9.5 Gardens and horticulture

9.5.1 Horticulture, pasture and the areas around the caravanserais

All horticulture and agriculture requires water and fertiliser (dung) to be sustainable. Merv was an essential stopover point for trading caravans: large numbers of camels arrived in need of watering, pasture and feeding. Intensive food production is likely to have been located near stables, with easy access to manure and organic vegetable matter. As noted in the assumptions, such activities would be difficult to isolate on the aerial imagery, but it is noticeable that the areas around the putative caravanserais seem relatively free of major building complexes, or large enclosure walls, perhaps suggesting that such activities existed close by these establishments.

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Last updated: Mon Sept 29 2008