The first agricultural settlements appeared in the delta of Murgab River as back as 7 millennium BC. Fertile silt coming from mountains, abundance of water and moderate climate had created favorable conditions for good crops and the progress of the ancient economy was continuing for several centuries. The name of that state in the Murgab river area we've never known and the culture of that state did not know the written language. However, several centuries later the state was mentioned in the biggest mosaics Iranian texts under the name of Margush. In the ancient epoch, the Greek authors had transformed the ex name into Margiana. Archaeological discoveries of the second half of XX c. in the north Afghanistan and Southern Turkmenistan gave exact proof for close relations between Margiana and Baktria. The Margiana country occupied an area of more than 3000 sq. Km and consisted of 78 oasis and more than 150 compact settlements. The American newspaper "Boston Glob" wrote that before we knew the four oldest centers of the world's civilization: Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China, and now due to the fantastic results of the Margiana expedition its quite possible to think that there was another, the fifth center. In 1972 among the sands of the eastern Kara-kum the archeologists found and excavated the monumental castles and temples, in size competing with the buildings of Assiria and Babilon. Due to its size and monumental structures uncovered here, the scholars believe that Gonur-depe (modern Turkmenistan) was the capital of Bronze Age Margiana. It was a rectangular fortress with powerful defensive walls, semicircular bastions, adobe constructions and cult buildings for pre-Zoroastrian ceremonies. The archeological site is located about 100 km north of Mary and about 60 km north-west of Ancient Merv and a visit to it can be done in a day tour from Mary or Merv.

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