Termez as a centre of Surkhandarya Province has its peculiar place in the formation of civilization of the Ancient East. According to the analysis of archaeological researches held in the fortress of Old Termez and written sources the town was founded in the middle of the 1 mln B.C. Termez maintained cultural and trade relations with Sogdiana, Khorezm, Margiana and Parthia. According to the findings the town had active and intensive cultural and trade relations with India.
In the 4-3 cc B.C. Termez occupied an area of 10 hectares with the residence instead of a fortress. Hafizi Abru wrote that the name of the town was ”Taramastha”, a Bactrian word meaning “site on the other bank ”, in the course of several centuries had different names as Antiohia, Demetrias, Tarmid, Tarmiz, Tami, Tamo and only from 10 c started calling as Termiz.
To the 3-2 cc B.C. Termez became one of the most developed political, financial and cultural centers of Bactria. According to the material evidence, architecture and some spheres of handcrafts as pottery, stone carving, woodwork were developed at this time. They prove the development of Salavkids’, Greco-Bactrian kings money and goods turnover had been developed earlier than in the other cities of Maveraunnahr.
The area of Termez was widened in this period becoming a big city of Northern Bactria. Architectural structures and artifacts, different types of ceramic and glass terracotta vessels, ivory, jewelry made of precious metals and stones are the vivid evidence of it. For instance, chessmen made of elephant’s bone (ivory) which were found in Dalvarzintepe are considered to be the most ancient of all chessmen in the world. In this period Termiz was an important city and one of the centers of Buddhism of Kushan state.
The town was ruled by Termezshahs. In this period Termiz remained as a capital of Termezshahs government. During the Arabs’ invasion (686-704) Termiz occupied an area of 10 hectares consisting of square fortress.
In the poem “Hudud-ul-olam” written in 10 c Termiz is described as following : “Prosperous town on the bank of the Jayhun, with a fortress famous bazaar, where the people of Huttalan and Chaganian do shopping. ”
At the beginning of 10-12 cc Termiz was highly developed, becoming a big city and center of crafts and trade in Toharistan. The area of Termez in this time was more than 500 hectares. A lot of majestic structures were built in it. Among the preserved ones is the Palace of Termezshahs.
There was a high demand to the artifacts made in Termiz. Dozens of caravanserais used to function in the town. Termiz was famous as a big cultural and scientific center at this time as well. Scientists of Termiz contributed to the development of science, culture and enlightenment of mid-centuries’ East.
Time to time Termiz was submitted to the states of Gaznevids, Karahanids,Seljukids, Khorezmshahs. In 1220 the town was destroyed by Mongols. According to the poem “Zafarnoma” by Sharafiddin Ali Yazdi, people of Termiz put a desperate fight against Mongols and therefore was given a name “Madinat-ur-Rijol(town of braves)”. After the invasion of Mongols in 14 c Termiz was newly built on the bank of the Surkhan river.
Though it changed its position several times but within the centuries kept the names Tarmita, Antiohia, Tarmita, Tarmiz, Tirmiz, Termiz.
After Amir Temur’s conquest of Maverannahr (1370) Termiz as well as Surkhan oasis was included into his state. In 1407 by the act of Temurid Khalil Sultan Termiz fortress was rebuilt on the riverside. Not long after it became a big city where coins were minted.
I n 1504-1505 the town was captured by Sheybanihan. Later on it was under the rule of different dynasties and as a result of wars was totally destroyed. Only Pattakesar and Solihobod villages round it survived.
In 1894 at the village Pattakesar 8 km from Termiz ruins, a fortress of Russians called by local people as “Tuprakkurgan” was built. Present-day Termiz is built around this Tuprakkurghan.
After the Independence of Uzbekistan great changes have taken place in the life of Termez and its people. Since this period the city began flourishing, accepting more and more international visitors, especially scientists and historians. In 2002 we celebrated 2500th anniversary of Termez . Every two years World Championship in Kurash for the President’s Cup on memory of Al-Khakim at-Termiziy takes place in Termez.
In 2007 on the occasion of building Tashguzar-Termiz-Kumkurgan-Boysun railway, the financial level of Termiz increased. Passing the railway through Termiz which joins Uzbekistan with neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan, India plays considerable role in political and financial life of the city. I am very happy to be an integral part of this wonderful city.