On the Garabogazgol Expanses

The Caspian region is an endless expanse of sandy areas, saline to varying degrees, the eolian (“Eol” from ancient Greek is the god of sands) material of which was brought by the wind from the side of the Chilmammetkum sands, plateaus, or kyrs with gypsum outcrops, table-like uplands, depressions with saline lands and rocky geological formations. On top of the continental strata, there is a layer of soil of various thickness, the mechanical structure of which determines the composition and condition of the vegetation. The territories directly adjacent to the Caspian Sea and the Garabogazgol Bay differ in their original, unique landscapes. Their look cannot be confused with other parts of the Karakum Desert – the endlessly stretching plains are unique and unusual for the eye, it is difficult to capture so much space and the high sky! When you visit those places with scientific assignments, doing your usual geobotanical work, you never get tired of admiring the landscapes, in which you can always find something new for yourself, some key element of the area. This little-explored region can be attractive to the tourism sector, its harsh beauty will be appreciated by those who are not afraid to get away from the noise of paved roads. And although there are not so many historical sites, there are plenty of monuments that nature has created, the incredible beauty of which

About spring...

When one flower blooms, spring awakens everywhere.

Spring planting campaign launched in Turkmenistan

«7/24. tm», № 13 (148), 27.03.2023. On March 18, the spring tree planting campaign was launched in Turkmenistan. President Serdar Berdimuhamedov took part in the tree planting action.

Mount Iron

The natural complex of the Great Balkhan ridge is of great interest to biologists, local historians, geologists and tourists. This is a grandiose combination of many large and small canyons and long talus, gently sloping and steeply falling, up to vertical cliffs of a linear and stepped nature a hundred or more metres high, open “circuses” at the beginning of some gorges, sharp ridges, rocky “glasses” – vertical multi-metre cylindrical gullies created by relict water flows, karst caves and holes. Among such a variety of forms of mountain formation are amazing monuments of nature. So, in the chain of the western spur of the central ridge at the beginning of the Duz Mergen tract, there is a mountain, which the people aptly call iron. This is a limestone layer steeply “falling” to the south with an angle of incidence of up to 40°, stretching for almost a kilometre. From a distance, the blade-like ridge resembles an iron standing on the ground. But there is a second correspondence, which more vividly meets the name.

About the Magic Power of Plants

The medicinal properties of plants have been known for many centuries and have been successfully used in folk medicine, prolonging human life. The Turkmen land is rich in healing flora and people studying it. Pharmaceutical folk knowledge is supplemented by legends about the magic power of cult plants, sometimes created on the verge of superstition. Such “evidence” can be found in ancient legends, fascinatingly told by the ethnographer Sergei Demidov in the book Plants and Animals in the Legends and Beliefs of the Turkmen. It cites little-known sacred stories. The legend about bagshy Baba Gambar, the patron of all singers and musicians, whose life to some extent echoes the fate of the Populus pruinosa, or toraňňy, called “dutar gullagy” by the Ersary tribe, sounds exciting. According to the established tradition, anyone who wanted to become a professional singer or performer of melodies had to perform the song Şahy-Merdan in a certain sanctuary, playing the musical instrument, and then to stay in that place until morning. Only selected subjects in the dream state could see the images of a lion and a snake. Before those who did not succumb to fear, Gambar himself appeared and served him a drink. Here it was necessary not to blunder – to drink everything completely to become a singer, or to pour everything onto hands to become a musician. Another tree of Popu

“I want to see Dehistan…”

Next year, the world will celebrate the 300th birth anniversary of the outstanding Turkmen poet and thinker of the East Magtymguly Pyragy. Preparations for the upcoming anniversary of international importance are the focus of attention of the President of Turkmenistan Arkadagly Serdar. In this regard, the interest in the rich historical, cultural and creative heritage of the poet, whose life is inextricably linked with Magtymguly and Etrek etraps in the Balkan velayat is growing. There is a well-known saying that that every hare has a dear hill, which, in particular, the poet writes about in his autobiographical poems.

Mountains on the Plain

The Balhan Mountains – Great and Small – are often called “mountain islands” due to their isolation, they look like that from a bird’s eye view: two huge stone “stumps”, overgrown with mountain juniper that came on a boundless plain from nowhere. These mountain formations are surrounded from all quarters by the desert – sandy, clayey and saline, therefore they contrast with the surrounding environment, which makes these places unique, and need conserving. There you can find natural grottoes, Jebel and Damdam-Cheshme, and the Kurtli-Bil gorge that people visited even in the Middle and Late Stone Age, which is scientific evidence of the earliest human settlement in Central Asia. The Iron Age natural monument is the Garavuldepe cult complex on the top of Arlan, the oldest temple of the “sun and sacred fire” (7th-2nd century BC). Traces of the medieval fortress Duneshkala (10th-16th centuries) between Jebel and Oglanly have been preserved. There, two karst caves with the Lower Cretaceous carbonate deposits – Tuz-Mergen and Lyama-Burun –were also discovered. The walls of the latter are laid up with marble onyx.

New pages of archeology of Turkmenistan

Every year in June our country celebrates the Day of Science. Owing to the efforts our Esteemed President Serdar Berdimuhamedov all branches of science of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan develop intensively. In this regard, both compatriots and others are pleased to report that the staff of the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan continues to discover new and interesting things during excavations, thus replenishing the collection of its museum. Every year archaeological research is carried out in spring and autumn. But the pathfinders of the history of the Archeological Research Institute of the same name, for example, the participants in the excavations, working there, of course, only by vocation, and therefore motivated, found it expedient to end this archaeological season a little later. This is on the eve of the commemoration of the day of science, which has become another incentive to work, which was pleasantly provoked by the newly noticed carefully recovered finds. In a word, for almost the entire first ten days of June, every year [on weekdays, since the weather "allowed from morning until the onset of heat], we complete the excavations. The Turkmen people say: «If you get up early, you would have a good day». At this stage, our institute is conducting more than one field study on objects of retro-culture, once create

Time to Plant Trees

Large-scale tree planting activities, which have become a good tradition of beautifying and decorating the homeland with our labour, started again. Ecologists, foresters and thousands of volunteers across the country aim their long-term activities to put into practice the national motto “Let’s turn Turkmenistan into a blooming garden!” This year’s autumn planting season is a good finish of the year, as most of the three million trees and shrubs were planted this spring. The start date of activities is set each year depending on the weather, in the spring – with enough time before the onset of heat, and in the autumn – when the weather becomes colder. In recent years, deciduous species, including fruit trees and grapevines, have been planted in large numbers, since planting deciduous trees has practical benefits for horticulture development. In natural conditions, plantings in the suburbs and around recreational facilities protect from the winds and provide shelter, food for birds and other small animals and shade for herbaceous plants.

Useful Fruit from a Prickly Bush

In early autumn, red barberry beads gleam in the sun with an amber shine along the mountain paths of the Small Balkhan Mountains. The fruits are ready to be harvested – it is time to store the vitamin tea collection. They taste sour, but they are of great value for maintaining appetite, they have immune-stimulating properties; according to pharmacists, they can lower blood pressure and improve the circulatory system. From these small berries one can make jam, compote, syrup, or tincture. Barberries in the wild can grow everywhere within the middle mountains of the country, including the slopes of the Balkhan Mountains – Small and Great. Recently, they have been trying to grow it for landscaping purposes in a cultural form in irrigated plantations, including land plots of the Landscaping Directorate of the communal services of the administrative centre of the Balkan velayat. However, it is the mountain barberry that accumulates the most healing “powers for health” and, picked in natural conditions, is especially valuable.