Vol. 56 - Nos. 1-3 (September 2006)

Aspects of the Architecture of the Buddhist Sacred Areas in Swat

Introduction North of the Kabul river, a tributary of the Indus, between the 3rd century B.C. and the 4th-6th century A.D., the ancient civilization of Gandhara achieved the union between Western and Indian culture within the framework of Buddhism, which reached its peak in this area. As a result of this union the figurative arts and the architecture of the area were substantially transformed; and therefore it was precisely here - together with the Mathura region further South - that for the first time human features were attributed to Buddha, previously rendered aniconically.

* The work in the area of Barikot, as well as in the Najigram, Karakar, and Kandak valleys, which forms the basis of this article, is part of ongoing research on ancient Buddhist architecture in its relations with the West within the framework of an interdisciplinary scientific collaboration agreement between the IsIAO (headed by Prof. Pierfrancesco Callieri, director of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan, hereafter IAM) and the Department of History of Architecture, Restoration and Conservation of Architectural Heritage of 'La Sapienza' University of Rome (headed by Prof. Piero Spagnesi, who holds the chair of History of Ancient and Mediaeval Architecture at the same university) on the history, conservation and restoration of religious, civil and military architecture of the NW Frontier. A number of aspects treated in this article have already been addressed by Spagnesi, forthcoming b. The numbers in brackets in the text and the figure captions refer to the Site List of the Archaeological Map of Swat Valley Project, in progress (hereafter AMSV): see Olivieri & Vidale, this issue. The identification of the sacred areas of Kandarai 1 (Site 303) and Tokardara 2 (Site 301), described herein, is the result of surveys carried out together with L.M. Olivieri and L. Colliva, with the invaluable help of our head worker and restorer Akthar Manir and Shafiq Ahmad and Ali Khan of the IAM during two field campaigns carried out by the author in 2004 (April 25-May 10) and 2005 (July 27-August 15). I wish to thank Arch. Silvia D'Acchille for the drawing and 3D model in Figs. 2-3. For the letters in Figs. 9 and 10, see Barger & Wright 1941: pl. XI.3 and Berendt 2004: fig. 110. The basic images in Figs. 9, 13, 17 and 23 are the property of the Department of History of Architecture, Restoration and Conservation of Architectural Heritage of 'La Sapienza' University of Rome were taken from digital data recorded on 4 June 2004 by the Quickbird satellite and are covered by Copyright O 2005 of DigitalGlobe, Inc. (Longmont C O USA 80501-6700) [DigitalGlobe and the DigitalGlobe logos are registered copyrights (TM)DigitalGlobe, Inc. The right to use and/or disseminate these data and/or any product in any way deriving therefrom is reserved. Any unauthorized use and/or dissemination is prohibited].

Taddei 1994 and Fussmann 1995. Over this long period of time. to give shape to functional artifacts having artistic worship related forms that were normally better known than the architecture.various ideas were being tried out.W.h i s towns and villages. Central Asia and China. As far as we know.. here . the followers of Buddhism and . Pakistan).later . From all this there derived different ways of laying out the sacred areas to which these constructions belonged v i s . as well as Bussagli 1984. in the 13th century A. This led to greater borrowing from more Western cultures of reference to reality.C. in particular painting and sculpture. the fact that the organization of the surrounding territory actually hinged mainly on them (see Schopen 2006). both accompanied by extensive bibliographies. It is a known fact .Also here some consistency was given not only to his sculptural depictions but above all the buildings for his worship.D.F.although the chronological details are still being debated . attributing to the whole other meanings and transforming it in original ways (I). for example. see. The importance of Swat had however already emerged under the reign of the Buddhist emperor ASoka Maurya in 3rd century B. in Gandhara itself. a tributary of the Kabul river West of the Upper Indus. .of his Tantric reform with its strong magic overtones.) and had continued throughout the Kushana reign and later until the time following the destruction of Taxila by the White Huns slightly after the middle of the 5th century A. their relative proximity to the large roads running through the valley bottoms and the various mountain passes.D.that the valley with the river and the related smaller valleys were crossed by Chinese pilgrims from the 4th to the 8th century A. a certain sense of solidity and concreteness. 1978: 17-23). where the geomorphological characteristics offered a wide range of choice for building various different types of sacred settlements and the variety of possible links with the dwellings. the Buddhist settlements were numerous mainly in the lower Swat area. In this area. they were reached by Tibetan pilgrims when the Buddhism itself had almost disappeared and the most important shrines were in ruins as they were still being sanctified in the 8th A. along their religious itinerary towards India.D. lying roughly between the Shamelai spur to the North (Stein ( I ) For effective syntheses of the state of studies on the art of Gandhara. in parallel with what was taking place on the Peshawar plain. In the valley of the Swat river (N. the capacity to use large sizes and certain specific decorative systems.at the foot of the Hindukush . In all this the individual constructions were linked together by hierarchies deriving from constructive sequences and various symbols. repr. (272-237 c. by the birth of Padmasambhava.. who was virtually a second Buddha (Tucci 1963a. the ways of organizing forms and spaces. found ideal conditions for their settlements also because of the relative distance of the zone from the stronger lines of communication with the Iranian highlands.D. the variety of forms of the related monasteries.P. and by the reflection in these of the transformations undergone by the Buddhism of the time.

