Merv, Mary Province, Turkmenistan

🇹🇲 Merv, Baýramaly, Mary Region, Turkmenistan.

Merv, also known as the Merve Oasis, formerly known as Alexandria (Greek: Ἀλεξάνδρεια), Antiochia in Margiana (Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐν τῇ Μαργιανῇ) and Marw al-Shāhijān (مرو شاهجان), was a major Iranian city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, near today's Mary, Turkmenistan. Human settlements on the site of Merv existed from the 3rd millennium BC until the 18th century AD. It changed hands repeatedly throughout history. Under the Achaemenid Empire, it was the centre of the satrapy of Margiana. It was subsequently ruled by the ancient Macedonians, Seleucids, Parthians, Sasanians, Arabs, Ghaznavids, Seljuqs, Khwarazmians and Timurids, among others.

Merv was the capital city of several polities throughout its history. In the beginning of the 9th century, Merv was the seat of the caliph al-Ma'mun and the capital of the entire Islamic caliphate. It served later as the seat of the Tahirid governors of Khorasan. In the 11th–12th centuries, Merv was the capital of the Great Seljuk Empire and remained so until the latter's ultimate fall. Around this time, Merv turned into a chief centre of Islamic science and culture, attracting as well as producing renowned poets, musicians, physicians, mathematicians and astronomers. The great Persian polymath Omar Khayyam, among others, spent a number of years working at the observatory in Merv. As Persian geographer and traveller al-Istakhri wrote of Merv: "Of all the countries of Iran, these people were noted for their talents and education". Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi counted as many as 10 giant libraries in Merv, including one within a major mosque that contained 12,000 volumes.

Merv was also a popular place for pilgrimage, and several religions considered it holy. In Zoroastrianism, Merv (Mouru) was one of 16 perfect lands created by god Ahura Mazda. Between the 5th and 11th centuries, Merv served as the seat of an East Syrian metropolitan province. A descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, 8th Imam of Twelver Shia Islam, Ali ar-Ridha, moved to Merv from Baghdad and resided there for several years. Al-Muqanna, the "Veiled Prophet", who gained many followers by claiming to be an incarnation of God, was born and started his movement in Merv.

During the 12th and 13th centuries, Merv may have been the world's largest city, with a population of up to 500,000. During this period, Merv was known as "Marw al-Shāhijān" (Merv the Great), and frequently referred to as the "capital of the eastern Islamic world". According to geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi, the city and its structures were visible from a day's journey away. In 1221, the city opened its gates to an invading Mongol horde, resulting in massive devastation. Historical accounts contend that the entire population (including refugees) were killed; Tolui Khan is reputed to have slaughtered 700,000 people. Though partly rebuilt after the Mongol destruction, the city never regained its former prosperity. Between 1788 and 1789, the city was razed by Shah Murad of the Emirate of Bukhara for the last time, and its population deported. By the 1800s, under pressure from the Russians, the area surrounding Merv was completely deserted.

Today the site is preserved by the Government of Turkmenistan as the State Historical and Cultural Park "Ancient Merv". It was established in 1987 and is regulated by Turkmenistan's legislation. It is the oldest and most perfectly preserved of the oasis cities along the historical Silk Road in Central Asia. A few buildings and structures still stand today, especially those constructed in the last two millennia. UNESCO has listed the site of ancient Merv as a World Heritage Site.

Ashgabat Time 
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Image: Adobe Stock Joost #317901158

Merv has a population of over 88,486 people. Merv also forms one of the centres of the wider Mary Province which has a population of over 1,480,400 people. For the location of Merv see: Baýramaly.

To set up a UBI Lab for Merv see: Twitter:

Twin Towns - Sister Cities Merv has links with:

🇮🇷 Nishapur, Iran 🇺🇿 Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Merv is: -117.817,-37.65

Locations Near: Merv 62.1833,37.65

🇹🇲 Baýramaly 62.15,37.617 d: 4.7  

🇹🇲 Mary 61.83,37.587 d: 31.9  

🇹🇲 Türkmenabat 63.584,39.119 d: 203.9  

🇺🇿 Yangibozor 64.183,39.733 d: 289.5  

🇮🇷 Mashhad 59.597,36.29 d: 275  

🇦🇫 Maymana 64.75,35.933 d: 297.8  

🇺🇿 Bukhara 64.433,39.767 d: 305.8  

🇦🇫 Herat 62.2,34.333 d: 368.8  

🇹🇲 Änew 58.533,37.883 d: 321.9  

🇹🇲 Anau 58.528,37.89 d: 322.4  

Antipodal to: Merv -117.817,-37.65

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 16200.5  

🇨🇱 Coronel -73.217,-37.017 d: 16109.2  

🇨🇱 Valdivia -73.233,-39.8 d: 16180.2  

🇨🇱 Talcahuano -73.117,-36.717 d: 16091.9  

🇨🇱 San Pedro de la Paz -73.1,-36.833 d: 16093.9  

🇨🇱 Concepción -73.05,-36.817 d: 16089.1  

🇨🇱 Osorno -73.133,-40.567 d: 16187.4  

🇨🇱 Chiguayante -73.017,-36.917 d: 16089.2  

🇨🇱 Port Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 16187.2  

🇨🇱 Puerto Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 16187.2  

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