Through The Lens: The Ancient Silk Road City Of Merv

September 2, 2014 • Through The Lens

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One of the most politically and physically isolated countries on earth, Turkmenistan holds a treasure trove of history and culture. Dating back millennia, Merv is one of the oldest cities in the world Рarchaeologists believe the site was inhabited as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. It is also believed to have briefly been the largest city in the world. As an important city on the Silk Road, it had magnificent strategic and economic value, and was fought over by, and endured under, many empires:  Achaemenids, Persian, Greek, Mongol and Turks to name a few.

Other than a handful of archaeologists the site is rarely visited, but those who do are greatly rewarded by an abundance of history and culture. UCL has studied the city extensively, more information can be found here

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Anonymous ruins

 

The citadel in all its glory

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Into the abyss

The sun glints through the citadel

The sun glints through the citadel

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Inside view of the main citadel

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Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar

Much like elsewhere in Central Asia, Turkey's influence is visible and widespread in Turkmenistan.

Much like elsewhere in Central Asia, Turkey’s influence is visible and widespread in Turkmenistan.

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Shadow pattern inside the mausoleum

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The ice storage house

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Exterior of Kepderihana’s south wall

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A camel looks on unaware of the history it is surrounded by

 

Ruins as far as the eye can see

Ruins as far as the eye can see

 

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