15: Nimogram. 5 : Loebanr. 4: Jurjurai. 11: Arnlukdara (Site 314). 23: Shinghardar. 1-3).as is known . 18: Arabkhan-china. 'Bazar'. 10a: Kanderai 1. Foucher in the early 20th century. 1: Butkara I. isolated houses. Black squares and circles respectively indicate the inhabited area and the ancient sacred settlements mentioned in the text. 6: Barikot (Bir-kot-ghwandai). 8: Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301). First studied by the A. 21: Udegram. 13: Nawagai (Site 385).The lower Swit and the adjacent valleys from Bir-kot-ghwandaito Mingora. 10: Kanderai 1 (Site 303). Tucci and his team from the mid 20th century on.it was the object of thorough excavation and reconnaissance campaigns carried out in particular by the competent Pakistani . slackening the original torrential flow rate and allowing villages and roads to be built on flat land and fields to spread over the valley and up to the required height (Figs. 'Castle'. Settlement (Site 0 0 1 ~ )6a: . 9a: Abbasaheb-china 2 (Site 302).Fig. Stein in 1926-30 and above all by G. 7a: Tokar-dara 1. Barikot (Bir-kot-ghwandai). 9: Abbasaheb-china 1 (Site 208). as it still does today. 17: Abwa 1 (Site 104b). 3: Panr I. 7: Tokar-dara 1 (Site 201).top-hill (Site 002b). by A. 1929: 75) and Barikot to the South. the valley . 1 . 14: Gumbatuna. almost suddenly. (Drawing by Silvia D'Acchille). 16: Kanjar-kote 1 (Site 116). 22: Najigram (Site 203). 2: Saidu Sharif I. 21a: Udegram. 19: Shna-sha. the river bed widened. 21b: Udegram Mosque area. 12: Gumbat (Site 139). isolated houses. 20: Top-dara.

Fig. isolated houses. 22: Najigram (Site 203). 6: Barikot (Bir-kot-ghwandai). (Data image processed by Silvia D'Acchille). 10: Kanderai 1 (Site 303). 11: Amluk-dara (Site 314). 9: Abbasahebchina 1 (Site 209). 10a: Kanderai 1. . seen from SSW.The area of Barikot and adjacent valleys. top-hill (Site 002b). 6a: Barikot (Bir-kot-ghwandai). 2 . 14: Gumbatuna.Fig. 7a: Tokar-dara 1. seen from NNE. 16: Kanjar-kote 1 (Site 116). 3-D model of the land. For the caption. 7: Tokar-dara 1 (Site 201). 12: Gurnbat (Site 139). 2. 9a: Abbasaheb-china 2 (Site 302). see Fig. 3-D model of the land. 3 . 8: Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301). 13: Nawagai (Site 385). (Data image processed by Silvia D'Acchille). settlement (Site 0 0 1 ~ ) . 23: Shinghardar. 17: Abwa 1 (Site 104b). isolated houses.The area of Barikot and adjacent valleys.

Nevertheless. Taddei 1998a. Marshall et al. Faccenna 199513. Unlike Greek and Roman architecture. At the outset of studies on the art of Gandhara. despite the new research. Faccenna 1964a. Roth 1980. Kuwayama 1997a. this issue. Marshall & Foucher 1940. 1930) Barger & Wright (1941: 14-37) and Tucci (1958a) are still fundamental. Faccenna 1962. Fisher 1993: 29-61. again proceeding from these (') For extensive accounts of the work of the Italian Archaeological Mission from 1956. Marshall 1960a. Nishikawa et al. on and for his first general reconnaissances. Shaw 2000. Goswamy 1980. Fitzsimmons 2001. there is a lack of any unitary historical-critical treatment. this classification has never been modified and all the subsequent discoveries have been related back to it. It is thus still impossible to address the large complexes within a clear chronological framework and to examine the characteristics and the relative weight of their various transformations over time. Rowland 1958. Therefore. Ioppolo 2001. Spagnesi 2001. Kuwayama 1984. Since then. Bussagli 1958: 643-46. Tamburello 1966. 1977. Dani 1986. Taddei 1972: 33-101. Rhie 1999. Cdieri 1992. Snodgrass 1988. the architectural fieldwork was limited by Foucher himself to three fundamental building types: the stipa. Pant 1976. which are respectively a funerary monument. Their combined efforts over the past fifty years have led to the discovery of large and significant monuments and have laid solid foundations for future research. see Caroe 1958. Franz 1980. Benisti 1960. Lo Muzio 2004. I: 162-431. which in any case is still perhaps quite difficult (the recent Berendt 2004 is unconvincing: see Fussmann 2004). see above all: Barthoux 1930-33. see Tucci 1958a. a chapel and a monastery (Foucher 1905-51: 47-201). De Marco 2004a. in any case. Taddei 1970: 47-173. the contributions of Bussagli 1973 (an art historian) and Benevolo 1988: 17-32 (an architect) are interesting.authorities and by the Italian Archaeological Mission (2). Dar 1980. 19604b. have just been discovered. For a complete history of the area. Erdosy 1990.now outdated but still of interest there is still a lack of up to date and wide ranging syntheses of ancient Buddhist architecture. Tucci 1963a. the state of studies on Buddhist architecture in Gandhara still does not authorize any comprehensive consideration being made in the historical-architectural field: many known sites are 'still to be excavated. More in general. Ddapiccola 1980. it has been ascertained that at least the relative sacred areas display definite common features: pattern types of spaces. some. Irwin 1979. Picard 2003. (3) For the overall historical background to the phenomena affecting the valley from the second half of the 4th century B. very few have been published. Rowland 1953. the contributions by Stein (1929. all accompanied by extensive bibliographies. Faccenna 1980-81. 1986. nowadays part of the North-West Frontier of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. (4) After the first overall considerations in Brown 19594:7-39 . For general handbooks and basic contributions on particular topics or individual places during this period. see also the 'Selected Bibliography' at the end of the present volume. nothing more suitable has been found to replace the ideas of Foucher since the early 20th century (4). Higuchi 1984. Marshall 1951. . Tucci 1958c: 36-38. Gullini 1962. hitherto unknown. volumes and figurative characters which can be related back to various relatively well documented cases ?). 1997b: 85-97. Olivieri 2003a. Faccenna 1974a. Mitra 1971. Franz 1959. 2004b. although too short and isolated.C.Sarkar 1966. 1939. De Marco 1987. For a useful start on a different approach to the archaeological one. Matsumura 1985. the vihara and the samgharama.

