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see MervMerv
, ancient city, in Turkmenistan, in a large oasis of the Kara Kum desert, on the Murgab River. The city, known in antiquity as Margiana, or Antiochia Margiana, was founded in the 3d cent. B.C. on the site of an earlier settlement. Its periods of greatness were from A.D.
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(Greek, Margiane; Old Persian, Margush), the name of an ancient region in Middle Asia, along the Murgab (Murghab) River, in present-day southeastern Turkmen SSR and northern Afghanistan. It was first mentioned in the Avesta and the Behistun inscription. Margiana bordered Parthia on the west, Sogdi on the northeast, Bactria on the east, and Arii on the south. Its capital was in the area of ancient Merv. In 522 B.C., the people of Margiana rebelled against Achaemenid rule, but their rebellion was suppressed by King Darius I (521 B.C.). Margiana later was seized by Alexander the Great, the Seleucid state, and the Parthian kingdom. During the Middle Ages the territory became part of Khurasan.

In the first third of the first millennium B.C., urban-type settlements appeared in Margiana (Yaz-depe). Circa 500 B.C. the cities were surrounded by fortress walls (for example, the city of Merv). In the third century B.C. Hellenistic elements appeared in the art of Margiana. At the height of the region’s development, from the second century B.C. to the third century A.D., its cities and forts were built on a grid plan. Many of the buildings had serpentine walls (for example, at Chilburdzh). Residential buildings generally consisted of several living units with one court (Dzhin-depe). Terra-cotta statuettes were common, and ossuaries in the form of architectural structures were encountered. Toward the third century A.D., Buddhist architecture and sculpture appeared in the region. The artistic tradition of Margiana was developed further in the art of Merv.


Pugachenkova, G. A. Iskusstvo Turkmenistana. Moscow, 1967.
References in classic literature ?
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong, Prauncing their riders bore, the flower and choice Of many provinces from bound to bound-- From Arachosia, from Candaor east, And Margiana, to the Hyrcanian cliffs Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales; From Atropatia, and the neighbouring plains Of Adiabene, Media, and the south Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.
Sarianidi who has for many years now headed the excavations at the most important site of the BMAC: Gonur depe, in the heart of Margiana north of Mary.
In Sinbad - due for release in 2003 - Crowe will play the adventurer and Zeta Jones his love Margiana, their characters created in their likeness.
Results of the second stage comparisons rely heavily on recent research by Hemphill and colleagues on the dental morphology of central Asian populations of Bactria and Margiana (Hemphill et al.
Fussman provides a balanced assessment of the prospects of finding any clear-cut markers that would point specifically to Indo-Iranians, Iranians, or Indo-Aryans within the area of the Andronovo culture east of the Caspian Sea down through Bactria, Margiana, and the Indus Valley, the likely route taken by the Indians and Iranians into their current homes.
This volume reports on the first five years (1990-95) of Italian-Turkmen collaborative research in the Central Asian desert oasis known as Margiana, or the oasis of ancient Merv.
Bronze Age sites in Margiana were first reported by Masson during the 1950s but their serious investigation only began during the 1970s.
The type of camel is not stated: shaggy two-humped camels are depicted during the Bronze Age of Bactria & Margiana yet today these are characteristic of colder or highland regions of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, eastern China and Afghanistan whereas dromedaries are the norm in other areas of Central Asia.
during which Margiana was colonized simultaneously over a large area.
The recently excavated Bronze Age settlements of the Oxus Civilization (2100-1800 BC), reviewed in this Special section, are known from the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan (particularly in Margiana along the Murghab River), Tadjikistan, and Uzbekistan/northern Afghanistan (ancient Bactria).
The reduction of settlements in the foothills of the Kopet dag coincided with the highly developed culture that appeared in neighbouring Margiana (the Lower Murgab river).
in the areas covered by the terms Bactria, Soghdia and Margiana," today part of southern Uzbekistan, western Tadjikistan, with the valleys running down the Amu Darya (Oxus) River plain and the oasis of the Murghab River around Merv, the last mentioned located within Turkmenistan.