Parzdepe or Parz-Depe is the ancient urban-type settlement which is located in Turkmenistan approximately 12 km northwest of the walls of another significant historical sight New Nisa. The settlement consists of a shahristan (city), a citadel, and a suburb. The citadel at the heart of the hill elevated about 2-3 m above the ancient settlement. It takes the form of a rectangular structure measuring 45-50 m.
The city wall is composed of typical mountain stones and large bricks held together by clay mortar. It encloses the citadel and is fortified with watchtowers at regular intervals. The primary component of this historical site, the ancient settlement itself, forms a pentagonal shape spanning an area of 160-200 m, while the suburb encompasses the entire hill on all sides.
Archaeological findings suggest that Parzdepe was inhabited for the first time during the Bronze Age. It flourished as a thriving urban center during the Achaemenid and Parthian periods, serving as an important hub for trade and commerce in the region. The strategic location of Parzdepe, situated near major trade routes, contributed to its prosperity and cultural exchange.
The citadel, positioned at the center of the hill, served as the administrative and defensive stronghold of Parzdepe. Its impressive rectangular structure, built with a combination of mountain stones, large bricks, and clay mortar, exemplifies the architectural prowess of the ancient inhabitants. The surrounding city wall, fortified with watchtowers, served to protect the settlement from external threats.
The ancient settlement itself, encompassing a pentagonal shape, reveals the layout and organization of an ancient urban center. It comprised residential areas, public buildings, and commercial spaces, reflecting a vibrant and bustling community. Excavations have unearthed artifacts, including pottery, tools, and jewelry, shedding light on the daily lives and cultural practices of the inhabitants.
Over time, Parzdepe experienced various periods of decline and abandonment, likely due to political upheavals, invasions, or changes in trade routes. Today, the site stands as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the ancient civilizations that once thrived there.
Visiting Parzdepe allows travelers to step back in time and explore the remnants of this ancient settlement. It offers a unique opportunity to delve into Turkmenistan’s rich history, unraveling the stories of its past inhabitants and gaining insights into the cultural and economic dynamics of the region.