regardless of the presence or absence of a monastery in the neighbourhood: perhaps different places for different forms of worship ( 5 ) . for an introduction. (After Foucher 1905-51. 34-35. that is. m s v g. see for example Tucci 1931. V: smaller vihara. on the typology of the Greek sacred precincts of the classical age (mid 5th century B. far more information is currently available on both the Swat valley and for the whole of Gandhara as such. Among other things. 4-6). I: fig. 5 . 10). 1950: 32. 4 . it is a fact that much of the information on the buildings. see Tiberi 1983-1987. (After Rahman 1990: fig. st: statue. models and Fig. 6 .C.Stipa columns. for example.qs v ideas. many of which have disappeared. .Swat. in view of the fact that compared with the early 20th century.Saidu Sharif I: typological layouts of the great stipa (left) and great vihara (right). a number of certainties emerge certainly precisely in the light of ongoing research. Fig. with a great stEpa or a great vihara as main building.) the most important sacred areas in the zone may be considered to be of two different types. Sacred Areas: StEpa and Vihara ( 5 ) The topic of the architectural typology of the Buddhist sacred areas is a vast one and remains to be explored.). 41). for a methodological comparison with existing knowledge in the West. (Drawing by the Author). GS: great stipa. GV: great vihara. C: column.Fig. S: smaller stupa. erratic bas-relief from Mardan. come from the bas-reliefs (Figs. A: sacred area.Vihara with columns. bas-relief from Butkara 111.D. Even more recent studies have not provided evidence that contradicts the fact that in the Saka-Parthian-Kushana period (lst-3rd/4th century A. L: boundary of sacred area.

Inside its mass there was a tiny inaccessible cable for a reliquary with sacred remains. Shankardar (Fig. reliquaries which themselves render on a small scale the features of real buildings and replicate definite architectural types.2.23). in the front or around the outside. left). no. Gumbatuna (Fig. 1.19). along a sacred itinerary in a clockwise direction on the two levels of the principal building: around the base on the ground and on the relative summit astride the drum of the false dome.There are also many reliquaries: for lists of known ones. 17-22). 1. Shna-Shah (Fig. in part those of Nimogram (Fig. 4 and 6. 1. or much smaller with small stgpa in the built-up areas.7. the monastery. further South. Panr I (Fig. 7). (6) On bas-reliefs with sttipa and vihira. 7 . 1.5).9. Faccenna 1995b. . 5). I: 529. no. and Abbasaheb-china 1 (Figs. De Marco 1987. The function was celebrated on the outside during significant occasions. 1. in the first group. perhaps a service room. the terrace of the stGpa. in particular in the valleys South and Northeast of Bir-kot-ghwandai. 1.Jurjiurai (Fig. 11: pl. see Faccenna 1986a.4). The entire volume was full. those of Saidu Sharif I (Figs.531. 1. The better known ones include. 1-15). 9-12). (After Faccenna 1995b. and not just symbols ( 6 ) . in lower Swat. in the base. 1. without any empty spaces other than an occasional small area.14). I: 502-15. overall view from N of the sacred area: left. Tokar-dara 1 (Figs. 1.3). 1. belong to this type: large and with large relatively isolated stgpa. The sacred area with great stipa was characterized by a principal building lacking interiors (Figs. 1. 1.Saidu Sharif I. 16-24).531. Loebanr (Fig.D. The majority of the Buddhist sacred areas known from the 1st-3rd14th century A. see Faccenna 1995b. right.Fig. 1995d: 3-4 (nos. 1995d: 3 (nos.15).

