The Helmand Sistan Project
Key Sites

Shahr-i Gholghola: Circular Enclosure

Latitude: 30.57893266   Longitude: 62.09031513

Map Number: 24  Go to the MAP

Two circular terraces 60 m wide apiece are inside the Circular Wall and hold both the Lower Palace and the mosque. A 1973 slit trench at the east end of the terraces showed that elaborate private residences were located here. Ceramics from these buildings suggest they were occupied in Saffarid, Ghaznavid, and Ghorid times. Other excavations through the terrace helped determine the nature of construction of the Citadel, its surrounding moat, and the Circular Wall. Another elaborate building visible along the terraces, which we labeled the Mint, dates from the Ghaznavid period and was reused in Timurid times. Though we found no earlier buildings, the large amounts of pre-Islamic ceramics throughout the Circular Enclosure suggests that the building of the Circular Wall and first occupation of the Circular Enclosure predates the arrival of Islam in Sistan.

Supervised by G.R. Amiri, excavators of the terrace trench uncovered evidence of elaborate domestic buildings inside the Circular Wall from the Saffarid and Ghaznavid periods.
The 1973 excavation trench through the eastern side terraces of the Circular Enclosure was designed to determine if this area was occupied contemporaneously with the neighboring Citadel.
The Mint was first occupied in Ghaznavid times and continued through the end of the Timurid period.
Some of the corridors in the 15th century Mint contained highly ornamented brick work with keyhole designs.


Outer Enclosure

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