NEWS

New pages of archeology of Turkmenistan

Every year in June our country celebrates the Day of Science. Owing to the efforts our Esteemed President Serdar Berdimuhamedov all branches of science of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan develop intensively. In this regard, both compatriots and others are pleased to report that the staff of the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan continues to discover new and interesting things during excavations, thus replenishing the collection of its museum. Every year archaeological research is carried out in spring and autumn. But the pathfinders of the history of the Archeological Research Institute of the same name, for example, the participants in the excavations, working there, of course, only by vocation, and therefore motivated, found it expedient to end this archaeological season a little later. This is on the eve of the commemoration of the day of science, which has become another incentive to work, which was pleasantly provoked by the newly noticed carefully recovered finds. In a word, for almost the entire first ten days of June, every year [on weekdays, since the weather "allowed from morning until the onset of heat], we complete the excavations. The Turkmen people say: «If you get up early, you would have a good day». At this stage, our institute is conducting more than one field study on objects of retro-culture, once create

Time to Plant Trees

Large-scale tree planting activities, which have become a good tradition of beautifying and decorating the homeland with our labour, started again. Ecologists, foresters and thousands of volunteers across the country aim their long-term activities to put into practice the national motto “Let’s turn Turkmenistan into a blooming garden!” This year’s autumn planting season is a good finish of the year, as most of the three million trees and shrubs were planted this spring. The start date of activities is set each year depending on the weather, in the spring – with enough time before the onset of heat, and in the autumn – when the weather becomes colder. In recent years, deciduous species, including fruit trees and grapevines, have been planted in large numbers, since planting deciduous trees has practical benefits for horticulture development. In natural conditions, plantings in the suburbs and around recreational facilities protect from the winds and provide shelter, food for birds and other small animals and shade for herbaceous plants.

Useful Fruit from a Prickly Bush

In early autumn, red barberry beads gleam in the sun with an amber shine along the mountain paths of the Small Balkhan Mountains. The fruits are ready to be harvested – it is time to store the vitamin tea collection. They taste sour, but they are of great value for maintaining appetite, they have immune-stimulating properties; according to pharmacists, they can lower blood pressure and improve the circulatory system. From these small berries one can make jam, compote, syrup, or tincture. Barberries in the wild can grow everywhere within the middle mountains of the country, including the slopes of the Balkhan Mountains – Small and Great. Recently, they have been trying to grow it for landscaping purposes in a cultural form in irrigated plantations, including land plots of the Landscaping Directorate of the communal services of the administrative centre of the Balkan velayat. However, it is the mountain barberry that accumulates the most healing “powers for health” and, picked in natural conditions, is especially valuable.

In the Expanses of the Karakum Desert

The largest arid zone in Central Asia and the second largest in the world after the Sahara is the Karakum Desert. Unlike the Arabian and other deserts devoid of vegetation, it is mostly covered with tree and shrub vegetation, or desert forests, which form a kind of ecosystem with their natural and climatic features and biological diversity. Vegetation cover has largely retained its natural character, the constant renewal of which shows the adaptive properties of ecosystems and their ability to withstand the effects of climate change. In this regard, work on environment protection, the rational use of the natural resources of the desert and the reduction of the impact of anthropogenic factors continues.

To Protect Endemics and Rare Species of Flora

The compilation of the next, fourth, edition of the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan, which taxonomists often refer to when studying the biology of rare species, is at the final stage. One of the compilers of the scientific work of the flora section is the senior research worker of the laboratory of forest and pasture ecology of the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan Guljamal KURBANMAMEDOVA. For readers of the newspaper, the scientist explains the nuances in the general concept of rare plant, offering to expand the boundaries of understanding of such a status, because the identification of a low abundance of a species does not always clearly indicate the need to take measures to protect it: “The small number of plants with a limited habitat due to anthropogenic causes is understandable; it arises under the influence of various forms of human economic activity or from recreational loads. If we consider the rarity of species of natural origin, then it can be conditioned by various factors; scientists divide them into biotic and ecological, while not dependent on humans. Then the circumstances that limit the size of the population are not always regarded as indicators that can threaten the state of the species. Under normal life activity, including self-renewal, the biological resistance of plant

Thirst-quenching yandak

«7/24. tm», № 27 (110), 04.07. 2022 Hot days have come, and each of us wants to quench his thirst. The hand stretches to the refrigerator for a soft drink.