Ashraf Khan & Lone 2004: 30-33. To be included in the second group is the small sacred area near the walls of the ancient city of Bazira. In the sacred areas. The other sacred area. Ashraf Khan 1996. could be replaced by rows of secondary construction . this issue. Taddei 1993: 30-43. 1. Rahman 1990.13) and Barikot ('). 1996. After all it might be a coincidence that in the same geographic area the same two attitudes recur also in sculpture in the composition of bas-relief figured friezes. which did not impede transit. Fig. Nabi Khan & Nadiem 1993.to enclose the area around the principal building. in other cases (lst-3rd/4th century A. for instance at Sirkap (Taxila) (Callieri 1992). Faccenna 1991. hitherto evidenced only by occasional finds (see Olivieri 2003a): for an overview of Buddhist architectural finds in the Kandak. everything was crowded with constructions: the great stipa. Faccenna 2001: 139 ff. Nawagai (Fig. (') Sacred areas and stiipa at Bir-kot-ghwandai and Loebanr have now disappeared. a sacred area with a great stipa or a great uihdra was built on one or more terraces obtained by leveling out natural slopes sometimes involving even massive substruction works. the small successive vihara could be placed so that they abutted each other to form a continuous barrier or else be separate. isolated columns of Persepolitan inspiration nearby and/or on the same base. Dani 1968-69. 1984. Rahman 1968-69. In particular in the 1st-2nd century A. Faccenna 1962. indicates the possible Buddhist sacred area on the top of the acropolis of Bir-kot-ghwandai. Callieri et al.ba. Najigram and Karakar valleys within the framework of the AMSV Project of the IAM. (') This is a complex theme that is known to call for further study: see. Viewed as a whole. on the outskirts of the present-day village of Barikot: hitherto unique. . 1992. Gullini 1962. forthcoming f. Faccenna 1980-81. originally free. reciprocally isolated by short gaps actual interruptions.Amluk-dara (Fig. 1. 1968-69a. for example. Everything contributed to form compositions aimed at allowing a visual perception of the great stipa.small stGpa and uihdra . a few small statues on pedestals. with the previous bibliography. Ashraf Kahn 1993. Qamar 2004. the following are fundamental: Tucci 1958a. with the great uihdra. Faccenna. Filigenzi. the size of the limits to the sacred space could change: the various pavings. In particular.) in different ways. Callieri 1989. Olivieri 2003a.) in a circle on the edge of the circular sacred itinerary. each with events enclosed in themselves and without reciprocal narrative links ('). Olivieri 1996.11. even in cases in which the entire surrounding sacred space. the substructions themselves serve as a further limit. sometimes also extending the original size. other smaller stipa and uihdra in the surroundings: in the earliest known case (at Butkara I. it is an example of a way of proceeding previously known only in other zones of Gandhara.C. see Olivieri & Vidale.. On the excavation and reconnaissance of several of these. l. 1991.Faccenna 2001. had gradually become saturated. Said Qamar & Ashraf 1991.D. where the various panels could contain the different scenes of a single story or various isolated scenes. Faccenna 1995b. Callieri 1995. For recent inventories of the large known sacred areas of Swit. the pole of ritual.D. founded in the 3rd century B. Rahman 1993. in the case of large terraces.Ashraf Khan et al.23-24). see Qamar & Ashraf Khan 1991. At later stages. however. the space surrounding the principal building was often characterized by a carefully finished paving exactly defining the extent.

(9) The possibility is discussed that the individual vihara on the bas-reliefs symbolize a monastery . 1. situated in a secondary valley on the left bank of the river (Fig. perhaps of a hermit type. functional to a community type of life. 561 and Tape Shotor in Hadda. might possibly be added the sacred area behind the monastery of Tokar-dara 1 (Figs.5. 22. 6. 22c-25. and one or more isolated houses a short distance away.7.I: 160-66. formed the sacred settlement was always defined by Foucher with a single term . this same complex could be of two different types: on the plain or in the hills. for instance Tucci 1950b: 56. with paving or other artifacts enclosing the principal building.samgbiiriima . depending on whether it was contained in a single level or had two or more large terraces. The few known cases of sacred areas with great vihiira in Swat so far seem to follow this pattern: maybe at Butkara 111. 25-26). perhaps at Gumbat.10.12.17. De Marco 1987: 200. and other smaller vihiira and stipa filling in the space as a function of the way they were perceived (Fig.15). and at Dada Rahim at Seh Topan in the country of Kamari south of Kabul. in the more significant cases which were interconnected. Tarzi 2006).rather than a single building. 1. in the Karakar valley above the village of Nawagai (Fig. accessible and of a certain height. 5): chapel for worship of images. perhaps part of the settlement of Tokar-dara 2 in the valley behind Tokar-dara 1 (Figs. on a high platform flanked by isolated columns. an isolated construction as quoted in late Tibetan records. 17. 1. Sacred Areas: Types of Samgbiiriima Owing to its complexity. together with the sacred areas with great stiipa or great vihara. As around a great stipa. at Bag-Gai [no. partly at Nimogram. see Barthoux 1930-33. In its turn.was going in the same direction although with one substantial difference. [91 159 . 18). Also in this case the surrounding space had been obtained by flattening the soil and with possible substructions.to identify under real conditions a highly complex set of buildings and spaces given over to the monks' everyday life. 6. the principal sacred area of the large settlement of Kanderai 1. right). it was not a full volume but a construction with interiors. 21-22). 17. three vibiiras in Afghanistan show a very articulated internal spaces. which was also recognized as early as the beginning of the 20th century. also the edges of the spaces surrounding a great vibdra were clear-cut. near Butkara I in the vicinity of the ancient capital of Mingora.a complex construction . in view of other results of the ongoing studies. in the Kandak valley (Figs. the monastery which. In both cases it consisted of two separate complexes. fig. above all. 1.8. Also its principal building was frequently depicted in bas-reliefs and models as architecture in its own right with its own characteristics (9) (Fig.pls. occasionally constructing several different adjoining sacred areas. 13-16. 1. To these. two distinct architectural entities: a building with cells arranged around a courtyard. cf. in some cases.202 n.

