Konye-Urgench

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Urganj)
Jump to: navigation, search
Konye-Urgench
کهنه گرگانج
KonyeUrgenchMausoleum.jpg
Soltan Tekeş Mausoleum in Konye-Urgench
Konye-Urgench is located in Turkmenistan
Konye-Urgench
Shown within Turkmenistan
Alternate name Konya-Urgench
Old Urgench
Urganj
Location Daşoguz Province, Turkmenistan
Coordinates 42°20′N 59°09′E / 42.333°N 59.150°E / 42.333; 59.150Coordinates: 42°20′N 59°09′E / 42.333°N 59.150°E / 42.333; 59.150
Type Settlement
History
Periods Khwarazmian dynasty
Cultures Khwarezm
Site notes
Condition Ruined
Official name: Kunya-Urgench
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii
Designated 2005 (29th session)
Reference No. 1199
State Party Turkmenistan
Region Asia and Australasia

Konye-Urgench (Turkmen: Köneürgenç, Russian: Куня Ургенч, from Persian Kuhna Gurgānj کهنه گرگانج) also known as Konya-Urgench, Old Urgench or Urganj, is a municipality of about 30,000 inhabitants in north-eastern Turkmenistan, just south from its border with Uzbekistan. It is the site of the ancient town of Ürgenç (Urgench), which contains the unexcavated ruins of the 12th-century capital of Khwarezm. Since 2005, the ruins of Old Urgench have been protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.[1] (See List of World Heritage Sites in Turkmenistan)

Formerly situated on the Amu-Darya River, Old Ürgenç was one of the greatest cities on the Silk Road. Its foundation date is uncertain, but the extant ruins of the Kyrkmolla fortress have been dated (rather ambitiously) to the Achaemenid period.[1] The 12th and early 13th centuries were the golden age of Ürgenç, it became the capital of Khorezm Empire as "Gürgench" and it surpassed in population and fame all other Central Asian cities barring Bukhara.[1] In 1221, Genghis Khan razed it in one of the bloodiest massacres in human history.[citation needed] The Mongols flooded Konye-Urgench with water from the Amu Darya.[2]

Gutluk Temir Minaret.

The city was revived after Genghis's assault, but the sudden change of Amu-Darya's course to the north and the town's destruction again in the 1370s, this time by Timur, forced the inhabitants to leave the site forever.[1]

The area was later inhabited by Turkmen in 1831, but they built outside the old town, using the latter as a graveyard.[1]

A new town of Urgench was developed to the southeast, in present-day Uzbekistan. First archeological research on the old city site was conducted by Alexander Yakubovsky in 1929.

Most of Ürgenç's monuments have completely or partly collapsed. Nowadays, the site contains three small mausoleums of the 12th century and the more elaborate 14th-century Törebeg Hanym Mausoleum, which was much restored in the 1990s.

The most striking extant landmark of Old Urgench is the early 11th-century Gutluk-Temir Minaret, which, at 60 meters, used to be the tallest brick minaret prior to the construction of the Minaret of Jam - which was later surpassed by the Qutb Minar when it was completed in 1368. Also of note is the Il-Arslan Mausoleum - the oldest standing monument: a conical dome of 12 facets, housing the tomb of Mohammed II's grandfather, Il-Arslan, who died in 1172. Somewhat to the north sprawls a vast medieval necropolis.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Konye-Urgench has a cold desert climate (BWk, according to the Köppen climate classification), with long and hot summers. Winters are relatively short, but quite cold. The precipitation is scarce throughout the year, with an average of 109 mm (4.36 in).

Climate data for Konye-Urgench
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.2
(32.4)
2.7
(36.9)
10.4
(50.7)
20.7
(69.3)
28.5
(83.3)
33.4
(92.1)
35.2
(95.4)
32.6
(90.7)
26.9
(80.4)
17.9
(64.2)
10.1
(50.2)
3.1
(37.6)
18.48
(65.27)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.0
(24.8)
−2.3
(27.9)
4.8
(40.6)
14.1
(57.4)
21.3
(70.3)
25.9
(78.6)
27.9
(82.2)
25.3
(77.5)
19.3
(66.7)
11.1
(52)
5.0
(41)
0.1
(32.2)
12.37
(54.27)
Average low °C (°F) −8.0
(17.6)
−7.1
(19.2)
−0.5
(31.1)
7.7
(45.9)
14.2
(57.6)
18.4
(65.1)
20.7
(69.3)
18.0
(64.4)
11.7
(53.1)
4.4
(39.9)
0.0
(32)
−2.8
(27)
6.39
(43.52)
Precipitation mm (inches) 9
(0.35)
8
(0.31)
17
(0.67)
19
(0.75)
13
(0.51)
4
(0.16)
3
(0.12)
2
(0.08)
3
(0.12)
9
(0.35)
10
(0.39)
12
(0.47)
109
(4.28)
Source: Climate-data.org[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Kunya-Urgench". UNESCO World Heritage Center. UNESCO. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Sykes, Percy (1921). A History of Persia. London: Macmillan and Company. p. 64. 
  3. ^ Climate data: Konye Urgench

External links[edit]

Preceded by
-
Capital of Khwarazmian Empire
1077–1212
Succeeded by
Samarkand
Preceded by
Hamadan
Capital of Iran (Persia)
1194–1212
Succeeded by
Samarkand