The work carried out by the mission of the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino per il Medio Oriente e l'Asia in Old Nisa (Mithradatkert), in what is now Turkmenistan, realized thanks to the contribution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from 2001 until 2007 also of the Compagnia di San Paolo of Turin, is part of the more general field of research on “The legacy of Alexander the Great and the origins of Parthian art. Research on the spread of Hellenistic culture in Asia and on its effects in Parthian and Sasanian times”. The initiative’s purpose is to study how Hellenistic culture spread in Asia, and its encounter with Iranian culture; as for central Asia and Parthian culture, Old Nisa provides a privileged starting point for understanding the art and architecture of the early Arsacid period.
For more than 20 years, the Centro Scavi
di Torino has been conducting field
work thanks to the cooperation of Turkmen authorities: in recent years
with the National Department on Preservation, Study and Restoration
of Historical Monuments of the Culture Ministry and the National Museum
of Ashkhabad; in the earliest years of research, with the State University
of Ashgabat (History and Archaeology Institute).