Abiverd Fortress

Eight kilometres to the west of Kaka, the ruins of the town of Abiverd lie just to the south of the Ashgabat road, and are clearly visible from it.

Abiverd was once an important trading town of North Khorasan. It was a key link on the Silk Route between Nisa and Merv, and also enjoyed ties with Nishapur, across the Kopet Dag Mountains to the south. Taxes collected from Abiverd at one point in the 9th century were almost double those of Serakhs. But Abiverd never seems to have recovered its status following its sacking by the Mongols in 1221. Abiverd in its heyday had a sophisticated system of water supply, produced highly regarded pottery, and minted its own coins. The present-day site offers only a hint of these past glories. The eastern part of the site is a citadel, with earth ramparts topped in a few places by surviving stretches of mud-brick walls. The whole is surrounded by a dry moat. To the west are the crumbling mud walls of houses probably abandoned in the 18th century.