Then. the acropolis of the Indo-Greek city (lo) Foucher 1905-51: 146-77. The very hill of Barikot. Regarding the reasons for the layout of the Buddhist monastery complex consisting in two parts.) both types were present. For the period in question. Najigram and Kandak valleys from the top of the acropolis of Barikot . Nitnogram. observing these monasteries of the Northwest in particular. Lo Muzio 2004: 244. 8 . Bahamala. 2 . Gumbatuna and other less investigated sites in the Saidu and Jarnbil valleys South of Mingora. Pippala). 6 ~Site . Callieri 1989: 113-16. Takht-i Bahi. 7). and of the second those of the nearby locations of Jamal-ghari. but always on the left bank of the Swat (see n. in addition to those already known and excavated at Saidu Sharif I. see also Tucci 1950: 120 and passim. Mohra Moradu. in an area of mountains and narrow valleys.the one along the Karakar torrent through the pass of the same name up on the side of Mt Ilam: the ancient road leading into the Indus plain followed also by Alexander the Great (Olivieri 1996a. Najigram and Karakar valleys (Fig. beside all these. cells lining a courtyard and one or more isolated houses. Mekhasanda and Thareli) (lo). perhaps in the service of different monastic realities that coincided or followed each other in time. the monastic settlements that are currently better conserved are those lying South of the ancient Bazira (Barikot .The Karakar. 2003a) (Figs.D. Jamal. Since then they have always been indicated as examples of many monasteries in the area around Taxila. 2-3). precisely those of the zone of the lower Swat they identify an even more different reality. in the Kandak. (Photo processed by the Author). the capital of the real Gandhara (at Dharmarajika.Bir-kot-ghwandai).Bir-kotghwandai (Fig. . Kalawan. 002b). 8) a short distance away from the present-day road to Thana from Mingora and its intersection with another crucial itinerary in the area . it is a fact that it is still too early for a criterion that can be used to order architectural realities that are so different on the basis of studies that are still quite lacking in detail and that still do not contemplate sacred settlements viewed as a complex formed by a sacred area with a great stipa or a great vihiva combined with a samgh&ima in its various forms: this is because the current state of research only allows certain cases to be recognized and does not allow a critical overall framework to be formulated. Kunala. and now seeking a rule for both them and the others. Panr I. and certainly to testify to various different building techniques. Here. Berendt 2004: 33-38.Fig. But on the whole it is a fact that. Jaulian. again in the Saka-Parthian-Kushana period (lst-3rd/4th century A.

an unusual meeting room. Of all the ancient Buddhist settlements in this rich zone. figs. the existence of a large hydraulic service system (aqueduct and cisterns).and multi-cellular dwellings. further down. Barger & Wright 1941: 24 and pl.mountain samghir&za according to Foucher's definition . this issue. [Ill 161 .8. which has also been found since only at Kanderai 1. for a large assembly hall and a smaller sacred enclosure with the type with a great uihira (Fig. However. perhaps with other small adjacent sacred areas scattered all over the slopes North-west of the valley (Fig.may perhaps be larger than the only other two known at Nimogram and again at Saidu Sharif (Figs. 1.2. Olivieri & Vidale. Faccenna. in a side valley to the South-west of the scattered remains of another settlement just above the present-day village of the same name (Site 203) (I1) (Figs. 230-237. towards the North. and pl.6-14). 17.for the larger sacred area with the great stipa and lesser stipa.it too could be dated to the 1st century A. 24. formed by a certain number of mono. in addition to the Kanjarkote heights with the ruins of another sacred settlement and. which is visible on all sides from a distance.1-14.16). Moreover. Faccenna 1995b. albeit in other forms (see below). the fact that the monastery itself. 1930: 15 ff. 17. towards the South-East inside the valleys of Kandak and Karakar. From the top of it. I: 505-25. with its cells and courtyard on the second terrace . the second is of a quite different composition. 18-22). as far as the distant snows of the Hindukush. its importance in both ancient times and later is easy to see. also particularly large (in the entire Swat a similar example has so far been found only at Kanderai 1). Tucci 1958a: 317. one of the most significant is that of Tokar-dara 1 at the bottom of the Najigram valley (Site 201): this complex was already well known as one of the largest not only in the valleys below Bir-kot-gwandai but perhaps also in the entire Swat. which are widely known and documented . 1. 17. Owing to the typological characters similar to those of the buildings of the sacred area of Saidu Sharif I where there are similar samghirima and a sacred area with great columned stipa.1-5). 7). there are also other work themes: the co-presence of different types of sacred areas (with great stipa and great uihira) in a single settlement (as at Nimogram and maybe Butkara 111).D. as far as the Karakar Pass below Mt Ilam (Figs. size and layout it may be viewed as consisting of at least two large complexes: the first at the valley bottom and situated on four artificial terraces . is a strategic site on the river curve where the Swat changes direction from North-South to East-West. note should again be taken of the importance of the entire zone South of Bir-kot-ghwandai in the framework of the distribution over the territory of the lower Swat of the complex of Buddhist settlements in the entire valley and further emphasis is given to the orographic basin ("1 Stein 1929: 35-36.of the same name. forthcoming a. for a monastery with cells lining a square courtyard. 15. Considering its present visible state. From here the surrounding area is dominated on all sides: towards the West. of the ancient township of Abwa in the direction of Thana and of the access route to Afghanistan corresponding to the present-day fort of Chakdara. 3. XII.

