Attractive Mystery of Nisa

6 November 2020

Like all regions of our Motherland, Southern Turkmenistan and especially the foothill strip of the Kopetdag Mountains can fascinate with the splendour of its enchanting nature. Streams with healing water flowing down from the mountains, orchards saturated with the hot sun, green plains of a blooming oasis, running into the yellow sands of the Karakum Desert, create amazing beauty. And such a landscape is harmoniously complemented by frequent burial mounds and ruins of ancient settlements, testifying to the rich centuries-old history of Turkmenistan. The monuments of the tangible chronicle are so old that their former glory has turned into myths and legends that have outlived their heroes for millennia. One of such monuments is New Nisa, which, together with its “sister” – Old Nisa, often considered as a single local ensemble, is located in the south-west of our white-marble capital city, in Bagir.

The definitions “old” and “new” are not quite correct for those settlements, since people lived in New Nisa long before the emergence of Old Nisa in the 3rd century BC. These names that do not correspond to the chronology of events were given to them by the governor of the Transcaspian region, General A.V. Komarov. He encountered only antique ceramics carrying out surface excavations and studying the material, found at the eastern settlement, and only medieval ceramics on the ruins of the western one and concluded that the eastern fortress is older than the western one, New Nisa, so it was “old”. These names were further assigned to them and were used by scientists in subsequent years.

a research worker at the Institute of History and Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan
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