Amul Ancient city
The ruins of the ancient city of Amul are located to the south of the city center of Turkmenabat. The site has not been excavated extensively and currently only features a raised fortress with a higher citadel in the northwest corner of the mound. The remains of Shakhristan of Amul-Charjui now form a nearly regular quadrangle measuring 9 hectares.
The city was occupied from the 1st to 4th century A.D., and during that time, it was approximately 50 hectares in size and part of the Kushanian Kingdom. In the 4th century A.D., the city experienced a period of crisis, but it was later recovered and became one of the largest centers of global trade by the 9th century. Amul was an essential transit point on the Great Silk Road, connecting two international routes – land and river ones. The land route led from Merv to Bukhara and China, while the river route was the Amudarya itself, through which goods from India were delivered. Archaeological evidence shows that the city consisted of Shakhristan, with a citadel called Ark, and an outer town with three gates.
In 1220, Amul was destroyed by the Mongols, and its significant stage began in the 15th century when it was named Charjui. The town plan of that period survived until the 1960s, with an area of rabad that surrounded the Amul Shakhristan exceeding 150-175 hectares. The origin of the name “Amul” is still debated, and it appears in historical literature with other names such as “Amuya,” “Amuye,” and “Amu.” Since the late 15th century, the town has been known as Charjui, which replaced the old name.
Additionally to Amul, there are tens of similar multi-layer sites in the Middle Amudarya zone, which were formed finally during the Late Kushanian period (3rd-4th centuries A.D.) and were lost after the Mongolian invasion, except for Amul. Throughout ancient and medieval times, the Amudarya river played a key role in connecting the territories, serving as the basis of agriculture, and the main transport and trade artery in Middle Asia. It was also a connecting element for the peoples living on both its left and right banks. Many pair towns-fortresses were linked to the convenient geographic location of water crossing, such as Amul and Farap, Zemm and Kerkichi, Khodja-Idat-kala and Navidakh, and Tashguzar and Old Termez.
Sites near Amul Ancient Settlement
Page updated 19.4.2023