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The article deals with a group of sites examined by the Central Asian archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences USSR (RAS) in the framework of a large-scale project on the archaeological mapping of the Merv oasis, initiated and headed for over 20 years (1980–2003) by G.A. Koshelenko. This group, called Changly, after the most notable monument includes three archaeological sites of different duration (actually Changly fortress, Kala rabat and Besh-Agyz köshk) with associated rural settlements, located on the western branch of the large ancient channel Durnali (Hurmuzfarrah). A complete archaeological survey of the area (without excavations) allowed to restore the picture of the dynamics of this “micro-oasis”: in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD a powerful fortress of Changly emerged and functioned until the 4th–5th centuries, when, as a result of restructuring, it was completely fi lled and on its surface the castle was constructed. At the same time, there is an adjacent settlement from the southeast. After the Arab conquest, probably at the turn of 7th and 8th centuries, Changly castle ceased to function, to the southeast Kala rabat was built, and a new settlement reached nearly 50 hectares. About the 10th century the rabat underwent signifi cant restructuring (its walls were strengthened) and the Besh-Agyz köshk was being built. The life in the settlement stopped at the beginning of the 13th century, most likely as a result of the Mongol invasion.


Archaeology, Merv oasis, Margiana, fortifi cation, Changly, Kala, Besh-Agyz, irrigation, Durnali/Hurmuzfarrah channel

Vasif A. Gaibov. Institute of Archaeology RAS, Moscow, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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