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Nisa

Nisa (also Parthaunisa) was an ancient city, located near modern-day Bagir village, 18 km northwest of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Nisa is described by some as one of the first capitals of the Parthians. It was traditionally founded by Arsaces I (reigned c. 250 BC211 BC), and was reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian kings, although it has not been established that the fortress at Nisa was either a royal residence or a mausoleum.

Excavations at Nisa have revealed substantial buildings, mausoleums and shrines, many inscribed documents, and a looted treasury. Many Hellenistic art works have been uncovered, as well as a large number of ivory rhytons, the outer rims (coins) decorated with Iranian subjects or classical mythological scenes.

Nisa was later renamed Mithradatkirt ("fortress of Mithradates") by Mithridates I of Parthia (reigned c. 171 BC138 BC).

Nisa was totally destroyed by an earthquake, which occurred during the first decade BC.

The fortress at Nisa was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.


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