Coordinates: 42°17′15″N 58°23′56″E / 42.28750°N 58.39889°E / 42.28750; 58.39889 Dev-Kesken (Russian: Девкесен; Turkmen:Döwkesen)[a] is an archaeological site in the Dashoguz region of northern Turkmenistan, 62 km west of Koneurgench.[1][2]


It is located at the edges of a 30 km-long escarpment, on the southern tip of the Ustyurt Plateau.[1]


The site appears to have been settled around 4th century BCE.[1] It corresponds to the medieval settlement of Vazir; in 1558, English traveler Anthony Jenkinson had visited the town and spoken favorably of the local melon produce.[1] Jenkinson already noted the rivers to be drying and Vazir would be abandoned soon.[1][3]


The sides of the city facing the plateau are walled.[1] Within the city, lie the ruins of three mausolea —dating to 15th century— and a mosque.[1][4] A citadel with corrugated walls overlooks the escarpment.[1]


The site was a tourism mainstay till c. 2003, when Turkmen Army started prohibiting visitors on the ground that the access-road passed through Uzbek territory.[1]


  1. ^ The name is also transliterated as Davkesen, Devkesen, Devkesken, Devkisken etc.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brummell, Paul (2005). Turkmenistan. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-84162-144-9.
  2. ^ Bregel, Yuri (2003-01-01). "Major Archeological Sites". An Historical Atlas of Central Asia. Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 8 Uralic & Central Asian Studies (9). Brill. p. 5. ISBN 978-90-474-0121-6.
  3. ^ Mayers, Kit (2016-11-07). The First English Explorer: The life of Anthony Jenkinson (1529-1611) and his adventures on the route to the Orient. Troubador Publishing Ltd. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-1-78589-228-8.
  4. ^ Ephrat, Daphna; Wolper, Ethel Sara; Pinto, Paulo G. (2020-12-07). Saintly Spheres and Islamic Landscapes: Emplacements of Spiritual Power across Time and Place. BRILL. p. 205. ISBN 978-90-04-44427-0.
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