The Lost City of Ancient Afghanistan, Mundigak 5th-2nd Millennia BC

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Mundigak is an archaeological site in Kandahar province in Afghanistan. It is situated approximately 55 km northwest of Kandahar.

Mundigak was a large prehistoric town with an important cultural sequence from the 5th–2nd millennia BC. The mound was nine meters tall at the time of excavation.

Pottery and other artifacts of the later 3rd millennium BC, when this became a major urban center, indicate interaction with Turkmenistan, Baluchistan, and the Early Harappan Indus region.

Mundigak flourished during the culture of Helmand Basin (Seistan), also known as Helmand Culture (Helmand Province). This site was excavated by Jean-Marie Casal during 1951-1958

Mundigak in Helmand Culture

During the transitional phase of Indus Valley development, the Kandahar Valley, with its large town of Mundigak, had become incorporated into the flourishing culture of the Helmand Basin (Seistan), which by this time may have been a state. By 2400 BCE, Mundigak became the state’s second center, dominating the eastern part of the state, it grew to around 60 hectares in size.

The Main Mound

The Main mound is rising about twenty meters above the current level of the plain.

Mundigak Main Hill

A – The stratigraphic world

B – Some short of the house

C – The main hill before the search

The Arcade

Mundigak Religious centre
A. The monument of columns and merlons, seen from the north.-
B. Merlons at the moment of their discovery
C. West colonnade and passage entrance leading to the staircase. –
D. The colonnade as seen from the north apartment

What was the use of this building? The almost total absence of common ceramics for domestic use, the total absence of homes in the rooms and courtyards of the North so far cleared us to exclude domestic use.

The size of the rooms, the size of the monument incline us to see a building of collective or community use, surrounded by its stores and stores.

The discovery of a few arrowheads, in the absence of any other weapon, characterized such as sling bullets so numerous yet in other levels does not seem sufficient to make this monument a military construction, especially since nothing in the general view of architecture evokes this conception.

Also, in spite of the absence of altars or liturgical figurines, we are led not to reject the thought of a religious use which remains, however, to be specified.

These five figures are enough to explain the significant art of Afghanistan

Mundigak Pottery

Mundigak Pottery

A. Tepe B structures

B. Superposition of dry stone and brick constructions

C & D. Chamois pottery geometric decor

E-F. Tasting glasses with animal and vegetal decor

Top 10 Oldest Archeological Site in the world

Mundigak Pottery

A. Attics, benches

B. A tall round tower on a farm used for storing

C. Gray pottery from the granaries period

D. Red-orange pottery of the same level

Mundigak Seals and Buttons

Mundigak Seals and Stone Buttons

A massive monument being excavated.

B. Seals from different levels:

1) Flat stone seals
2 & 3) Contemporary stone seals of the monument
4) Stone seals from the construction of the massive monument
5) Bronze seal fragment from the massive monument
6) Bronze seal probably belonging to the same period
7) Fragment of stone seals from attics.

C. The contemporary figure of the massive monument.

D. Ceramic vessel with purple decor

Female Figurine

Female Figurine Mundigak
Mother goddess figurines, right, from Mundigak, left, from Deh Morasi Ghundai, 3rd Millennium B.C. (h. 5cm)
Female Figurine Mundigak Guimet Museum
Female Figurine present in Guimet Museum

These pottery female figurines are generally considered to represent the mother-goddess, being at once curvaceous in form, to symbolize her power over life and fertility, and, terrifyingly ugly, to symbolize equal power over death and the horrors of the dark, mysterious unknown (On display, National Museum, Kabul).


Cattle, sheep, and goat appear to have been the main domesticated species.

Around 2200 BCE Mundigak went into decline, shrinking very significantly in the area due to attacks during this period. Mundigak was temporarily abandoned, then briefly reoccupied before being finally abandoned.

Almost every household in Mundigak was installed with ovens for cooking and wells for water storage.


As very little information is available on the internet regarding this archeological site, hence I had to read below-given references get the information in this article.

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