Monochromes from Samarkand (Part 1)

3 to 5 October 2018, Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (with more information and historical context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger (if on a PC at least).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking up at an archway in Gur Emir, Timur’s (Tamerlane’s) mausoleum.

(Next six images are in Gur Emir).

Gur Emir (Timur’s Mausoleum in Samarkand)

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Actually gold leaf inside the mausoleum.

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The main hall of the mausoleum.

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Wedding party in front of the Registan.

The Registan, Samarkand

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The Registan.

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The dome of the mosque that is incorporated into the Ulugh Beg Madrassah..

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One of the domes of the Shir Dor Madrassah.

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Ulugh Beg Madrassah is on the left, Tillya-Kari Madrassah on the right.

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Tillya-Kari Madrassah.

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Markets inside the courtyard of the Ulugh Beg Madrassah.

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Entrance steps of the Ulugh Beg Madrassah.

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Outside the mosque in the interior courtyard of the Ulugh Beg Madrassah

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Heading into the mosque.

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The interior of the mosque (and following images).

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Not sure whether this is inside the mosque or the madrassah.

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Ulugh Beg Madrassah.

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One of the domes of the Shir Dor Madrassah.

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Inside the Shir Dor Madrassah.

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The pishtak (or portal) (viewed from the side) of the Bibi Khanum Mosque.

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Detail of earthquake damage.

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Pishtak, minaret and wall.

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The dome of one of the side mosques, seen from its rear. .

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The top of one of the minarets.

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Looking up at the dome of the one of the minor mosques at the sides.

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The interior of the Bibi Khanum Mosque.

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Monochromes from Shakhrisabz

2 October 2018, Shakrizabz, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (with more information and historical context, including Sogdia). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger (if on a PC at least).

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Walking though the gardens of Dor-us Siyodat.

Kesh, Sogdia, Timur and a Sufi.

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Eurasian magpie.

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A corner of Dor-us Siyodat.

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Dor-us Siyodat.

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Inside Dor-us Siyodat.

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Timur’s modest intended tomb.

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Dor-us Siyodat.

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Dor-ut Tilovat ensemble.

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Inside the mausoleum of Shamsidden Kulol.

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Inside the other cupola, built by Ulugbek for his descendants.

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Arches in a corridor inside the mosque..

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Kok-Gumbaz (Blue Dome) Mosque.

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In the distance, about a kilometre away, is what is left of Timur’s Ak Saray Palace.

Ak Seray Palace

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Remaining tiles on the sides of the entrance arch.

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Walking towards the entrance arch.

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Timur.

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The entrance arch from the other side.

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The entrance arch from the side.

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A remaining section of the palace walls.

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Monochromes from Bukhara (Part 2)

30 September to 1 October 2018, Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (with more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger (if on a PC at least).

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Architecture, Black and White, Bukhara, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Ark, Bukhara.

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. Architecture, Black and White, Bukhara, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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Architecture, Black and White, Bukhara, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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The Emir?

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Camel ride below the Ark.

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Bolo-Khauz Mosque.

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Chasma-Ayub Mausoleum.

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Israel Samani Mausoleum.

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Inside Israel Samani Mausoleum.

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Kalyan Minaret.

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Pool reflection.

Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, Bukhara.

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Outside Sitorai Mohkli-Khosa Palace.

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Wall niches…

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Room with outfits of the Emir.

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Inside the Harem, now a textile museum.

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Chor Minor Madrassah.

Last Night in Bukhara.

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Ancient door on the street.

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Passing through one of the bazaars, probably Tok-i-Sarraton.

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Under the entrance arch of Abdulazizkhan Madrassah.

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A door in the street.

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Probably the roof of a trading dome.  The storks are the national symbol, but not real.

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Restoration workman on the roof of the Kalan Mosque.

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View with minaret.

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Sun going down…

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Kalyan Minaret.

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Monochromes from Bukhara (Part 1)

29  to 30 September 2018, Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (with more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger (if on a PC at least).

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Architecture, Black and White, Bukhara, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A truck on the road between Khiva and Bukhara.

