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Photographer's Note

Merv was once one of the most important cities on the Silk Road in Central Asia, and also one of the oldest; traces of Bronze Age (c. 2500-1200 BCE) settlement have been found here. In the XI-XIII centuries, it was one of the capitals of the Seljuk empire, and the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar (c. 1140) can be seen here in the background. It, and the building in front, which may have housed carrier pigeons, are among the few structures that survived the sack by the Mongols in 1221 (or 1222). Some bits of the various walls also remain (I was standing on one when I took this photo), giving an idea of the size of the place, which was, briefly, the largest city in the world (200,000 people in 1150). (See also this article.)

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Additional Photos by Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 930 W: 150 N: 1023] (3449)
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