In the Mary velayat, in the Takta-Bazar etrap, there is the cave city of Ekedeshik, which has the status of a historical and cultural monument. Until now, scientists speculate about its ancient inhabitants. The description of the monument was made by the publication "Turkmenistan: Golden Age", we present it below.
The caves were dug in clay sandstone 100 m above the Murgab River and represent a two-storey labyrinth united by a common gallery passage. Due to the fact that the walls here are corrugated, the sound in Yekedishek is completely absorbed.
Special recesses for lamps can be seen in the walls.
The origin of the caves is shrouded in mystery - no one can name their exact purpose. The cave labyrinth is mentioned in the Turkmen ethnos. One of the legends says that camel caravans in two rows could enter and leave the caves.
The caves go 37 meters deep. The name translated from Turkmen means "one hole", and indicates that the huge complex had only one exit, which contributed to its invisibility and inaccessibility. Researchers believe that this architectural monument originated around the 1st century BC.
It is assumed that the underground city was a shelter for a community of Christians or Buddhist monks who in ancient times lived in the territory of Central Asia. In some of the rooms, there are high staircases cut down for the ascent to the second floor.
The premises in the upper gallery were mainly used for housing, and some of the premises on the first floor were used only for collecting water from underground sources. On the second tier, there are quite spacious rooms that could accommodate entire families.
In total, Ekedeshik has 44 separate rooms, some of which have completely collapsed and are inaccessible to the public.