Exploring Tourism in Turkmenistan
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Places to Visit Details

Ulug Depe


To the east of Dushak, turn right off of the main road, at a turning signposted to the shrine pilgrimage site of Malik Baba. Turn to the south after another 4km, heading towards a large mound, about 30m high, and some 3km on. This is Ulug Depe, one of the early agricultural settlements of the fertile belt along the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains.

Ulug Depe was a thriving settlement during the early Bronze Age. While smaller and less important than proto-towns such as Altyn Depe, it is currently one of the more interesting of the many ancient depe sites in this region for the casual visitor, as it is the object of an ongoing research programme being carried out by the French archaeologist Olivier Lecomte. The French excavations reveal a fortified mud-brick building of the late Iron Age, including a buttressed outer wall and paved corridor. A sign here does little to facilitate an understanding of the site, informing the visitor only that this is an important historical monument, over which it is not permitted to graze livestock or leave rubbish.

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