Kampyr-Tepe is one of the oldest archaeological sites in the territory of Uzbekistan. It is ruins of the port city located on the Amu Darya River (Oxus in ancient times), founded at the end of the IV century BC and existed until the beginning of the first century BC. Kampyr-Tepe is situated 30 kilometers southwest of Termez, on the right bank of the Amu Darya River. The settlement was founded to operate the Burdaguy ferry and serve as a hotel and customs. There was a terminal for traders, taking the route of the Silk Road, where they could rest, dispatch their goods, pray to the gods and continue their way.
The Kampyr-Tepe complex consists of a main citadel, surrounded by a moat, “downtown”, walled by a rampart with towers, and unfortified suburb. There, the archaeologists found well-preserved cultural layers of early Hellenistic, Greco-Bactrian and Kushan-Uezhian eras. The numerous finds as well as architectural features of the ancient site suggest the coexistence of various cults and religions in Kampyr-Tepe for centuries. Zoroastrians, Buddhists, idolaters of the ancient Greek gods, and followers of local cults lived together in peace there.
The city reached heights in its development in the reign of Kanishka I (the first third of the II century AD). This era was characterized by the most favorable conditions for the development of international trade and culture. The archaeological findings, related particularly to the Kushan period, were most numerous. Thus, a Buddhist sanctuary, built outside of the vallum, as a tribute to a Greco-Bactrian tradition, was found there. At the same time, the architecture of the sanctuary belongs to the Zoroastrian era and represents a cella, encircled with a corridor. A terracotta figure of seated Buddha, found in its base, embodies simultaneously the features of Buddha and Ahura Mazda, the deities of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, the religions, ruling at the time.
Coins of different eras and ancient Bactrian papyri were also found there. It is an interesting fact, that in the reign of Kanishka I, the coins were stamped with images, besides Buddha’s, of deities of more than 30 different religions, confirming once more the era of co-existence and religious tolerance, prevailing at the time, originally laid in the philosophy of Buddhism.
Kampirtepa was discovered during archeological reconnaissance in Оks valley (Amu Darya) in 1972. Originally, it has been established as a fortress, located at the crossing through Оks by the caravan way from Baktria to Sogd. Kampirtepa consists of strengthened and not strengthened parts. As a result of archeological researches is established, that Kampirtepa was known in the history in the antiquity Greek ferry (Pandaheyon, Pardagvi), mentioned Khafizi-Abru. Archeological excavations except for set monetary treasures revealed the monuments of four writings - Greek, Bactrian, Brahma and unknown letter. Among these, an outstanding value has opening the oldest Baktrian manuscripts on the papyrus, dated at the end of the I - beginning II centuries A.D., that makes them in general by the most ancient hand-written texts ever found in Central Asia. According to researches was revealed three historical periods of formation Kampirtepa:
1. Greek-Bactrian period - time of occurrence of fortress on the place of the future citadel (III-II centuries B.C.)
2. Yuchjiy-Kushan period - time pure habitation of citadel (II-I centuries B.C.)
3. Great Kushan period - time of intensive construction and formation of powerful fortress (I-middle II centuries B.C.)
Kampirtepa is a bright example of the development of culture, trade, development of town planning in antique and late antique periods of history of Central Asia. Kampyr-Tepe is one of the iconic landmarks of Surkhandarya oasis included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.