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PEOPLE . PLACES

The Lost Empires of Turkmenistan

52' (ENG, GER, FRE) 43' (GER)
Follow us into the lost empires of Turkmenistan!

Once considered to be the poorest region of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan is one of the most closed-off countries in the world. In current day, oil and gas have made the country wealthy. For the first time in 10 years, a film team is able to freely record in the country, examining the excavation sites and the international research teams that work in places previously forbidden to enter. 4000 years ago, Turkmenistan was the center of power in the ancient world. However, due to the flourishing of Mesopotamia and Egypt, the empire of ‘Margiana’ has been lost to time. Only until recently, archaeologists in the middle of the Karakum desert have re-discovered the capital of this lost empire, and the marvelous treasures that lie inside.

Spectacular aerial shots show the dimensions of the once-lost metropolises. In the neighboring Ulug Depe, an international team of researchers is bringing monumental fortifications into the spotlight, such as the ruined cities of Merw and Köneügentsch, which are declared protected sites of world culture heritage by UNESCO. Asia has become the focus of the media for new discoveries and ancient wonders. Why have the number of visitors increased since the mighty Turkmenistan empires have fallen? DNA analyses indicate Turkmenistan’s population have spread out, stretching as far as India, the Urals, and the Mediterranean. The Silk Road between China and Europe became the most important trade route in the world for thousands of years, and made Turkmenistan a significant site in history.
Original Title: Turkmenistans verlorene Reiche
Year: 2020
Length: 52' (ENG, GER, FRE) 43' (GER)
Resolution: HD
Film by: Michael Gregor
Produced by: doc.station, arte

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