S. ( I 2 ) Barger & Wright 1941: 24-26. sacred area and the relative actual 7: substructions and remains of houses. D: vihrira. in this case however they are such as to determine a quite different overall configuration. 16: isolated house. is for a complex of vihira and small stipa along a track and immediately below. partly dug out of the rock and partly consisting of masonry substructions.7. Site 208). here everything is spread over two single large terraces that are very far apart. L: stzipa.Olivieri & Vidale.Abbasaheb-china. 11: four isolated houses on substructions (?). Like Tokar-dara 1. the second is much higher and acts as a flat surface for the monastery. 8: group of houses on substructions: 9: modern houses: monastery (Site 208) and Abbasaheb10: large isolated house on terrace. V monastery rooms. courtyard. Also 2. Site 3021. also Tokar-dara 2 is spread over various heights. this issue. XII. Much less significant minimal terraces have been made for smaller st5pa and 2. 14: two plinths filled with small stzipa or vihiira. Tucci 1958a: 3 17-18.of Tokar-dara by the large monastic settlement of Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301). the principal sacred area with the great stcpa and the monastery (Fig. figs. The first. 20-22). again at the bottom of the Najigram C: stzipa. pls. 3 1-34. . it is partly of masonry and partly dug out of the rock and in any case lacks the square courtyard owing to the very steep slope. valley and in a valley to the South after M: two isolated cells with false dome. vihara lower down the track. 5: remains of two Abbasaheb-china 1. 6: substructions and remains of houses. Like Tokar-dara 1. (Photo processed by the Author). 2: house substructions. 61-62. T. F: vihrira. forthcoming a.3. Because of the very steep slope. 1: house also this one is split into two parts as a substructions. 12: large isolated house on terraces. Main sacred area: A: great stzipa. further to the Southwest at the bottom of the Tokar-dara 1 valley itself and perched on the wall of the slope and perhaps forming a single unit with the former (Olivieri & Vidale. I: modern house on vaulted chamber of monastery. this issue) (Figs. 13: large isolated house on terrace. B: stcpa. complex of various isolated houses and smaller sacred area on the N-W slopes (Fig.17-23. with the principal houses. Faccenna. 3: house result of the layout and the consistency: substructions. 15: group of mono-cellular houses. E: vihrira. satellite view on 4 June 2004 referring to the same theme is the large (Image Copyright O 2005 DigitalGlobeTM-Telesacred settlement of Abbasheb-china. 4: sub-structions. lower down. spazio). 9 .7a. 17. Fig. P: monastery that of Tokar-dara. XI.

9-9a. .11). Faccenna.Fig. (Photo by the Author).1-16. the sacred area itself is so large that it spreads over the torrent bed at the valley bottom and is occupied by smaller stupas and very large viharas considering they are only secondary constructions. 10 . 10). 1930: 18-19. almost at the same altitude as the fundamental valley bottom itinerary with the pass of the same name towards ancient Bazira (I3) (Fig. Olivieri & Vidale.in parallel with the larger sacred area on the valley slopes there exists a complex settlement of houses of various sizes. as for example at Jamal-ghari and Takht-i-bahi in the Peshawar valley . 49.Abbasaheb-china 1 (Site 208). here a single sacred area of the stupa type . second. 12). 3. LllllliZ L . figs. pl. 1. For Abbasheb-china 2 it is a different matter because here. not just simple annexes of the larger monastery (Figs. Tucci 1958a: 3 15-18. 38-39. giving rise to architectural presences that almost clash with that of the great stupa (Fig. XII. 11). Barger & Wright 1941. 1. Apparently of the same type as the previous ones is Amluk-dara 1 (Site 3 14). both isolated and grouped together and with smaller sacred areas. pl. 16. 9. overall view from W. The peculiarity of Abbasaheb-china 1 lies in two aspects: first. 18. forthcoming a. a large complex of houses (Site 302) (I2) (Figs. The state of the remains of the complex leaves little scope for (I3) Stein 1928: 32-33. this issue. perhaps once again. unlike the other one.again with the monastery at the side might be on at least four different terraces (Fig. 9). in a side valley to the South-east of the Karakar valley. figs. Olivieri 2003a: 21.

