as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. Photo Gallery Set out for an immersive two-week adventure through the fascinating collage of Central Asia. Two examples from other palaces in Transoxiana from this same period (the images are reproduction paintings, filmed in substandard light in the Samarkand museum) provide an additional sense of the cultural connections of these prosperous Central Asian states. From Central Asia and further to China the famous “Heavenly racers” (Fergana horses), carpets, linen and woolen fabrics, semiprecious stones were exported. #gallery-1 { Historically, Chinese gourmets on the Silk Road praised the city for its sweet peaches and delicious plov and lamb. The development of this urban center continued apace under Tamerlane's grandson Ulughbeg, who ruled the city for much of the first half of the fifteenth century until he was assassinated in 1449. 3. They existed along the entire eastern line of the Silk Road from Samarkand to Xi'an in China. Along with Bukhara, Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean (Silk Road). south, and a schematic map shows the rings of fortifications and the ponds and canal system The Persian chronicler Juvaini's encomium to Samarkand and other Central Asian cities reflects his dismay at the destruction wrought by the Mongols when Chingis Khan invaded the area in 1220. The term Silk Road is English for the German word Read more about the Silk Road here. The city is a diverse mix, combining Uzbek people with those of Tajik ethnicity. Historically speaking, Samarkand was the crossroads between the East and West on the Silk Road. 2. The Silk Road peaks here. reproductions of the images which give a clearer sense of what is depicted. 1. Historically, Chinese gourmets on the Silk Road praised the city for its sweet peaches and delicious plov and lamb. Triump… Downstream is Bukhara. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. } } The Silk Road city of Samarkand has long lured travellers and conquerors in search of wealth and the exotic in Central Asia. Here's a guide to help you explore Samarkand Uzbekistan. What did Samarkand trade on the Silk Road? During the Kushan era the city declined though; it did not really revive until the fifth century CE. 4. Mug, where archaeologists have unearthed a treasure trove of Sogdian documents attesting to the sophistication of their administration and legal system. Camels were uniquely suited to crossing the roughest terrain in an extremely difficult climate because they could go for days without food or water by living off the fat stroed in their humps. Silk Road, ancient trade route, linking China with the West, that carried goods and ideas between the two great civilizations of Rome and China. For some time after the Muslim conquest of the early eighth century, these eclectic local religious traditions remained the dominant ones. text-align: center; Central Asia exported camels which were very appreciated in China, military equipment, gold and silver, semi-precious stones and glass items. margin: auto; Alexander's conquests introduced into Central Asia Classical Greek culture; at least for a time the Greek models were followed closely by the local artisans. Balkh is an ancient city, with a 2500-year long history, situated on the plain between the Hindu Kush Mountains and the river Amu Darya (historically known as the Oxus) in the north of Afghanistan. To travel upstream just above the fertile valley floor (second photo), brings one to the historic city of Panjikent. and the Registan. Ulughbeg is well known for his scientific investigations, supported by the Observatory he built on the hills to the east of Afrasiab and the madrasa (school) he erected on the Registan. The Silk Road started with the Han Chinese well before this period. Plov is the signature dish of Uzbekistan, and varies from region to region. illustrated with many photos, see Mark Dickens'. The Silk Road Lives On The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir … major aqueducts into the city can be seen on the left. Those who ruled Samarkand developed a complex network of irrigation channels, as shown in this map. margin-left: 0; China also received Nestorian Christianity and Buddhism (from India) via the route. There were goods, technology, religions and diseases. Founded in the 7th century B.C. The "home office" for one of the letter writers was Samarkand. located on Afrasiab, seen here as a dusty mound in the distance as one looks west toward the As early as Han times, when the Chinese first recorded their impressions of Inner Asia, the Sogdians had a reputation as being talented merchants. Although Xuanzang claimed some success in preaching Buddhism, there were apparently only two Buddhist temples left in the city at that time. The tenth-century Iranian author Istakhri, who travelled in Transoxiana, provides a vivid description of the natural riches of the region he calls "Smarkandian Sogd": While settlement in the region goes well back into pre-historic times, by the seventh century before the Common Era (BCE or B.C. The Spanish ambassador to Tamerlane's court, Clavijo, describes how Tamerlane "gave orders...that a street should be built to pass right through Samarqand, which should have shops opened on either side of it in which every kind of merchandise should be sold, and this new street was to go from one side of the city through to the other side, traversing the heart of the township." The site of the 30m astrolabe was once three story high. Samarkand was in a decline during the Kushan period, and only experienced a revival many centuries later. Samarkand’s Registan is somewhere that conjures all the mystery of the silk road and for many, it was an image of this very place, dripping in history and glittering mosaics that first laid the seed. Ulugbek’s Observatory is an archaeological site of the former observatory built in the 1420s. Samarkand suffered at least one other Mongol sack by Khan Baraq to get treasure he needed to pay an army. There is considerable evidence that rebellions against Arab rule often were connected with the emergence of local religious leaders who seem to have drawn heavily on Zoroastrian and Manichaean traditions. The Great Silk Road is a famous ancient caravan trade route, which played an important role in the developpement of world civilization, it influenced the developpement of trade, cities, arts, and in addition it contributed to the infiltration, formation and mutual enrichment of cultures, religions and languages, which firms an important part of the heritage today. Samarkand is one of the oldest and most important cities amongst the many in the historic region of Central Asia known as Transoxiana. The Silk Road served as THE trade route in this period. Samarkand Non is a local flatbread known for its inimitable taste and features. have uncovered the foundations and lower parts of the walls of what appears to have been the China. Osh was the main intermediate trade point whence caravans went further to Kashgar across the Torugart Pass. All rights reserved. We know that some of the exotic products popular later in Tang China were imported from Samarkand. km. In the first two examples, following Archaeologists have found in the Uighur cities Manichaean and Nestorian texts written in Sogdian. margin-top: 10px; For centuries, Uzbekistan was known for its gastronomy, and is said to house the sweetest fruits and most tender lamb in the world. HISTORY OF THE HEART OF THE SILK ROAD Samarkand’s location in the Zerafstan River valley, at the intersection of the Silk Road trade routes to Persia, China and India has led to it seeing both destruction by foreign invaders and triumphant revival. 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