Central Asia is old. Old like “cradle of civilizations” old. Of all the old, though, the proto-urban site of Sarazm is perhaps the first of them all.
Estimates suggest that Sarazm was settled over six THOUSAND years ago. You know what North America looked like then? A big forest. Sarazm is, rightfully, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In fact, its the only UNESCO site in Tajikistan (which is also mind-boggling, but in a different sort of way).
Displays on site document the history and development of the Sarazm site, its importance as a metallurgic-export center, and some of the artifacts collected on site.
Though the site isn’t terribly large (and doesn’t take all that long to explore), the surrounding village is also worth a wander through.
As always in Central Asia, be prepared to make friends.