Ancient Merv
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A Brief Introduction

The cities that developed at Merv span the last 2,500 years, and together they form one of the most complex and well-preserved urban centres on the Silk Route of Central Asia. Throughout its occupation, Merv was the capital of vast empires, a trading center, and a military and administrative center. Its importance began to decline as the east-west land-based trade routes were by-passed by the growing sea trade, and eventually the city was sacked by the armies of Genghis Khan.

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