Arrival, Bukhara.

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Sunset in Bukhara.

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Bridal couple on the street in the evening.

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Above the main portal of the Nadir Divan-begi Madrasa.

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Wall and ceiling details, Nadir Divan-begi Madrassah.

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A silk weaver

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Markets ceiling (under a dome).

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A variety of textile wonders on offer….

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The ancient Magoki-Attori Mosque.

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Mosque entrance.

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Mosque door.

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Looking up in the top level, from the 1930s.

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Under the largest dome of the Toqi Telpak Furushon Trading Dome.

Trading Domes and Madrassahs, Bukhara

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A knife making workshop.

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Ulugbek Madrassah.

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Top of the arch at the entrance to Abdulaziz-Khan Madrassah.

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Scholars’ bookcase, Abdulaziz-Khan Madrassah.

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This and next four images from Abdulaziz-Khan Madrassah.

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Trading dome Toqi Zaragon.

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Carpet weaver inside the trading dome.

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The Kok Gumbaz (or Blue Dome) of the Kalan Mosque.

Kalan Mosque, Bukhara

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Kalan Mosque doorway.

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Under one of the 288 domes of the mosque.

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In the great rectangle of the mosque, looking west.

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Looking south.

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Looking east.

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Near the west end of the rectangle.

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Looking back through the main portal of the west end of the mosque rectangle.

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(as above).

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Looking up at the dome.

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Down a long corridor, probably on the south side.

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Walking back out to the portal behind the tree.

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Poi-Kalyan Ensemble (the Kalan Mosque is on the right).

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This post is the third of a short series of monochromes from Uzbekistan. They are interspersed with local posts. The previous one is here, two posts back ..

Monochromes from Khiva (Part 2)

28 to 29 September 2018, Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Architecture, Black and White, Khiva, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This image and the next ten were taken from the roof of the Kukhna Ark.  This one doesn’t appear to have been posted previously as a colour image though.

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Roof of the Kukhna Ark.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva.

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Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Dome of the Amin Khan Madrassah.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2.

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Part of an ancient door inside the Ark.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva.

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Workman sawing a supporting beam to demolish a wall.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2.

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Old madrassah (?).

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Some of these images were taken with a long telephoto lens and I can’t precisely identify the subject.

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Two young women on the street below, perhaps returning from shopping.

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Door handle and knocker near Kukhna Ark.

Juma Mosque and Toshkhovli Palace, Khiva

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Looking back at entrance to Kukhna Ark.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva.

(The order of images is chronological but quite different from the colour posts.  I think seem to recall there were differences in time settings of my cameras which I only realised part way through making the colour posts.)

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Cheerful dromedary camel, lying in sand.

Juma Mosque and Toshkhovli Palace, Khiva.

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Wedding party in the street and Tura Murad minaret in the near background.

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Inside Juma (or Djuma or Friday) Mosque.

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Carving on wooden pillar.

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Presumably a recent or prospective bride.

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Ceiling detail, Toshkhovli (or Tosh Hauli or Stone Courtyard) Palace.

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Yurt and Khan’s iwan, Toshkhovli Palace.

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An impressive door, possibly of greater antiquity than the palace.

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Ceiling section.

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The Khan’s bedroom.

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Street wares outside.

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Street scene, Tura Murad Minaret in the background.

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Markets and Kalta Minor in the background.

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Wedding couple.

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Kalta Minor and the Amin Khan Madrassah.

Khiva at Night

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Unidentified minaret.

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Action atop Kukhna Ark.

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A detail from the Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Small minaret behind Kuhkna Ark.

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People walking towards Kalta Minor.

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Kalta Minor.

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This post is the third of a short series of monochromes from Uzbekistan.  They are interspersed with local posts.  The previous one is here, two posts back.  The next one is here, two posts on.

Monochromes from Khiva (Part 1)

28 September 2018, Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (for more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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City walls.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva.

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The door to our accommodation, the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Tura Murad Minaret.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2.

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Looking towards the Kalta Minor.

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Open courtyard with the Kuhkna Ark on the right.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva.

