Project

« Back

ANCIENT MERV ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

Development of long-term management capacities in Turkmenistan

ANCIENT MERV ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
Bairam Ali, Turkmenistan
+ More
BACKGROUND

The oasis of Merv is strategically sited in the Karakum desert and formed an essential military headquarters and staging post on major east-west trade routes. Founded in the sixth century BC, Merv grew to become the largest city-state in southwest Central Asia, serving as a regional capital and the capital of the Seljuk Empire (11th-12th centuries). (...)

+ More
HOW WE HELPED

University College London’s Institute of Archaeology had a research project in Merv going back several years. WMF joined the project to assist in a comprehensive program of documentation, condition assessment, site management planning, conservation, and training that began in 2002 and concluded in 2008. (...)

+ More
WHY IT MATTERS

The monuments of Merv were neglected during Soviet years and are in a dangerously weakened state. Neglect has been exacerbated by building the Karakum canal in the 1950s, changing the traditional environmental patterns, and raising the water table, which has put these unique monuments, previously preserved in the desert-type environment, at risk. (...)