Sarahs

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Sarahs

Sarahs
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Sarahs
Location in Turkmenistan
Coordinates: 36°32′N61°13′E / 36.533°N 61.217°E / 36.533; 61.217
Country Flag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
Province Ahal Province
District Sarahs Districts
Elevation
285 m (935 ft)
Population
 (1989 census) [1]
  Total9,585

Sarahs (also written Saraghs, Serahs, Sarakhs, Saragt, or Serakhs, the last a backformation of Russian : Серахс) is an oasis city in Ahal Province, Turkmenistan, and the administrative center of Sarahs district (Turkmen : Sarahs etraby). It is located at latitude 36°31' North; longitude 61°12' East and an elevation of 285m above sea level. It is one of the oases of the ancient Silk Road lying between Merv to the east and Mashhad to the west. In 1989 the city had a population of 9,585. [1]

Contents

Etymology

In Soviet times called Saragt in Turkmen, the city was referred to as Sarahs in antiquity and continuously to the present by locals. The meaning is unknown, but medieval historians asserted that it was a person's name. [2]

History

The Sarahs Oasis surrounding the town has been inhabited since 2nd millennium BCE. The main administrative centre was Old Serakhs, located in a slightly raised area somewhat south of the towns's present location. At the original site there remain a few brick fragments of the former citadel. The town claims to have been founded in 507 BCE. Although this is considered to be a somewhat arbitrary choice of date, [3] the city duly celebrated its 2500th anniversary in 1993. During the Sassanid period a Zoroastrian fire temple was constructed in Mele Hairam, about 15 km east of the town. It has been excavated by Polish archaeologists from Warsaw University since 1997. [4] In the Seljuk Era a famous school of architects was located in Sarahs, along with a mausoleum commemorating the 11th century sufi Abul Fazl (Serakhs Baba). In 1089 Yarty Gumbez mausoleum was constructed 8 km south of the town, possibly as a burial site for Sheikh Ahmed Al Khady.

The modern settlement was established in 1884 when Sarahs Oasis was annexed by the Russian Empire. It served as a Russian military post at the Iranian border. It was inhabited mainly by settlers of Russian and Polish origin. An Orthodox church, which no longer survives, was constructed in the town.

In 2010 monuments of Sarahs, including Old Serakhs, the Abul Fazl mausoleum, and the Mele Hairam temple complex were inscribed on the Tentative List to become UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a part of the "Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan" entry by the Turkmen government. [5]

Climate

Sarahs has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh), with cool winters and very hot summers. Rainfall is generally light and erratic, and occurs mainly in the winter and autumn months.

Climate data for Serakhs
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)29.5
(85.1)
32.4
(90.3)
39.9
(103.8)
41.0
(105.8)
44.0
(111.2)
47.3
(117.1)
46.5
(115.7)
47.3
(117.1)
45.7
(114.3)
44.3
(111.7)
36.2
(97.2)
33.0
(91.4)
47.3
(117.1)
Average high °C (°F)10.0
(50.0)
13.4
(56.1)
19.7
(67.5)
26.3
(79.3)
32.7
(90.9)
37.1
(98.8)
38.5
(101.3)
37.7
(99.9)
32.7
(90.9)
26.7
(80.1)
18.0
(64.4)
11.4
(52.5)
25.3
(77.6)
Daily mean °C (°F)4.7
(40.5)
7.6
(45.7)
13.0
(55.4)
19.1
(66.4)
25.2
(77.4)
29.7
(85.5)
31.2
(88.2)
29.7
(85.5)
24.4
(75.9)
18.7
(65.7)
11.5
(52.7)
6.3
(43.3)
18.4
(65.2)
Average low °C (°F)0.7
(33.3)
2.8
(37.0)
7.6
(45.7)
13.2
(55.8)
18.5
(65.3)
22.4
(72.3)
23.9
(75.0)
22.6
(72.7)
17.4
(63.3)
12.2
(54.0)
6.3
(43.3)
2.2
(36.0)
12.5
(54.5)
Record low °C (°F)−21.0
(−5.8)
−14.0
(6.8)
−4.4
(24.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
5.9
(42.6)
7.4
(45.3)
12.3
(54.1)
13.9
(57.0)
3.2
(37.8)
1.0
(33.8)
−7.4
(18.7)
−14.2
(6.4)
−21.0
(−5.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches)32
(1.3)
33
(1.3)
40
(1.6)
35
(1.4)
14
(0.6)
0.3
(0.01)
0.1
(0.00)
0.0
(0.0)
0.5
(0.02)
7
(0.3)
12
(0.5)
26
(1.0)
199.9
(8.03)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)5.86.35.53.21.50.20.20.10.31.03.84.632.5
Average relative humidity (%)70.166.859.951.338.926.925.324.229.340.559.470.746.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 146.8141.5172.7213.0302.2359.5378.7358.9315.1256.0191.7145.82,981.9
Source 1: climatebase.ru [6]
Source 2: NOAA (sun & precipitation, 1961-1990) [7]

Transportation

Sarahs is a crossing point on the Iranian-Turkmen border and the place where bogies must be changed on the freight railway line from Tejen to Mashhad in Iran, which was opened in 1996. The passenger connection between Sarahs and Ashgabat is also operated.[ citation needed ] The airport at Sarahs is out of service.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г.: Численность городского населения союзных республик, их территориальных единиц, городских поселений и городских районов по полу [All-Union Population Census of 1989: The urban population of the Union's republics, their territorial units, urban settlements and urban areas by sex] (in Russian). demoscope.ru. 2009. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Atanyýazow, Soltanşa (1980). Түркменистаның Географик Атларының Дүшүндиришли Сөзлүги [Explanatory Dictionary of Geographic Names in Turkmenistan]. Ashgabat: Ылым. p. 247.
  3. Bradt Guide to Turkmenistan, 1st edition, page 131.
  4. "Mele Hairam, Archaeology in Serakhs Oasis". Polish Archaeological Mission in Iran and Central Asia. Retrieved 23 March 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Silk Roads Sites in Turkmenistan, UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO. Retrieved 23 March 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. "Serakhs, Turkmenistan". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 10 February 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. "Climate Normals for Saragt". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 10 February 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Coordinates: 36°32′N61°13′E / 36.533°N 61.217°E / 36.533; 61.217