Vol 3, No 9       

Arkaim sunset
The Ancient Land of Arkaim
by Alex Sparkey


Architecture is the chronicle of the world,
It speaks when songs and legends have no more to say.
N.V. Gogol

The past is worthy of our attention. Choosing the past, we choose the future.
From the Arkaim Codex

We people of the Earth look into the sky with our heads turned up. But there also are places on Earth where we must look down to see the sky. Arkaim is one of these places.

Just as the Great Pyramid is the pride of Egypt, and Stonehenge, of England, Arkaim is the unique monument and territory that represents the pride of Russian land.

Ar-Ka means Sky, and Im means Earth. Arkaim is a door through which a person who lives, or is trying to live, in harmony with his conscience enters a world of peace and wonder. It is a place where the Sky touches the Earth. Many people who visit Arkaim are not always sure, at least at first, where earthly reality ends and heavenly reality begins.

Nevertheless, their faith is unshakable: Arkaim is a pathway to the Truth. Arkaim is thought of as a place where Earth touches the Higher Worlds so closely that a door between the two realities opens every now and then, giving us a chance to glimpse the unknown.

The Arkaim Valley

The Arkaim Valley is a small steppe-forest area situated not far from the eastern slopes of the Ural mountains in Russia. In this valley, surrounded by low mountain ranges, have been found a great number of archeological monuments from many different epochs.

The valley is unique for its ancient architectural complex, the Arkaim site, called the Land of Cities. In the opinion of archeologists, this structure could have served as a town, a fortress, a temple, an observatory, or even a bronze-casting shop for the ancient Aryans who lived here.

Many other unique settlements and monuments have been found in the Land of Cities. During the Bronze Age it was populated by many ancient tribes, and the Arkaim Valley has preserved landmarks of the most diverse cultures of East, West, North, and South.

The circles, ovals and squares whose forms were reproduced in the settlements of the Land of Cities were not just geometrical figures, but actually constituted model of the universe as envisioned by the Aryans, the representatives of that strange civilization.

The Land of Cities

The Land of Cities is the conventional name of a forest-steppe area in the South Urals, where more than 20 fortified settlements and necropolises of the middle Bronze Age (late 3rd to early 2nd millenium BCE) have been discovered. This area extends over more than 300 kilometers [about 200 miles] along the watershed between the rivers flowing to the Caspian sea and those emptying into the Arctic Ocean. The fortified settlements, which have the shapes of circles, ovals, and squares, were built by the ancient Aryans in picturesque landscapes between steppe rivers.

With its vivid ritual culture, the Land of Cities belongs to the category of "early non-literate civilizations," where collective memory was represented by unique architectural structures and places for cult practices — barrows and other formations visible in the landscape.

A geographical and mythological analysis of the ancient texts of Rigveda and Avesta[1] allows us to infer that the Land of Cities was connected with the legendary countries of the ancient Aryans.

Arkaim was something like the capital of the Land of Cities, and was contemporaneous with the Cretan-Mycenaean civilization in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, and the first states of Mesopotamia. The epoch of Arkaim also coincides with the last centuries of the existence of the famous civilization that flourished in the valley of the Indus river, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. It is 300 to 600 years older than Homer's Troy.

Arkaim Environment

The Museum-Preserve was organized in April 1991 as a result of the discovery of a unique monument, a fortified settlement named Arkaim, and a large historical area connected with the proto-urban culture of the Bronze Age.

The environment of the Arkaim Preserve combines unique steppe and steppe-forest landscapes and many archeological monuments, from Stone Age sites to barrows of late nomads.

Three-hundred-fifty-million years ago, in the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era, there was a volcanic ridge in this location that splashed a warm sea. Later, in the Mesozoic era, 250 million years ago, this ancient mountain country was destroyed and became a flatland. Now, it is a valley, surrounded by high, gorgeous hills and dotted with beautiful, magical forests.

Various soils and a special microclimate, with many sunny days and a propitious wind that brings clear, pure air from early spring to late autumn, create good conditions for a great variety of plant and animal species. Scientists have found more than six hundred plant species here, plus many rare birds and animals.

It seems that the Arkaim Valley, so fragrant with the delicate scents of blossoming steppe grass, is a place where Man and Nature are still in harmony, as they were so long ago.

Arkaim Museum-Preserve

From the very beginning, the 70 archeological monuments of different eras, from the Stone Age to the Late Middle Ages, have made the Arkaim Museum-Preserve a cultural and educational center and a ground for scientific research. Arkaim itself also is a town of metallurgists and potters, and has a both a temple and an observatory.

The biosphere-oriented nature of the Museum-Preserve Exposition, where the intimate connection between Nature and Man is practically demonstrated, creates in Arkaim a special atmosphere for ecological education and for forming a New World outlook based on the principles of Living Nature.

In this national park, one can see Medieval stone sculptures and familiarize oneself with the biodiversity of natural ecosystems. The traditional crafts, such as metallurgy, pottery, hand weaving, and stone and bone carving are being revived here. Each visitor can take part in the live process of creating works of handicraft.

The Arkaim Preserve is a place that attracts people of different cultures and faiths, bringing together those who are trying to discover the meaning of their lives through a dialogue with nature and awareness of humanity's historical memory.

Arkaim Today

Twelve years in the making, the Arkaim Museum-Preserve has become a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people, a place where they may encounter the ancient culture of humanity. It is a link to the past and a prism through which we may look at the possible future.

In Arkaim, the material and the spiritual are inseparable. The East and the West are fused here.

Today, in Russia, we feel that Mankind is faced by the necessity to choose Oneness. Western culture must come into unity with Eastern wisdom. If this can happen, the harmony that once reigned supreme in the Land of Cities will be restored.

For more information about Arkaim, the Museum-Preserve, and the Land of Cities, please visit Arkaim.com (there is an English section).


  1. The Rig Veda and the Avesta are, respectively, Hindu and Zoroastrian sacred texts.

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