The Afrasiab Museum lies on the terrain of the ancient settlement Afrasiyab, founded approximately 2750 years ago. It bears the name of Afrasiab. He was the mythical king of Turan, the country of origin of the Turks in Central Asia.
The troops of Genghis Khan destroyed the town in the first half of the 13th century. Today it is one of the largest excavation sites in the world the world. Together with Samarkand, it belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Already shortly after the take-over of the Russians, the first excavations started in 1833.
In the northern part, one excavated a citadel, surrounded by an eight-meter-thick wall. The palace dates from the time of the Sogdia, an Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire. At that time Afrasiyab was the capital of the province of Sogdia.
Valuable wall frescoes belong to the most beautiful showpieces in the museum today. They were recovered from the southern palace of the Ikhshidid dynasty from the 7/8th century.
The museum’s 22,000 exhibits provide information about people’s lifestyles, clothing, food, and habits. These include books and writings, weapons, vessels and statues, coins and bones of the deceased. Particularly noteworthy are the terracotta figures placed at the entrance.
After leaving the museum, we pass the Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble, whose mausoleums are among the oldest and most beautiful monuments of Samarkand. Among others, the sisters and nieces of Amir Temur are buried here.
But since Ursula still doesn’t feel well, we didn’t pay a visit. And there was a second reason for it. After so many mausoleums, our need for more tombs is satisfied for the time being. Nevertheless, they are undoubtedly worth seeing.
Please read on > Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Siyob Bazaar
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