The Helmand Sistan Project
Key Sites

Khwaja Kanur

Latitude: 31.484853   Longitude: 64.393383
Enlarged satellite view

Map Number: 12  Go to the MAP

A large hill on the east side of the Helmand River at its juncture with the Arghandab River contains this site. The hilltop consists of a ridge running 200 m east to west. A recent shrine to an Islamic holy man is located at the west side of the crest of the site, covered with stones and artifacts from the Hellenistic and Parthian periods left in recent times by passing nomads honoring the imam. We were directed here by an American engineer who was also an artifact hunter and had amassed several thousand figurines and other ancient pieces purportedly from this site. Though we found similar objects in our 1971 and 1974 surveys of this site, we were unable to find the remains of any buildings so believe that these were transported here by pilgrims to the modern shrine from nearby Mukhtar, where we found the remains of what we believe to be a Hellenistic temple.

The hill of Khwaja Kanur overlooks the Helmand-Arghandab confluence and contains a recent Islamic imam’s gravesite. Scattered along the hillslope are Hellenistic-style architectural fragments, ceramics, and figurines which we believe originally came from nearby Mukhtar and were brought here by pilgrims.