I’ve just returned from a trip to south Kazakhstan over the May holidays. Above is my favorite photo from the trip, a shot of the hillside carved away at the ruins of Otyrar.
If you imagine a nice big mud-brick roundhouse with strong cross-beams… and then see the house compressed under the earth over 800 years with the wooden beams rotting away over time… I think you’ll see what we have here. Archaeology is really cool!
(Below are partial reconstructions to help you visualize, and you can see many more pictures of the beautiful nature and culture in Kazakhstan on my Flickr!)