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Door just inside the Ark.

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Summer Mosque.

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Summer Mosque Ceiling.

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Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah

(Colour image not in a previous post).

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.

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Crenulated city walls.

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Ceramic tiles near the top of the Kalta Minor.

Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2.

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Minaret, name unknown.

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View from walls of Kukhna Ark.

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Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah and the Tura Murad Minaret.

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View of minaret from top of Kukhna Ark.

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Inside Kukhna Ark, Kalta Minor in the background.

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Khurinish Khana or Throne room.

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Door, unknown location.

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Detail as viewed from the top of Kukhna Ark, perhaps at the top of a Madrassah.

(Colour image not in a previous post).

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Detail as viewed from the top of Kukhna Ark, perhaps at the top of the entrance arch of a Madrassah.

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Top of Kukhna Ark walls.

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Wedding couple atop Kukhna Ark.

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This post is the second of a short series of monochromes from Uzbekistan.  They are interspersed with local posts.  The previous one is here, two posts back.  The next one is here, two posts on.

Monochromes from Tashkent

27 September 2018, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

All images are from my previous (colour) post on Tashkent, where you may find more information and context.

Click on any image to see it larger.

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Cupola ceiling, Khast-Imam complex.

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Muyi Muborak Madrasah on the right and Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque behind.

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A dome of Barakh-khan Madrasah.

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Minaret beside Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque.

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Chor-Su Bazaar.

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Tashkent’s metro.

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Leaving Tashkent’s metro.

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Museum of Applied Arts.

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Architecture, Black and White, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

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Monochrome has a long tradition in photography.  Since you are working with tonal relationships rather than colour, there is a different range of possibilities and many images work better in mono than colour.  In the days of film, when shooting black and white, you put colour filters over the lens for different renditions though you only saw the effect when the film was processed.  These days with Digital, if you are using a mirrorless camera you can see a monochrome image as you shoot, including the effect of filters.  But assuming you are shooting RAW, you still end up with a colour image that you need to convert.  This is an advantage though, as you have far more possibilities and control than in the days of film.

Just as you can have a fully automated phone or camera and just press a button for a JPEG image, some may associate monochrome conversion with just selecting a software option for black and white.  This may work sometimes and what matters is the result, not how you got there, but for me chasing a quality image requires much more.  Once I used various Photoshop methods for mono conversion, then I came to use Nik Silver Efex Pro.  I’ve never been much enamoured of Lightroom for this though it has probably improved with the new colour grading options and I do use it for quick proofs to identify suitable images.  These days I use Capture One, which to my mind offers much more control over the colours to convert, regional tonality and the various kinds of sharpening. 

The end point for photography and especially monochrome images has always been the print.  There’s a whole different level of quality that is not available in a digital image , especially a web image.  Still, this is what we have and most of these images will never be printed.

This is the first of probably seven posts on mono conversions of Uzbek images.  However, I’m currently in COVID lockdown and have been going out each day and taking photographs of the local fauna and of macro landscapes.  So I’m expecting to make two posts a week for at least two or three weeks, with midweek posts of local images.

The next mono Uzbek post is here, two posts on.

 

Ulugh Beg and Afrasiab, Samarkand

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 4 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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This post is from out last day in Samarkand.

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Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

Young woman extracting strips of bark from branches of young mulberry trees.

We visited a traditional paper mill in the village of Koni Ghil, just outside Samarkand.  Paper making in Samarkand dates back to 751AD when the Abbasid general Abu Muslim defeated a Tang Dynasty army with the aid of the Tibetan Empire and the defection of Karluk mercenaries who were over half of the Tang army.   They took many prisoners, some of whom then introduced paper making to the region.  This replaced the use of papyrus and became an export industry to the rest of the Arab world.  The paper-making tradition was lost following the Russian takeover in the nineteenth century and it has been recently recreated. 

(China retreated from the region soon after the Battle of Talas but not due to that, rather due to the An Lushan Rebellion which started in 755.)

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The strips of bark are next boiled for four or five hours.

