Speaker: PD Dr. Nikolaus Boroffka, German Archaeological Institute, Eurasia Department, Berlin

The Archaeological Museum Hamburg presents a new lecture in its series “Window into History” on Thursday, 13th December at 18.00. The museum is currently presenting the exhibition “Margiana – A Kingdom of the Bronze Age in Turkmenistan”. In this month’s lecture “Alexander the Great in Central Asia – the fortress of Kurganzol in Uzbekistan” Dr. Nikolaus Boroffka takes his listeners to a search for clues in one of the neighbouring countries of Turkmenistan, in order to trace the “myth Alexander” there.

In the past, the territory of Turkmenistan was a center of high culture, tied to the precursors of the Silk Road between China, India, Iran and the Middle East. Alexander the Great reached the area in the 4th century BC on his way to India. The lecture introduces a fortress in an eastern neighbour of Turkmenistan: the fortress of Kurganzol in southern Uzbekistan. The complex was discovered in 2003 and excavated, with the participation of the Eurasia department of the German Archaeological Institute, represented by the lecturer Dr. Boroffka. Kurganzol is the only fortress in Central Asia whose construction was most likely ordered by Alexander the Great himself.

In the famous Battle of Issos in 333 BC for the first time, Alexander’s troops struck directly into the Persian army, commanded by the king of kings Dareios III as army commander. The Greeks defeated the Persians and a few years later, after another battle at Gaugamela (331 BC), Alexander made a magnificent appearance in Babylon. Following the vast Achaemenid Persian empire, his path took him to the remotest provinces of the region. Sources speak of him personally founding several fortifications to control and pacify the area. The speaker presents many interesting and new insights into the fortress Kurganzol and at the same time gives an insight into the spartan soldier life of the time.

The exhibition “Margiana – A Kingdom of the Bronze Age in Turkmenistan” can be seen until 17th February 2019 in the Archaeological Museum Hamburg.


Permanent Exhibition

Harburger Rathausplatz 5
21073 Hamburg