And as at Tokar-dara 1 and Abbasaheb-china 1 in the Najigram valley. Stein in 1930. 24).12-15). the great stGpa could never be viewed along the axis running up along the staircase on the principal plinth but always from the side (Fig. albeit with the principal sacred area of the great stiipa and the related sacred buildings higher up than the monastery (Figs. the terraces with the large isolated houses (Fig.Abbasaheb-china 2 (Site 302). Olivieri & Vidale. when approached from a distance.10-12) from the top of the hill to the NW of the principal sacred area of Abbasaheb-china 1 (Site 208). 1. (Photo by the Author). Tucci 1958a: 315. since the time of the first visit by A. Said Qamar 2004. vih~ra F and the great stupa A. once again the perception of the various buildings emerged gradually. today with its large terraces for farming. Lastly. 2324). 61.Fig. making considerations as only the principal monument is perceptible and little else owing to the substantial transformation undergone by the landscape. this issue. And as in all the previous cases. from left. 8. Fig. the settlement of Kanderai 1 (Site 303) on the hill dominating the intersection of the Karakar and Najigram valleys (I4) (Fig. Its position is significant: it lies on a hill south of the junction between the valley of Karakar to the East and Najigram to the West. The impressive great stiipa could be of the same type with columns as those of Tokardara 1 and as the much smaller one of Saidu Sharif I. 13) is different from all the other settlements. XII.Abbasaheb-china 1 (Site 208). 1. From here the gaze carries as far as Barikot to the North. with Swat to the rear. 11 . Barger & Wright 1941: 26-27. also here the sacred settlement must have been built on several flat levels sloping down towards a torrent. and at Saidu Sharif I and Panr I in those of Saidu and Jambil. pl. inside the valleys and the relative sacred complexes of Tokar-dara and (I4) Stein 1930: 17-18. (Photo by the Author).10-IOa. 12 . . and is much higher than the other large Buddhist sacred settlements in the zone (Fig. As a function of the terraces themselves it was actually always such that.

4: isolated tower house. .Site 303). 9: sacred area (?). E: entrance. 2: isolated tower house. M: cell. 8: modern abandoned village. (Photo processed by the Author). G: vihrira. 6: isolated house. B: small vihrira. 2.Telespazio). D: courtyard. 11: terraces. C: assembly hall. Main sacred area: A: great vihrira. the large sacred settlement of Kanderai 1 (Fig. 5: cisterns. 10: sacred area (?). viewed from satellite on 4 June 2004 (Image Copyright 0 2005 DigitalGlobeTM. 1: isolated tower house. H: cell with vihiiru. L: walls.Karakar valley. 3: large isolated house on terrace with small sacred area of stipa. 7: modern water tank.Fig. F: stEpa terrace. 13 .10-IOU.

at least so far. 15) . Abbasaheb-china to the West. Najigram and Karakar valleys but also in those of Saidu and Jambil. (Photo by the not perhaps in the whole of the rest of Author). no building without a courtyard.as at Tokar-dara 1.in this case a terrace with a great vihdra there is no monastery of the type with cells laid out around a courtyard . on the four sides of a principal . Its peculiarity lies in the fact that here there was no actual monastery. not only in the Kandak.Kanderal 1 ( S ~ t e 303). (Photo processed by the Author). 1. 7.or alternatively. . Nimogram and perhaps Abbasheb-china 1 (Fig. the main complex seen from SSE. In its position and architecture it was a key settlement. as is usually found in the various other complexes. courtyard of pr~ncipal sacred area: the vzh~ra A.!a ihara Vihan Fig. indeed. as far as the Karakar pass to the South and practically as far as the village of Amluk-dara in the relative valley to the East. unlike what has always been found. if F I ~ 15 . 9. at least at the time it was abandoned. Saidu Sharif I. Swat. 14 .2.Kanderai 1 (Site 3031. At Kanderai 1. Beside the actual sacred area .

almost a rampart. . one uphill. isolated tower houses on the SW slope of the sacred area.10a. (Photo processed by the Author). 23: group of houses. 13: large house with several cells on a platform with a false dome. 7: monocellular house with false dome. perhaps track substruction. viewed from satellite on 4 June 2004 (Image Copyright 0 2005 DigitalGlobeTM Telespazio). partly on a terrace. 4: large hall. visible in background (Figs. 16: modern house. 22: group of houses on the track linked to the preceding one. 15: two modern houses. 5: vihcira. the other downhill. (Photo by the Author). partly on substructions with 10-12 isolated buildings facing the mountain. 6: house. Sites 201. 19: two viharas. 21: group of houses on substruction wall with platform. 18: large platform partly dug out of the rock. 14: corner of platform.Kanderai 1 (Site 303). the sacred settlements of Tokar-dara 1 and Tokar-dara 2 (Fig. Tokar-dara 2: 17: monastery partly dug out of the rock. Fig. 2: aqueduct. 2. 11: track substructions. 17 . 3: monastery.7-8. 16 . Tokar-dara 1: 1: great stipa and smaller stipa. 301). perhaps track substruction. 12: platform.Tokar-dara valley. 10: group of houses. At the back.1-2). 8: bi-cellular house with false domes.Fig. 12. the Karakar pass road and the hill of Barikot Bir-kot-ghwandai with the Swat river. 24: track substruction wall. 20: vihcira on a platform. 2. 9: substruction.

