DANESTAMA, a mud-brick structure on diaper masonry foundations located on the left bank of the Sorḵāb river, 34 km north of Doāb-e Mīḵzarīn on the road to Došī (35° 25’ N, 68° 14’ E).
A stone foundation carried a mud-brick edifice that can be reconstructed as a rectangular building 40.40 x 36.35 m, protected at each corner by a three-quarter-round bastion and reinforced on the northern flank by a semicircular bastion and on the east and west by pairs of semicircular bastions (for a ground plan, see Fischer, fig. 6.59). On the south a gate flanked by huge walls leads into a vestibule and an open court. The many chambers, regularly distributed along the northern, western, and eastern walls may indicate the function of the building, as an Islamic madrasa (religious school). One excavated specimen of stucco wall decoration with geometric designs can be compared with Ghurid and Ghaznavid architectural ornament in the palace at Laškarī Bāzār, thus suggesting a probable 11th-century date. The excavator discovered Ghaznavid slip-painted and Ghurid incised pottery from the 11th-13th centuries.
M. Le Berre, “Le monument de Danestama en Afghanistan,” REI 38, 1970, pp. 43-53.
K. Fischer, “From the Rise of Islam to the Mongol Invasion,” in F. R. Allchin and N. Hammond, eds., The Archaeology of Afghanistan from Earliest Times to the Timurid Period, London, 1978, pp. 351-52.
Originally Published: December 15, 1993
Last Updated: November 14, 2011
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Vol. VI, Fasc. 6, p. 656