167; 60.4323750