Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan
Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan is part of the Tentative list of Turkmenistan in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan is a serial nomination consisting of 29 elements representing remains of long-distance routes of integration, exchange and dialogue between the East and the West, from the 2nd century BC until the end of the 16th century. It consists of the ruins of ancient settlements representing different period of the road history, ancient and mysterious cave city, mausoleum or religious buildings (representing various different religions from archaic belief to Zoroastrian, Islam and various state of conservation, from ruins to standing monuments) and forts and caravanserais protecting the Road.
Map of Silk Roads Sites in TurkmenistanLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I visited the silk road site of Anau in June 2017. Being relatively close to Ashgabat (around 8km) I made an extra effort to visit the remains of the Seyitdzhemaliddin Mosque included on Turkmenistan's tentative list.
Anau derives from Abi-anau meaning new water and surely enough there's a well and water system just next to the mosque. The mosque was heavily damaged by the Ashgabat earthquake, however locals still pray (mostly for fertility) at this site. There are a few turquoise tiles left but nothing really outstanding which would add value to the WH list in my opinion.
The road between Mary and Ashgabat is possibly the most boring stretch that I have ever travelled on. My fellow travellers made a joke out of it - "Is this on your List too? It should be." It took us over 7 hours to reach the Turkmen capital. Our minibus could only reach an average speed of 50km per hour because of the many holes and bumps in the road.
An hour before we arrived in Ashgabat we had a final stop to stretch our legs. It was at a place called Abiwerd just near the road. I took some obligatory photos, just in case this tiny archeological site would ever show up on a WH or Tentative List.
My surprise couldn't have been bigger when I came home and discovered that Turkmenistan had just entered a new Tentative Site called "Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan". And what is part of it? Abiverd!
Abiverd or Abiwerd is an ancient fortified settlement. The remains near the road are merely silhouettes of ancient structures, although a local boy came to us to point out a fortress a bit further inland.
2014 Advisory Body overruled
2010 Added to Tentative List
The site has 32 locations