Nisa Expeditions

Italian Archaeological Mission in Old Nisa:
Report of the 2001 Season

With thanks to Carlo Lippolis and Jérôme Gaslain who provided the information and photographs for this page, August 2001.

See Old Nisa Bibliography: Publications of Centro Scavi di Torino and contributions of the members of the Italian Expeditions to Nisa.


A new combined Italo-Turkmenistan archeological expedition at Old Nisa in Turkmenistan was completed during July and August, 2001, by the University of Turin's Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino. The scientific director of the mission was Prof. Antonio Invernizzi.

Fortifications of old Nisa from New Nisa. In the center, village of Baghir 
Click on picture to enlarge
Click on picture to enlarge  Photo by Jérôme Gaslain 

This year, the excavations were concerned with the area to the north of the round hall. Since 1995, this zone had been superficially excavated and the Nisa Expedition 2001 undertook a more complete excavation. The aim was to discover precisely the buildings placed in this zone.


Islamic Iwan (west) and the Parthian building courtyard One of the three Islamic iwans
(north part of the excavation)
Click on picture to enlarge Click on picture to enlarge
Click on pictures to enlarge Photos by Jérôme Gaslain  

This medieval period building is composed of a central court with three iwans: one at the north, one at the west and one at the south. At the east of the court, rooms and a corridor have been discovered. These medieval structures are built on more ancient construction. We hope to identify the period of construction of this Islamic edifice through the ceramics found during the excavations. But we can already say that during medieval period, this building was continuously occupied.

The Parthian building: there is also a central courtyard with a square form. Rooms have been discovered to the east, west and north. In the south, there is a corridor.

During the Nisa Expedition 2000, the Italian mission worked on the Islamic buildings. This year, we continued to excavate it, but we also worked on the general plan of the structures. The edifice seems to have a dimension of 35x35 meters.

For future expeditions (in 2002 and onward) the intention is to excavate down to the Parthian pavement to understand the arrangement of the structure with the help of any materials discovered.

For more information you can also go to the web page of Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino 

General view of excavations
from north to south 
General view of excavation
from east to west 
Click on picture to enlarge  Click on picture to enlarge 
Click on pictures to enlarge  Photos by Jérôme Gaslain 

Results and analyses of Archaeological Mission in Nisa, Year 2001 will be added to this web page as it becomes available. Please bookmark this page and check back often.


Members of Nisa Expedition 2001

Photo by C. Lippolis  
Team members, Expedition 2001
Standing from left: Claudio FOSSATI, Aleksandr LAPSHIN, Vito MESSINA, Jérôme GASLAIN
Seated: Carlo LIPPOLIS, Alessandra CELLERINO, Ariela BOLLATI, Niccolo MANASSERO

Antonio INVERNIZZI
Scientific director of the mission, University of Turin (not in photo)

In the photo, standing from left to right:
Claudio FOSSATI
Architect in Nisa
Aleksandr LAPSHIN, University of Vladimir 
Professor of Medieval history
Archaeologist in Nisa
Translator of the mission
Vito MESSINA, University of Turin
Doctor in oriental archaeology
Archaeologist in Nisa
Jérôme GASLAIN, University of La Sorbonne Paris I (France)
Guest-student in Nisa

Seated from left to right:
Carlo LIPPOLIS, University of Turin
Doctor and specialist in oriental archaeology
Field-director of the mission
Archaeologist in Nisa
Alessandra CELLERINO, University of Turin
Doctor in oriental archaeology
Archaeologist in Nisa
Ariela BOLLATI, University of Turin
Doctor in oriental archaeology
Archaeologist in Nisa
Niccolo MANASSERO
Doctor in classical archaeology
Archaeologist in Nisa

This page last updated 26 Jan 2011

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