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15 June 2010
Turkmen capital is 8,000 years old, archeologists say

Professor Ovez Gundogdiev, Deputy Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Turkmenistan led the first national expedition to excavate part of the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, in a settlement called Akdepe. The fifth season of exploration on this site recently came to an end with exciting discoveries.
     Until this year, Akdepe's earliest verifiable date was fifth to fourth century BCE. The archeologists of the national expedition found pottery belonging to the Neolithic period (sixth millennium BCE) in Akdepe. "Our white-marble capital has sprung up on the place that people used to live as early as eight thousand years ago. In the outskirts of the city there is an archeological monument as old as the most ancient proto-urban civilizations of the Near East," Gundogdiev told reporters.
     The accepted theory that life in Akdepe ceased to exist in the late Bronze Age (end of the second century BCE to early first century CE) has now been disproved by the excavators. The Turkmen archeologists discovered material evidence of the continuity of life at Akdepe in the form of ceramic fragments from all previously missing epochs, including the medieval period and the time of Mongol invasion.

Source: Turkmenistan.ru (7 June 2010)

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