Mosque & Bronze Age Site
"Scholars have long predicted an important
outside influence on the Sumerians (as Anau reveals
levels which go back to the Copper Age, c. 4500
BCE), and many see the Bronze Age Bactrians as
eventually contributing to the Harappan Indus
Valley civilization, though whether through trade,
conquest, or some unremarkable and unknown process,
is not yet clear."
Learn more about the Controversy of the Anau Seal
minutes by car from Ashgabat to the south east, this
site includes the remains of the Bronze age settlement
Anau -Depe and the fortress of Anau. The name Anau derives
from Abi-Nau, meaning "new water".
The site was already inhabited in the 4-3 millenium
B.C. The culture of this period has been named Anau
culture. Excavations began in 1904 when an American
archaeologist R. Pempelli launched an expedition. The
site includes a great wall and a ditch. Some skeletons
of children, the remains of the painted ceramics, decorated
with the geometrical ornament and the most ancient remains
of the camels were discovered at the time of excavations.
According to the scientists camels were domesticated
at first just on the territory of the present day Turkmenistan.
Anau fortress already existed during the Parthian period
/3d c BC- 3d c. AD/.
mosque, constructed in the 15 c., is located in the
southern part of the fortress. Its lofty, powerful outlines
were visible from a great distance. One curious feature
of the mosque is the mosaic decoration above the entrance,
depicting two enormous 8-9 m dragons facing each other.
Some experts think that dragons were totems of the Turkmenian
tribe which inhabited Anau in the 15 century. Sheikh
Jemaled-din probably belonged to this tribe. The mosque
was destroyed by the 1948 earthquake. In the meantime
the location is still hallowed as the site of the grave
of Sheikh Djemalledin. Childless couples bring children's
clothes here as an offering, and baby dolls are swaddled
and left in tiny hammocks slung between two sticks.
United States and Turkmenistan have launched a restoration
project at the 15th-century Seit Jemmalatdin Mosque
in Annau, according to a press release from the U.S.
Embassy in Ashgabat. (Photos,
details available at www.usemb-ashgabat.rpo.at)
Visit further fascinating Bronze Age sites in Turkmenistan
- Gonur Depe,