Thirst-quenching yandak

Hot days have come and each of us wants to quench our thirst. So the hand stretches to the refrigerator for a soft drink. And I remember the distant 1960s, when my grandfather gave me instructions on how to quench my thirst in the summer with health benefits, especially in case of indigestion after taking melons or other gifts of the Turkmen fields. He used to get his tin box of Indian tea with a tight-fitting lid from the shelf and, like a magician, take out a pinch of crushed and dried flowers of yandak – camel’s thorn. Having brewed and mixed it with honey, he gave us this wonderful, truly tonic drink. Our ancestors from time immemorial grasped the causal relationship of the effects of medicinal plants on human health. Knowledge was fixed and deposited in the collective memory of an endless succession of generations, in order to later find application in everyday life.

Amazing Meetings in the Daray-Dere Gorge

This year’s expedition season presented new scientific finds and discoveries, which pleased the joint group of employees of the Kopetdag and Koytendag State Natural Reserves, who carried out research work in the picturesque watered gorge of the Koytendag Mountains – Daray-dere. This place can be called a paradise, although for scientists it is a Klondike for floristic research, a vast natural “botanic garden”, where viewing the rarities of the plant world is a real pleasure for the researcher, and every now and then on the path, one come across not only amazing representatives of flora, but also animals that inspectors do not often see in their natural habitat. The length of the branched gorge exceeds 18 kilometres, and all this linear space is accompanied by life-giving river water – clear and icy, “crunchy” from purity, tasty moisture goes around the high sides throughout the season and irrigates the deep canyon. Therefore, the entire gorge is a lush green oasis, which is filled with the sonorous voices of birds. Where there is water, life is in full swing, and, going there in anticipation of new impressions, we took with us cameras, all kinds of accessories for biotechnical work and sampling and the basis for collecting an herbarium.

Dushak-Erekdag – one of the models of the Kopetdag Mountains

This is a remarkable place for botanists – a natural model of the Central Kopetdag Mountains, which is characterised by talus and stony-precipitous rocks, gentle grassy mountain slopes, narrow gorges with steep deep sides, plateau-like mountain peaks and intermountain dry steppe valleys. Its most familiar view is waterless, dry, as if breathing with heat in the summer sultry weather, high mountain ranges, which fascinate tourists with their inaccessibility and unique contrasts. For example, from the burning summer atmosphere of acclive slopes and lowlands with scorched vegetation and an abundance of thorns, you can move on to late spring on the intermountain plateau, where feather grass and fescue and couch grass vegetation blooms for a long time. The higher the mountains, the cooler the climate. Strong off-season winds sway these grasses, as if they passed in multidirectional frequent ridges along a rustling soft shiny base, abruptly breaking off from the edge of the sloping sides of the plateau down into echoing gorges, where insects buzz during the day, and cicadas monotonously “sing” at night. In the desert, summer quickly and imperceptibly absorbs all life and dissolves it in its boundless ocean of sands, where superheated air, dancing in the distance and creating a mirage over hot dunes, makes an indelible impression.

Astragalus Blossoms in the Karakum Desert

In early spring, one can observe various astragalus species blossoming on the sand dunes, exhaling a subtle, exquisite delicate aroma. Less often, astragalus can be found at the foothills, where they do not “climb” high. The representatives of Astragalus alopecias that have fluffy spherical panicles-inflorescences are particularly beautiful; seven species are known, including Astragalus globiceps and Astragalus schahrudensis These large perennials up to 1 metre high with seven-centimetre inflorescences in diameter adorn flower beds. Astragalus macrobotrys with elongated inflorescences with pinkish-purple flowers that can be found in the sands has a peculiar form. The “inhabitant” of the Karakum Desert, Astragalus flexus blooms beautifully; its bright yellow large flowers form racemose inflorescences. The endemic gem of the nature of the Kopetdag Mountains is the cushion-shaped Astragalus podolobus. In the spring, during the blooming period, it resembles an impressive bunch of flowers – a fragrant pink-purple “ball” on the rocks, up to 80 centimetres in diameter. Some of astragalus species are attractive during the fruiting period. Astragalus chiwensis is quite extraordinary; it reaches 70 centimetres in height and diameter in wet years. Shaggy leaves and racemes of swollen beans give the shrub its originality. Astragalus sericopetalus is an endemic plant of the mo