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The magazine is registered by the Federal Service for Supervision of Compliance with Legislation Governing Mass Communications and Protection of Cultural Heritage, certificate of registration ÏÈ ¹ ÔÑ77-21265 of 08.06.2005  
2022  N3-4(204-205)
HERITAGE
OPEN DOOR
Despite the fact that the past two years of the pandemic have been a period of a prolonged pause in the field operations of international archaeological expeditions, scientists of Turkmenistan and their foreign partners did not waste time. First of all, they focused on analyzing and publishing the abundance of materials that they obtained in the course of their many years of research. At the same time, fellow archaeologists continue exchanging views and communicating in an online format.
Turkmen specialists together with experts from other countries participate regularly in online discussions, in promotion of the project “Silk Road Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Aspects of the European Year of Cultural Heritage” and development of a concept of development of cross-border tourist routes in Central Asia. As is known, UNESCO put forward the idea of the importance of inclusion of the Silk Road in the World Heritage List, as it connected many countries and peoples since ancient times. Preparations for scientifically sound nominations of certain sections of the Silk Road have been going on for several years now. As part of the transnational project “Silk Road: Zarafshan – Karakum Corridor”, Turkmenistan has nominated a medieval caravan route from Amul to Merv for inclusion in this prestigious list, along which a number of caravanserais of various types have been preserved.
Another international scientific forum titled “Historical and Cultural Monuments of Turkmenistan in the Center of Attention of the International Community” was held on April 19 at the State Museum of Turkmenistan. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan on instructions of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov. The forum discussed issues related to broadening international cooperation and exchange of experience in the field of study, protection and restoration of historical and cultural monuments. Turkmenistan has achieved the great success in this area. The State Program for 2022-2028 on the careful treatment, preservation and study of objects of national historical and cultural heritage, as well as their inclusion in tourist routes, approved the day before by the decree of the head of state, became a practical action in this direction.
As speakers noted, this program covers many aspects of the preservation and study of historical and cultural heritage, its adaptation and popularization. It is a logical continuation of the successfully completed presidential excavation program in 2018–2021 at the historical and cultural monuments located along the Great Silk Road, as well as scientific study and promotion of cultural heritage. This document provides for continuation of the archaeological research and restoration work at the monuments with the view of improving tourism activities and inclusion of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the country in the orbit of international tourism. Such an important area has received much attention from UNESCO in recent years.
The new program also provides for continuation of work on registration and certification of objects of national historical and cultural heritage, their inclusion in the State Register. It currently covers over 1400 objects of history and culture. Of them, approximately 80 percent are archeological monuments and about 20 percent are architectural constructions and single historical monuments. Their conservation and ways to solve other related issues are now one of the most important tasks facing the experts.
A brief information guide of the State Register with the complete list of historical and cultural monuments located in all five provinces of the country is being prepared for publication. Objects will be presented according to their administrative-territorial location in the alphabetical order. This will be the first step towards the preparation of a multi-volume edition of the Code of Historical and Cultural Monuments of Turkmenistan. The release of the first volume is scheduled for 2028. Work is under way for establishment of the statistical digital database that will make it possible to combine all the data accumulated over decades into a single reference and analytical system. It is important both for continuous monitoring of the state of monuments and their scientific study.
International cooperation in the area of protection and study of historical and cultural monuments in Turkmenistan is carried out in compliance with the UNESCO recommendations that determine the principles of international regulation of archaeological excavations. In this area, Turkmenistan closely cooperates with the leading centers of many countries of the world for in-depth study of the national historical and cultural heritage. Several international archaeological complex expeditions operate in the country.
The latest results of their work were published in the colorfully illustrated book “Antiquities of Turkmenistan: Scientific Research and Restoration of Monuments” compiled by the National Administration of Turkmenistan for Protection, Study and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments. This collective monograph was first presented to the participants of the meeting held at the museum.
Speaking at the presentation, the head of the National Department of Turkmenistan for Protection, Study and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Monuments, Doctor of Architecture Mukhammed Mamedov said that the book offers a great panorama of the history of material culture from the Eneolithic to the Middle Ages. These are basically brief scientific reports that present an insight of the nature and results of field research, as well as restoration work on the territory of Turkmenistan over the past decade (2011–2021).
Many authors of the articles included in this collection spoke via video-link at the plenary session of the international scientific forum. In particular, Professor of the Turin Center for Archaeological Excavations, laureate of the Magtymguly International Prize Carlo Lippolis (Italy) presented the report “The Water Supply System of the Old Nisa Fortress”. Julio Bendezu-Sarmiento, Doctor of Archeology and Anthropology, Senior Researcher at the National Museum of Natural History (France) informed the forum participants about new discoveries of the Turkmen-French expedition at the settlement of Ulug-Depe.
The Professor of University College London, expert of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Tim Williams spoke about the study and preservation of the monuments of ancient Merv. The report of the candidate of historical sciences Aleksey Petrushkevich from Russia covered the Turkmen-Russian cooperation on restoration of monuments.
The forum also heard the reports by Dr. Linnie Rose from the University of Washington (USA); by Dmitry Funk, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology named after N.N. Miklukho-Maclay of the Russian Academy of Sciences; by Nadezhda Dubova, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Head of the Turkmen-Russian Margiana expedition; by Barbara Cerazetti, Professor of Archeology at the University of Bologna (Italy).
Turkmen specialists also made presentations on the architecture of the medieval cities of Abiverd and Dandanakan. Scientists also touched on the topics of using the latest technologies and equipment that contribute to the preservation of monuments, including modern methods of research in mapping, creating 3D models of objects.
The forum participants and guests - representatives of higher education establishments, the mass media and cultural figures – viewed with great interest the exhibition organized at the State Museum of Turkmenistan. It presented the results of excavations carried out by international and national expeditions over the past decade. Following the plenary session, the participants of the scientific forum continued work in four sections at the Turkmen State Institute of Culture, the State Academy of Arts, the State Museum, the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. The reports covered modern achievements in the study and preservation of historical and cultural monuments, role of national heritage in the upbringing of the younger generation and development of tourism.

Dzhamal ORAZMURADOVA


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005