The Helmand Sistan Project
Key Sites

Qala 169

Latitude: 30.55486868   Longitude: 62.09461026
Enlarged satellite view

Map Number: 18  Go to the MAP

A large Sar-o-Tar fortified mound 50 x 80 m in size and 15 m high is surrounded by a lower circular walled compound to the southeast 140 x 80 m in  dimension. It is where we first identified in 1971 a type of painted pottery we later determined to be from the Early Iron Age. We returned to excavate six trenches across the site in 1974, uncovering its core pakhsa platform and several succeeding rebuildings in mudbrick. The three earliest occupation levels date to the Early Iron Age and are located on top of the mound, at its base, and within the compound. A final mudbrick cap on the top of the mound dates from Partho-Sasanian times. We found an additional 20 sites from the Early Iron Age in our survey, a culture not previously known to archaeologists, the largest of which was Qala 350A.

One of the excavation trenches dug into the high mound of Qala 169 in 1974. The initial solid pakhsa platform undergirding the mound is visible at the center of the trench. Part of the wall surrounding the compound at the base of the mound is visible at the far right.
The mound of Qala 169 in the Sar-o-Tar Plain consists of a high mound and a lower compound around the southern half of its base.