4. Name of individual Silk Roads component part: Buddhist monastery Ajina-Tepe
Brief description of the object-component:
Buddhist monastery Ajina-Tepe functioned in VII-VIII cc. AD. Its area is 100 x 50 m. It has a typical clear compositional scheme. Two parts of the complex, the monastery and the temple is constructed with composition scheme of 4 iwan and courtyard. The volume of the stupa (14 x 14 m) stands in the center of the temple part of the courtyard, surrounded by a number of rooms for religious purposes. The compositional center of the half monastery is a square courtyard, around which are grouped monastic cells, a hall, and a holy place. The rooms of both halves are richly decorated with paintings and sculptures. Many fragments of sculptures of the Buddha were found here. Most valuable discovery is a 12-meter high clay sculpture of Buddha in nirvana position.
Statement of authenticity and/or integrity of the individual component property
The conservation work on Ajina-Tepe were carried out under the auspices UNESCO in 2005 - 2008. The site is considered as the cultural heritage of national importance. The caretaker who is appointed and paid by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan is responsible for the protection of the site. Also a variety of conservation measures are held by local government authorities. The total area of the site is 1.3 ha.
Comparison of the Silk Roads component property: why selected against SoOUV (including explanation of why other similar sites not selected
The approach of dividing the monastery into two functionally different, but similar in size and internal organization of the parts has been adopted in Buddhist monastery Fayaz-Tepe, which was built in the early AD at Termez.
In III - V cc. AD the two-part Buddhist monasteries, divided by the monastery and temple (erected in the center of the stupa courtyard) were built in the northern part of Afghanistan - in the Bagh-Gai, San-Khao and Kunduz. Despite to the general similarities of Ajina-Tepe with these sacral complexes, it exceed their strict proportionality and the interconnectedness of all parts, with rational clearly decisions and very clear ideas in design and development of several innovative techniques and forms (eg: the application of unloading-axillary vaulting)
Date of Submission: 09/11/1999
Off. of Preservation and Restoration of Monum. of History and Culture, Artistic Ex. Min. of Culture
Coordinates: The cloister of Ajina-Tepa is situated at a distance of 12 km from the east from the city of Kurgan-Tiube.
The cloister has a right-angled form (100 x 50 m.), it consists of two parts, there is a square yard surrounded buildings, in the center of it. There is a room in the middle of every side of the yard. The room consists of two parts too. The first part is an ivan (summer-house). There is a passage to the square cell in the back side of the ivan. These twin rooms are simmetrically situated face to face. The ivons are connected with crank corridors. The exits led from the corridors to the yard, other buildings, small monk cells of one or two rooms, economic premises. There was the second floor where it could be gone with a pandus but it didn't remain.
An entrance to the cloister was done in the center of the east façade there was an entrance-hall with a pandus. There was a hall for meetings of the monk community in the west part of the yard. A temple territory is situated in the north part. Its planning is approximately analogous to the first part, they were connected with wide passage. The central part was occupied with the Big Stupa (an element of Buddhistic temple for keeping of relics). The Big Stupa had a form of terrace cross-star form in the plan. It was oriented with its angles on the sides of world. Every façade had a staircase. The maximum size of the foundation of the Stupa is 28 m., the rest of the Stupa is 6 m. high.
There were the Small Stupas analogous to the Big Stupa but they where less than it in 10 times. They were situated in the corners of the yard and in the rooms of the north part of the temple. Beside that, the scientists found small models of the Stupas with small clay plates with buddhistic prayer.
The main building materials was clay and adobe bricks, the walls were 2,2-2,4 m. thick. The internal right-angles room were crowned with akchs, the square ones were crowned with cupolas. The cloister and the temple part were decorated with painting, big and small sculptures. The sculptures of the Buddha in different poses symbolized different stages of the life and activity of the Buddha.
There was a gigantic figure of the lying Buddha in Nirvana in the east end of the corridor of the temple part on the plane pedestal.
The sculpture was 12 m. long. All sculptures made of clay and the elements of the clothes were painted. The excavations of the monument of Ajina-Tepa finished in 1975. It is an important buddhistic cloister of Vahsh Valley.