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see AnnauAnnau
or Anau
, town, in S Turkmenistan, 5 mi (8 km) SE of Ashgabat, near the Iranian border. At Annau, Raphael Pumpelly discovered (1903) traces of habitation dating back to c.3000 B.C.
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, Turkmenistan.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



ruins of ancient agricultural settlements and towns (from the Aeneolithic age to the Middle Ages) on the site of the present-day village of the same name near Ashkhabad, Turkmen SSR. The northern and southern hills of Anau became world famous when the ruins of settlements of the Aeneolithic and the Bronze ages were excavated. The American archaeological expedition of R. Pumpelly (1904) discovered four groups. In the lower layers of the northern hill (group Anau I) they discovered ruins of houses of raw brick with traces of paintings on the walls, copper ornaments, and molded vessels with geometric paintings. In the upper layers (group Anau II) ceramics with paintings in two colors were found. Anau I and Anau II date from the fifth to fourth millennia B.C. Group Anau III (the lower layer of the southern hill) dates from the third to second millennia B.C. In this period, ceramic articles became more widespread and the number of copper articles increased; terracotta carts as well as statuettes of women and animals have been found. Anau IV (upper layers of the southern hill) date from the tenth to the fourth centuries B.C. Iron articles have also been found in this group.

The excavation of Anau has yielded abundant material on the history of the early agricultural tribes of the southwest of Middle Asia and has established the existence of ties between Anau and the agricultural cultures of Asia Minor. Ruins of a mosque (1456) were found on the site of the medieval settlement; the mosque was destroyed by an earthquake in 1948. It consisted of a large domed central building surrounded by a group of buildings of various functions. The buildings formed an intricate spatial composition. The structure was remarkable for the variety of artistic designs and the beauty of the facing (mosaic and glazed panels). The northern portal was decorated with drawings of two dragons, a rare representation for Middle Asia.


Tr. luzhno-Turkmenskoi arkheologicheskoi kompleksnoi ekspedit-sii, vol. 7. Ashkhabad, 1956.
Pugachenkova, G. A. Mechet’ Anau. Ashkhabad, 1959.
Pumpelly, R. Explorations in Turkestan: Expedition of 1904, vols. 1–2. Washington, D. C., 1908.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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