(1) The ruins of the ancient city of Merv (about 3.5 sq km in area), near the city of Bairam-Ali in the Turkmen SSR. The citadel of Erk-Kala was located in the northern part of the city. From the sixth to the fourth century B.C. a small settlement and a stronghold were located there. In the fourth and third centuries B.C. there was apparently a wall surrounding Giaur-Kala, which was repeatedly rebuilt during the period of the city’s greatest prosperity (250 B. C-A.D. 224). Among the items unearthed are the house and workshop of a craftsman-metalworker, the millers’ quarter of the third century A.D., and a Buddhist stupa with the remains of a statue of Buddha. Clay figurines of people and animals have also been found. In the eighth and ninth centuries the center of Merv shifted to the site of Sultan-Kala. At this time, the citadel fell into ruin, but the potters’ quarter still exists.
The remains of a mosque of the eighth to the ninth century have been discovered.
REFERENCESPiotrovskii, B. B. “Razvedochnye raboty na Giaur-Kala v Starom Merve.” In Materialy Iuzhno-Turkmenskoi arkheologicheskoi kompleksnoi ekspeditsii, fasc. 1. Ashkhabad, 1949.
Masson, M. E. “Novye dannye po drevnei istorii Merva.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1951, no. 4.
(2) Amu Darya Giaur-Kala. A Khwarizm fortress (about 200 × 450 m) of the first few centuries A.D. on the right bank of the Amu Darya River, in Biruni Raion, Kara-Kalpak ASSR. Built to guard the northern frontier of Khwarizm, it was surrounded by a wall with towers and a two-story archers’ gallery. Living quarters have been excavated as well as a hall with the remains of a wall painting and stone bases of columns. Clay sculpture has also been found.
REFERENCESRapoport, Iu. A., and S. A. Trudnovskaia. “Gorodishche Giaur-kala.” In Tr. Khorezmskoi arkheologo-etnograficheskoi ekspeditsii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1958.
(3) Chermen”iab Giaur-Kala. A Khwarizm fortress (450 × 125 m) of the first century B.C. to the first century A.D., located in the lower reaches of the Chermen”iab canal, which dates from the classical period (in Tashauz Raion, Turkmen SSR). A citadel stands on the crest of a hill.
REFERENCETolstov, S. P. “Drevnosti Verkhnego Khorezma.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1941, no. 1.
V. M. MASSON and M. A. ITINA