Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nisa, the Parthian Fortress

In Turkmenistan we had the opportunity to visit Nisa, an old Parthian Fortress, now UNESCO World Heritage. The Parthian Empire ist thought to have started in the 6th century BC, but not much is known about its history until Alexander the Great made it part of his empire. The region corresponds to modern Khorasan. Nisa has been the capital of Parthia, being founded in the 3rd century BC and has been the necropolis of the Parthian kings.
The walls are made of stamped clay (pachsa) and had been fortified by unburned bricks. The ouside walls are 8-9 m thick and had towers, overlooking the plains; to the South are the mountains of the Kopet-Dagh. Works of art in the Hellenistic style, ivory rhytons (drinking horns), and other objects have been uncovered in the remains of the city. Art and architecture shows Western as well as Iranian styles. Objects are exhibited in the museum in Ashgabat.

View from the entrance

Some reconstruction works have been done

The interior of the fortress

Sun baking the clay

Close up for wall structure

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