Sultan Palace Merv

Conclusion summary facts

Main Margiana (Margush) archeological sites are Gonur Depe, Togolok Temple 140 X 100 M, Kelleli fortress 3125x 125 m, Adji Kui settlement, totally over 150 settlements found around in this region. All settlements most likely abandoned after the course of the Murghab River shifted to the west.The continued change of Murghab River delta provoked the migration and creation of new settlements along its route. YAZ Depe cultures were the next stop before to arrive at Merv first town foundation.

Yaz Depe I, 1900-1500 BCE, 1500- 1000 BCE Late Bronze Age- Early Iron Age. Small settlements around fortified buildings, hand-made ceramics, control of irrigation systems, disappearance of the burials (presumably used sky burials) Yaz Depe II, 1100- 700/540 BCE Middle Iron Age. Reappearance of wheel made pottery, appearance of iron metallurgy, large fortified settlements, the continuation of the funerary practices. Tribes spoke Avestan language. Deserted in end 8th-6th century BCE. Yaz Depe III, 700-400 BCE, part of Achaemenid Empire. The same cultural and funerary continuity. Disappearance of rimmed pottery, vessels have cylindrical and conical shapes, bronze three-bladed arrow-heads, iron axes and iron adzes

In the last centuries of the third millennium BC, the urban centers of the Oxus civilization developed intense commercial and cultural exchanges with the neighboring regions of the Indus Valley and the Iranian Plateau, with Mesopotamia, the Levant and the Gulf Region. Probably, it is fostered by the existence in the mountains of Central Asia of abundant sources of precious stones and minerals that were not present in the alluvial basins of the great rivers. However, in Bactria and in Margiana, the discovery of seals and tablet bearing geometric and animals motifs having the direct parallels with the early levels of Harappa, Kunal, Rehman Dheri and other contemporaneous sites in northern Baluchistan, might predate the beginning of contacts with the Indus Valley to the first half of third millennium BC.

Indus artifacts discovered in Bactria and Margiana consist mainly of ornaments made from semiprecious stones and faience, small containers in softstone and a variety of objects made from ivory. The ivory objects found at Gonur Depe provide solid data for better defining the strategies of cosmopolitan interaction developed and applied in Middle Asia during the Bronze Age.

Some Indus and Indus related seals have been found around in Central Asia, including specimens actually imported from the Indus Valley. There are several seals of particular interest, the branded seals with the distinctive Indus iconography of the Indian bison with the lowered head. Done, using the local stones and animals represented following to the indigenous glyptic styles. The Indus bison considered of having likely been the brand of Indus merchants formally acting in external trade. This evidence lends support to the existence, at the end of the third and into the first centuries of the second millennium BC, of a specific phenomenon of hybridization of local glyptics with elements of the Indus tradition, which has been observed also in other regions of Middle Asia. Such crossing possibly indicates the direct integration of Harappan trading families into the local societies and cultures or their formal delegation of part of their business to local agents.

As for the evidence of imports from Central Asia to the Indus Valley comprises only a few miscellaneous small finds, including bronze pins and arrowheads, the flower shaped head of a metal pin, the steatite wig of a small composite figurine, several stone and metal seals and their impressions on clay. The raw materials, the import of metals like silver, lead, tin are difficult to quantify, while stones like lapis lazuli and turquoise have played only a minor role in the production of Indus ornaments. The site of Shortughai, in the Kunduz region of the Oxus Valley, has been interpreted as an Indus outpost established in Bactria to control the extraction and trade of lapis lazuli. However, the amount of such stone found at the site seems remarkably limited considering the scale of its exploitation in Southwestern Asia during the third millennium BC, including southeastern Iran, Mesopotamia, northwestern Syria and Egypt.

The fast-wheel made ceramics:

    The late Namazga IV, Namazga V-VI and the Bactrian and Margiana Bronze Age oases areas share some overall characteristics of form.
  • The open forms include vases on pedestal bases and trumpet-shaped cups of all sizes. Both types of vertical lipped and incised rim forms dated since as early as late Namazga IV.
  • Large closed pots with a concave mold-made base are also found in late Namazga IV. These forms by definition are made on a wheel and reflect a manufacturing technique that continues until the end of the Bronze Age ceramic tradition in Central Asia.
  • Jars generally have a medial carination and are called bi-conical jars. These range from sharply carinated to rounded in a general trend through time.
  • Cups and bowls have a tall pedestaled base and are first found in early Namazga V levels. The form of these bases is made possible by fast-wheel production.
  • Ceramic pot-stands are found in both the Central Asia and Indus Valley traditions. These ceramics appear to be used both for the manufacture of the concave base of large closed pots and also as the stands for the vessels.

Other similar sites located in Bactria (as part of BMAC), Middle to Late Bronze Age, 2300-1700 BCE. For example: the site Dashly 3 palace, is a fortified rectangular compound, 88X84 m. The building had massive double outer walls, in the middle of each wall was a protruding salient composed of a T-shaped corridor flanked by two L-shaped corridors and Dzharkutan site.

With the great reference to the memory of Prof. V.I. Sarianidi (1929-2013) and of Prof. Maurizio Tosi (1944-2017) who contributed to discoveries of the past and understanding of the present.