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They are then pounded to a pulp by a trip-hammer powered by this water mill.  Then they are pressed and dried and finally polished with an agate stone for a smooth finish.

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A local woman welcoming us to the small museum for the Ulugh Beg Observatory.

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Inside the museum, a model of the observatory built by Ulugh Beg in the 1420s.

At the top front of the building is the viewing hole of the astrolabe inside.  The smaller structure on top of the building appears to be a sextant able to rotate, for less precise observations at flexible angles. 

The site is close to the ancient city of Afrasiab (prior to the existence of Samarkand).  There was another observatory here as early as 840AD, of which no trace remains.  Although Afrasiab was the capital of the Sogdians, in the ninth century they had been taken over by the Samanids, based in Bukhara, who featured in a brief renaissance of science and culture, unmatched in the world at that time.  

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Inside this 13th century building was a meridional arc, or astrolabe, aligned north-south, for celestial measurements.  Since they took measurements using 60 degrees instead of the full 90 degrees available, it is also a sextant.  This is clearly not a working model because there is no viewing hole to the sky at the top.  I presume the little vertical windows on the back wall are for viewing the angle cast by the sun.  The rest of the building was rooms for scientists to confer and calculate, maybe even some to sleep in.

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The astrolabe as it survives.

In 1908 Russian Archaeologist Vyatkin discovered the location of the Observatory and excavated the remains.  In particular, he  uncovered the below-ground part of the massive astrolabe, as shown here.  Only the foundations remain of the rest of the building.

As well as being Lord of Transoxiana from 1409 to 1447, Ulugh Beg was a scientist and imported the best scientists available for the observatory. It could accurately measure the length of the year, the local time of noon each day, the altitude of a star and other planets, the period of planets, and eclipses. They estimated the length of the year more accurately than Copernicus subsequently did and the axial tilt of the earth as accurately as modern measurements.  They constructed an atlas of over 1,000 stars, Zij-i-Sultani, the first to be published since Ptolomey and including those stars but with more accurate measurements.  The atlas also included a sine table accurate to six places from 0 to 87 degrees, and to 11 places from 87 to 90 degrees.  The atlas survived for posterity because when the observatory was destroyed, scientist Ali Kushji fled to Constantinople and published it.  It was in use until the nineteenth century.

Ulugh Beg became Emperor when his father died in 1447, but only for two years of turmoil until he was deposed and then murdered by one of his sons.  The observatory was then destroyed by religious fanatics and the scientists fled.  

“Religions dissipate like fog, kingdoms vanish, but the works of scientists remain for eternity” – Ulugh Beg.

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This is a view from outside.  The big black tube is the top of what remains of the astrolabe.  Perhaps that gives you a better idea of the scale of it.

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… as does the view from here.  This also gives a sense of how high the arc of the original version would have climbed to reach the top of the third floor.

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A short distance away, we are near the Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel (as in Daniel and the lions), sacred to Moslems, Jews and Christians.  Inside, the tomb is eighteen metres long because Daniel is supposed to be still growing inside it.  There are also other tombs of Daniel in seven other countries.  There was no-one stopping me taking photos inside but notwithstanding my religious cynicism, I did not do so because it was clearly a place of veneration for other people there.

Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

The tomb of Daniel is in the background to the right.  However, the line of hills in the background is the edge of the location of the ancient city of Afrasiab.  This was the capital city of the Sogdians, from the sixth century BC to 1220 AD when Genghis Khan razed it, though they were not independent for all of that period. 

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Three hunters, probably Scythians, with horses and lions or leopards.

We next visited the Afrosiab Museum, a short distance from the Mausoleum of Daniel.  Russian archaeologists discovered Afrasiab in the 1880s and the museum includes some of their finds.  It also includes some seventh century murals from the royal palace, discovered in 1965 when building a road. They are from the time of King Varkhuman, and painted between 648 and 651, or shortly after 658.  He ruled a multicultural entity and was nominally a vassal to China but his polity did not last long as his palace was destroyed by the Arab general Sa’id Ibn Ithman between 675 and 677 CE and after that there were no kings of Samarkand.

