The archeological finds at Arkaim, in the Southern Urals steppe, 8.2 kilometres (5.1 mi) north-to-northwest of Amurskiy, and 2.3 km (1.4 mi) south-to-southeast of Alexandronvskiy, two villages in the Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, just to the north from the Kazakhstani border, is treasure trove of archeologists.
It is , based on the findings so far, indicates strong Sumerian and Vedic influences.
Temple built by Yama is found there.
The whole city seems to have been built by the Mandala concept of the Rig Veda.
The site is generally dated to the 17th century BC. Earlier dates, up to the 20th century BC, have been proposed. It was a settlement of the Sintashta-Petrovka culture. Newly found artifacts make the site itself much older; scientists agree on it being at least as old as Troy and the Egyptian pyramids; it dates back to the 4th millennium BC. It is said to be older then Stonehenge (3300 BC)…
During the excavations of Arkaim no jewellery was found, no masterpieces of ancient art, no unknown writings, nor other such treasures – only fragments of broken ceramic ware, bones of domestic and wild animals, an occasional stone tool and even more rare, bronze tools. But even those common things are not well presented at Arkaim. The collection of artifacts is so poor and unimpressive, that it is not possible to make a museum exhibit appropriate to the site. Therefore, from the point of view of archeologists, the main value of the ruins was, and probably will be, the design of the structures itself and their lay-out.
The structures were tall; they had solid walls, gallery ceilings, wood-paved roadways, second floors and high wooden towers. Nowadays, archeologists have a more complete picture of how the settlement in the Arkaim Valley looked at the time of its peak, and it is quite impressive. First of all it is important to emphasize the point that this large settlement was not a collection of separate structures, but an all-inclusive design and construction. The total area extends to about twenty thousand square meters (twenty-four thousand square yards), and the settlement ground-plan is comprised of two circles, one inside the other, made of massive defensive walls.
The external wall is about 160 meters (500 feet) in diameter. It was surrounded by a ditch 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide, filled with water. The external wall is very massive, 5.5 meters (16 feet) high and five meters wide. It was constructed of timbered cages filled with soil and added lime, and an outer facing of cob blocks. Four entries were designated in the wall: the largest-one southwesterly and three smaller ones located on opposite sides.
Inside the city entrance is the only ring-shaped street, about 5 meters (18 feet) wide, that separates dwellings adjoining the external wall from the internal ring-shaped wall. As mentioned above, the street had timbered flooring under which, along its full length, the 2 meter-wide (6 feet) ditch was dug which connected to the external ditch. Thus, the city had their storm water drain, the overflow of water filtered through the timbered roadway into the ditch which then went into the external ditch.
The circles of the dwellings were divided into sectors by radial walls, spaced in between every two premises. In the plan they look similar to wheel spokes. There were thirty-five dwellings at the external wall and twenty-five dwellings at the internal one.
One end of every dwelling adjoined either the external or the internal wall, and faced either the main ring-shaped street or the central square. In an improvised hall there was a special water drain which went into the ditch under the main street. Yes, as we saw earlier, ancient Aryans had a water drain! Furthermore, each dwelling enjoyed a well, a furnace and a small dome-shaped storage place.
From the well, above the water level, two earthen pipes branched off. One of them went to the furnace, another one to the dome-shaped storage place. What for? The most ingenious things are often simple. We all know that if one looks into a well one feels a flow of cool air. And so in the Aryan furnace, this cool air, passing through the earthen pipe, created a draught of such power, that they could mould bronze without use of bellows. It appears that each dwelling had such a furnace and ancient metal smiths only needed to perfect their skills to compete in this art. Another earthen pipe provided air to the storage place, of a lower temperature than the ambient air: some type of a refrigerator?
The central square that crowns Arkaim is approximately 25 by 27 meters (82 by 88 feet). Judging by the remnants of the fire places which were situated in specific locations, this was the square to fulfill certain sacraments.
The complicated and well planned internal lay-out of dwellings and ring-shaped streets made a sophisticated trap for uninvited visitors, in the divide between the external defensive wall and other fortifications as well as an efficient storm water drainage system. Even the colors of the “facing materials” used by ancient Arkaim inhabitants were functionally and aesthetically significant.
Further on, we see the ring of the internal wall with a puzzling purpose. It is even more massive than the external wall, being 3 meters wide (9 feet) by 7 meters high (22 feet). This wall, according to excavation data, has no entry, except for a small doorway in the southeast which isolates the twenty-five internal premises from all the rest. To approach the small entry in the internal ring, one had to go along the whole length of the ring-shaped street.
They realized that its lay-out, the ground-plan of Arkaim, is related to the Mandala principle, a square inside a circle – one of the basic sacred symbols of Buddhist philosophy.
The word Mandala is translated as a circle or disk. In the ancient Rig-Veda writings, where it has been first described, the word has a set of values: a wheel, a ring, the country, space, society, gathering.
The symbolic meaning of a Mandala is understood all over the world as a model of the Universe, even of the entire cosmos, where the two most important principles present in our Universe are represented in the form of a circle and a square. Arkaim, with its dwellings, having adjoining rooms, might possibly represent the “wheel of time”, where every aspect is defined by the previous one and in turn, defines the next one.
Did these ancient sages, perfectly familiar with the structure of the Universe, see how harmoniously and naturally it is arranged and therefore, constructed their city as a mini-Universe? And the engineering genius of these ancient builders, which we already explored, is equally admirable.
And now, further into these explorations, come more far-reaching conclusions which can be taken as a key to the most important riddle of Arkaim: In the ‘Land of Cities’, its most amazing distinction is not any richness of artifacts, but it’s surprisingly high level of spiritual culture. It represents a special world that in many aspects is permeated with spirituality, from settlement and funeral architectural forms to sculptured images chiseled into stone.
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