Sites & cities that bear the name of Merv


Today in : Turkmenistan
First trace of activity : ca. 30th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 19th century C.E
Recorded names : 𐎶𐎠𐎼𐎦𐎿, Marguš, Margush, Mourou, Margu, Mouru, Erk-Kala, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐν τῇ Μαργιανῇ, Antiochia in Margiana, Ἀλεξάνδρεια, Alexandria, Merw, Мерв, مرو, مرو‎, Marv, Marw, Мерв

Description : Merv (Turkmen: Merw, Мерв, مرو; Persian: مرو‎, Marv); Macedonian-Greek Alexandria (Greek: Ἀλεξάνδρεια) and Hellenistic Antiochia in Margiana (Greek: Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐν τῇ Μαργιανῇ) was a major Iranian city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of culture and politics at a site of major strategic value. Human settlements on the site of Merv existed from the 3rd millennium BC until the 18th century AD. It changed hands repeatedly throughout its history. Under the Achaemenid Empire, it was the centre of the satrapy of Margiana. It was subsequently ruled by the Greeks, Arabs, Turks and the Safavid Persians. During the 12th and 13th centuries it became one of the largest cities in the world, having a population of as many as 500,000. In 1221 the city opened its gates to an invading Mongol horde; the resulting destruction of the city proved devastating. Historical accounts contend that the entire population (including refugees) of a million people were killed. Though rebuilt after the Mongol destruction, the city never regained its full former prosperity. Between 1788 and 1789 the city was razed for the last time, and its population deported. By the 1800s the city was completely deserted. UNESCO has listed the site of ancient Merv as a World Heritage Site.

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