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Here we see ossuaries and skulls, from the sixth to the eighth centuries.  Some of the skulls exhibit cranial deformations that I had previously associated only with the Maya, but that I discover were performed in many cultures.  This practice was brought to Sogdia by the Yuezhi, who were driven out of China and established the Kushan Empire in Central Asia and India in the early first century.

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Fresco showing the the arrival of a king and a princess to a country church or the arrival of a royal bride.  There are details from this fresco in the next four images.

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In most of these human representations, the eyes may have been later gouged out by Islamic Arabs.

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Birds (swans?), possibly for sacrifice.

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Detail of camel saddle.

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Part of the saddle of the elephant.

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Ambassadors from Chaganian (south of Afrasiab, central figure) and Chach (modern Tashkent).

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Turkish (Turkic?) dignitaries, one of them is labeled as coming from Argi (Karashahr in modern Xinjiang).

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Left hand group: Tang Dynasty emissaries carrying silk and a string of silkworm cocoons;

Right hand group:  Sogdian chamberlains and interpreter introduce Tibetan messengers.

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Women on boats, probably local Turkic aristocrats copying the fashions of women in Tang China.

Tang Dynasty China was a major force in Central Asia during this period and Sogdia may have shared a border with them at this time (the border fluctuated).

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A duck – a sacred bird of the Zoroastrians.

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Model of eleventh century kiln.

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Ceramic plate from 10th to 12th century.

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We are away from the museum now and still had some spare time so we headed for a small mosque in the country.  I do not know the name of the village.

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The minaret of the mosque.  I could remove the wires, but they were there.

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Some kind of restoration exercise in the grounds of the mosque.  I do not remember the details.

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This is the mosque and we are definitely not in the city.  It was small and unassuming and the locals, who were not expecting us, were polite and friendly.

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Later in the evening, since we were staying very close to it, I decided to go back for some night-time exposures of Gur Emir, Timur’s Mausoleum.

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Ak Saray, Samarkand

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 3 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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At the end of a long day (as per the previous four posts) we had some free time in the late afternoon so we decided to go for a walk near our hotel, which was also near Gur Emir (Timur’s mausoleum).

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In the park opposite the hotel, this is the Rukhabad Mausoleum, built by Timur in 1380 to house the grave of Islamic theologian Sheikh Burhaneddin Sagaradzhi.  The mausoleum is generally plain and unassuming, as is the interior.

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Here from a distance is the top of Gur Emir, Timur’s mausoleum, as we approach.

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(See earlier post for more on Gur Emir).

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Late in the afternoon, just before closing time, there were few people around, just a few locals passing by.

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Not far away is a mausoleum with a simple exterior.  I was not aware of this and an attendant called us inside as we passed by.

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The interior was spectacular and elegant and a great surprise.

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The exterior was supposed to include a turquoise dome but that was never finished.

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It has been very recently restored, in 2007.

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It is the mausoleum of Abdal-Latif Mirzu, sone of Ulugh Beg and geat grandson of Timur.

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Timur’s death lead to a civil war, which his son Shah Rukh won after several years.  He based himself in Herat and let his son Ulugh Beg rule Samarkand.  Ulugh Beg’s great achievements were as Crown Prince and ruler of Samarkand.

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Looking up….

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When Shah Rukh died, another series of civil wars broke out. Ulugh Beg spent his three years as Emperor fighting them.

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In 1449, he was defeated by his son Abdal-Latif Mirza.  He surrendered and then set off on a pilgrimage to Mecca but his son had him assassinated on the way.

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Ak Saray Mausoleum, Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Rukhabad mausoleum, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

When Soviet scientist Gerasimov disinterred Timur in 1941, he also disinterred Ulugh Beg who lay with his head separated from his body.

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Abdal-Latif Mirza ruled for only six months before he too was executed.

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The magnificence of the mausoleum lives on….

We were very lucky to visit so late in the afternoon because we were the only visitors and it is quite small.

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This section said to represent the eyes and head of a bird.

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The steps to the undecorated funeral chamber below.  A body was discovered here with the head separated, presumably Abdal-Latif Mirza.

