Thursday, December 16, 2004

History & Culture of Turkmenistan

History & Culture of Turkmenistan - Information on this countries history starting from early rulers in the 4th Century B.C, arrival of Oguz, Soviet regime and ending with independence on October 27, 1991. Created and hosted by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Washington, DC.

From the site:

Tools from the Stone-Age have been discovered along the Caspian Seashore and near the modern port of Turkmenbashi, establishing thepre-historic presence of humans in the area that is today known asTurkmenistan. The remains of farming settlements in the Kopet-DagMountains date back 8,000 years. The ancient cultivators in this regionused the mountain streams to irrigate their crops. They also survived byherding livestock and by hunting wild game.

As early societies learned to make pottery and metal tools, they began totrade with other peoples of central Asia. This profitable trade however,also attracted foreign invaders. By the 6th century B.C., the powerfulPersian Empire had established the provinces of Parthia and Margiana, inwhat is now Turkmenistan. From their base south of the Kopet-Dagrange, the Persians controlled trade through central Asia and subdued themany nomadic peoples who lived on Turkmenistan's arid plains.

Early Rulers

In the 4th century B.C., the Persian Empire was defeated by the army ofAlexander the Great. In 330 B.C., Alexander marched northward intocentral Asia and founded the city of Alexandria near the Murgab River.Located on an important trade route, Alexandria later became the city ofMerv (modern Mary). The ruins of Alexander's ancient city are still visiblealong the banks of the Murgab River.

After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals fought for control of hisempire, which quickly fell apart. The Scythians—fierce, nomadic warriorsfrom the north—then established the kingdom of Parthia, which coveredpresent-day Turkmenistan and Iran. The Parthian kings ruled their domainfrom the ancient city of Nisa. At its height, Parthia extended south andwest as far as the Indus River in modern India.

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