29.05.2008 - 29.05.2008
View Route Olympia - China on Lent's travel map.
The ruins of Merw are a bit tricky to make sense of because unlike Troy the different historical layers are not peeled off like an onion but rather form a network of clusters next to each other. This makes the entire site a huge area that is impossible to explore on foot, but on a guided bicycle tour over more than 10 kilometres the remains starting from the first millennium BC easily come to life. When Alexander the Great conquered the city in the 4th century he already found a prosperous trading place and it is easy to coolect potsherds and even entire coins from the oldest part of the site, the Erg Kala, a circular complex, surrounded by a fortification 100 metres strong at its base.
Potsherds in Erg Kala
The entire complex is quite well visible in Google Maps. Track and photos of the sightseeing tour: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=20402