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Walking back to the hotel, we were able to enter Gur Emir (Timur’s mausoleum) in the last few minutes before it closed, free of the seething crowds.  This is the main chamber.

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I still have a few posts to go on Samarkand but they will have to wait as I am soon expecting to depart of a short trip to North Queensland, unless COVID lockdowns intervene.  More on that soon.

 

Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 3 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Shah-i-Zinda is a necropolis in Samarkand, with two dozen mausolea housing the tombs of Timurid nobles and royalty, dating mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries.  The mausolea are on each side of an avenue leading up a hill.  As well as being a spectacular location, it is a sacred place and a place of pilgrimage.

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Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the Ulugh Beg Pishtak, the entrance gate, built in 1434-35.

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Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This image was taken by Russian photographer N.V. Bogaevski in 1870, no doubt on a 5×4 or 10×8 glass plate camera.

Like most other historical monuments in Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda had slowly fallen into ruin over the centuries.  Timur’s successors had quickly exhausted the gains of conquest with civil wars and were no longer able to upkeep and repair.  Consequently, much of the ceramic facings here are not original but are impressive nonetheless.

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We are now inside the Qazi Zadeh Rumi Mausoleum, built in 1420-1425.  It is the dome on the left not far past the pishtak in the historic photograph. 

Qazi Zadeh Rumi was a celebrated mathematician and astronomer who formed a scientific partnership with Ulugh Beg in the early fifteenth century.  His name means “Roman son of a judge” so he was presumably the son of a judge and he came from Turkey, which had been Roman.  He was not buried here though because the skeleton discovered in the tomb was a woman, possibly Timur’s nurse.

Following images show interior details of the mausoleum.

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. Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

. Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

.Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Qazi Zadeh Rumi Mausoleum has two domes and here they are, viewed from below.

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. Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here we are in the avenue of the mausolea.

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Looking back at the twin domes of the Qazi Zadeh Rumi Mausoleum.

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We are looking through a chortak, or a gateway on the avenue.

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The Shadi Mulk Adi Mausoleum is on the left, where the woman is leaning against a wall, probably taking a photograph on her phone of the Uzbek couple opposite.

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And here we are inside the Shadi Mulk Adi Mausoleum, built in 1372, looking up at the inside of the dome.  This is the tomb of Timur’s beautiful niece, later joined by his sister Turkhan Aka.

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There were evidently several people buried in this mausoleum.  The tilework here is original.

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Alim Nasafi Mausoleum is at the front on the left and the avenue leads up through another chortak in the distance.

Ustad Alim Nasafi was a Timurid architect.  I’m not sure whether he was buried here or just designed the mausoleum.

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The pishtak of Alim Nasafi Mausoleum, built c. 1385.

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Inside, the dome from below.

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We are looking through a chortak to the Khodja Akhmad Mausoleum, built c. 1350.

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A door inside the Kusam Ibn Abbas Mosque.

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We are inside the ziaratkhana, or prayer room (looking up).  It was rebuilt in 1334 on 11th century foundations.

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A closer view of the chandelier.

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A wider view of the ziaratkhana.

The gurkhana (or funeral chamber) of Kusam Ibn Abbas, dating from the 11th century, is behind a wooden door at the left but this was not open at the time of our visit.

This gurkhana is the most sacred part of Shah-i-Zinda.  Kusam Ibn Abbas was a cousin of Mohammed.  He is said to have come to preach at Samarkand in 640 and spent thirteen years there, then was killed by Zoroastrians while at prayer.  Shah-i-Zinda means “the living king” which refers to Kusam Ibn Abbas, who is said to have lived on after he was executed.

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A more vertical view of the ziaratkhana.

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A view looking back through the last chortak.  The Octagonal Mausoleum is on the left and the blue pishtaks of Emir Zade Mausoleum and Shadi Mulk Aka Mausoleum are behind it.

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The remaining four images are from the Tuman Aka Mausoleum, constructed in 1404-1405 for Timur’s favourite young wife Tuman Aka.

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.Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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Architecture, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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