19 . with external staircases and . the sacred area. and those of the monastery.Tokar-dara 1 (Site 201). 13-16). From the left. to the North and South.Fig. again vihara in isolation or connected with single story cells or actual several-story houses. courtyard we have: a principal vihira and several smaller ones to the East. further West and as far as the edge of the embankment walls. to the West what is probably a large meeting room: it is very tall with at least one service group under a staircase leading up from ground level to a higher level (Figs. there is another small sacred area with small stipa and again small vihara. (Photo processed by the Author). from the isolated houses on the SW slope. the terrace with the great stGpa and the smaller stGpa. both single and multi-cellular. At the back of this room.Tokar-dara 1 (Site 201). 18 . A short distance from this larger settlement two or three story houses. Fig. the large hall and the vihiira. (Photo by the Author). the complex from the back.

and its use not only as an important place of Fig. along the entire arc stretching from the North-west to the East there is a complex of terraces with large flat areas served by hydraulic works. 17. 20 . 16). including at least a group of vaulted cisterns. just above the isolated buildings along the track from Tokar-dara 1. which crowned the actual sacred complex. Around the complex. pointing to a complex anthropization of the site. isolated buildings along the track on the South slope (Fig.10a. . 13. 1. (Photo by the Author).Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301). Fig.Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301). the monastery in the rock and on the terraces (Fig.18) at the bottom of the valley behind Tokar-dara 1.small sacred areas were used for shelter or for dwelling on the hill to the South beyond the arrival crest of the track from the bottom of the valley from which you can see as far as Barikot (Figs.171. 17. (Photo processed by the Author). 21 .1-2.

today reduced to a few o u t c r o ~ ~ i n ruins. Fig.Telespazio). on arriving along the track. Fig. (Photo by the Author). B: monastery terrace. isolated house at the end of the track (Fig. C: small stcpa or uihara. right. worship but also probably for largescale farming activities (I5). Located partly in two natural cavities in the rock and partly in masonry. this issue). 2. (Photo processed by the Author). 24 . (Photo by the Author). 22 . it represents an important source of supply of groundwater for the fields downhill from the sacred settlement as well as perhaps for the smaller inhabited areas. 16. A: great stcpa.Fig. as seen from the satellite on 4 June 2004 (Image Copyright 02005 DigitalGlobeTM. the great stzipa from the West.Tokar-dara 2 (Site 301).Amluk-dara (Site 314). isolated and distant from the principal sacred area at the top of the hill. Site 314). .22). the settlement and relative terraces today covered with crops. perhaps with several uihara on both of the flat areas in the vicinity of the steep descents. below is the stream. 23 . these might also have been functional to several of the surrounding terraces North of the principal settlement.Amluk-dara 1 (Fig.the Ab-china spring (Site 327) (Olivieri & Vidale. g with the pond lower than the level of the fields (I5) Future research will clarify the size and limits of the various sacred areas of which the Kanderai 1 complex seems to b e formed.11. In close relation to all this and on the plateau downhill from the hill with the actual settlement there is indeed also a direct source of water supplies .

ideal models . already in ancient times it was accessed through an internal staircase descending into the larger cavity.Kandak valley. If pushed too far it ends up by reproducing the complexity of the object under study without reducing it to an exemplifying image. . Barikot is visible in the background. 26 . not a work tool. This is even more true for the ancient Buddhist architecture of the North-West Frontier Province where Fig. 25 .12. the fact that the residual reality of the whole of ancient architecture is after all extremely scanty means that classification by types .the general framework.A view of the Kandak valley from the sacred area of Gumbat. so as to link each new discovery to a complex without each time modifying . conversely. (Photo by the Author). when applied to too limited a sample it may become a banalization. the great ~ i h a r aof the sacred area of Gurnbat (Fig. Site 139). 2. Conclusions Typology is not an exact science.cannot be too detailed. In general. (Photo by the Author). .Fig.

contributes to the relaunching of a method in the field of architectural history in which the buildings are considered as a whole for the purpose of relating volumes and spaces to a way of life and no longer considers them as mere material remains of a past culture. To approach the topic of the sacred areas and monastic settlements of the latter from the typological point of view and at the same time viewing them as unitary complexes formed by several interconnected artifacts and the surrounding conditions. .the contributions from West and East were so strongly interwoven that they have still not been completely perceived also because. the research over the past fifty years of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Swat represents an exception. owing to the profound and continual attention paid to an area of strategic importance at the time of Gandhara. compared with the Graeco-Roman architecture itself our knowledge of them is still highly incomplete: in this sense.

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