Dekhistan is considered the most important medieval oasis of south-west Turkmenistan. Here once was located the City of Misrian which reached its maximum splendour when it belonged to the Shahs of Khoresm. Having been destroyed by the Mongols, It died out at the end of the Xth century Because of the interruption of theIrrigation system.
Dekhistan is one of the largest cultural and historic centres of the south – western Turkmenistan. Dekhistan has also another name – Misrian. Together with the neighbouring ancient Mashed graveyard, Dekhistan is called Mashed – Misrian by Turkmen. Dekhistan or Misrian is not only an ancient city itself, but all the adjacent province, in other words – the Misrian oasis, which several centuries after unknown disaster, remained hardly noticeable signs.
The city existed in the IX – XIV centuries. Its total area was about 200 ha, the city was surrounded by a double ring of defensive walls. Like most cities of its epoch, it was divided into well – fortificated shakhristan with citadel (the most ancient part of the city) and rabad around it (a densely populated trade quarters with bazaars and caravanserais). Shakhristan was protected with two rows of high fortress wall with semicircle watch – towers. Pottery and brick – burning kilns, khanaka, country mosque, garden – park erections and bazaar square, typ cal of the eastern medieval cities, were marked around the city wall.
The tribes, which occupied this territory, went in for agriculture based mainly on artificial irrigation and cattle – breeding. Three caravanserais were discovered on its territory. Public buildings and erections, reflecting the social tenor of the feudal age, take a special place in the Dekhistan look and structure. Such monumental buildings include mosques, minarets, madrasahs and a number of cultural erections.
The city was in its prime being a possession of Khorezm Shahs, then destroyed by Mongol, but revived and finally fell into decay with decline of irrigation in the XV century. Its architecture remained only a few fragments of the erections made of burned brick and having great artistic value as the glaring examples of Islamic architecture. The first and foremost is two 20 meters high minarets. In all probability it is a half of their initial height. Abu – Jafar Akhmed minaret, so called “northern” – was built by architect Abu Bini Ziyad approximately in 1004 – 1005.
Smooth surface of the minarets was girdled with two belts of Arabic scribings which were engraved on the bricks. The scribings tells who and when has erected this monument. The top of each minaret was crowned with wide belt of geometrical ornament. The second minaret (7 meters in its foundation diameter) was built 120 meters away from the first one, but almost 200 years later, at the corner of mosque of Mukhammed Khorezmshah which remained only two pylons of 18 meters high portal with luxuriant ornament made of blue glaze.
The predominant part of the ornament are Arabian inscriptions, where the names of Khorezmshah and the architects were written.
Dekhistan was in deep intercommunication with the vast neighbourhood, covering the considerable part of the south – eastern Caspii. The city, being on the boarder of settled oasis and nomad steppe, was the important point of the intensive trade. One of the international caravan ways, connecting Khorezm with the Arabian countries, crossed Dekhistan.
Silence among the ruins and ashes, which is usually so typical for abandoned cities, will make not only poets, but everyone to think of the perishability and ephemeral essence of life, that goes away leaving no erections but scattering of ostracons and shapeless ruins, that have been many centuries ago something useful, firm and splendid.