Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:
What with the actual political events in Turkmenistan I want to present a few slides on TE from this country. This picture shows one of the few buildings (the Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar) left of ancient Merv after Jenghis Khan's son and his Mongol warriors annihilated the site in 1223. Typically the only buildings the hordes left intact were Mausolea, Minarets and desert light towers. Merv has been an oasis on the Murgab river in the Kara Kum desert since the Bronze period, a strategic situation on the Silk Road. An alternative road led to Herat in Afghanistan (Marco Polo passed there).
Even Alexander "the Great" passed through Merv (called Margiana at that time) and the Macedonians too spread their culture by hammering it into rubble.
Today it is left to us tourists to visit the ruins of many cities of Merv and to marvel about the fact that the Seljuk Sultan, a grandchild of Sultan Alp Arslan, reigned from Merv over an empire that stretched from Afghanistan through Iran, the near East and to Egypt: there must have been a lot of traffic on he Silk Road!

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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