The Khazar Fortress of Sarkel
Archaeology » Heritage sites» The Khazar Fortress of Sarkel
Don River from Kevin Brook


Year of Research

  • Khazarian cities the one of the provided the richest material ruins was Sarkel, which was the flooded in 1952 upon the completion of the new Tsimlyansky Reservoir.
  • Archaeological work at the Sarkel site was never fully finished, and it is not possible to conduct further studies.
  • The grand fortress of Sarkel, located near the Don River, was built in the 830s by a joint team of Greek and Khazar architects.
  • Its Turkic name, sar-kel, means "White Fortress", and was named this because the castle bricks were made of white limestone.
  • Caravans would often pass through the area, and in fact the remains of Sarkel caravanserais have been recognized, each consisting of rooms for visitors, an area for holding cattle, and a courtyard where the caravans were kept overnight.