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Settlement of Afrasiab

Settlement of Afrasiab — photo 1

One of the oldest urban settlements of Central Asia is located near Samarkand. More precisely, the remains and fragments of this settlement go round the present-day Samarkand creating a semicircle and forming a kind of crescent around the modern city. The legend says that the settlement was founded by Afrasiab, the mythical king of Turan. However, after lengthy archaeological studies, the site was attributed to the period preceding the Mongol conquests of Samarkand.

It looks like its residents knew that Genghis Khan was characterized by extreme cruelty and that his army destroyed everything on their way. When the Mongols were approaching, Samarkandians, who understood that the conquerors did not leave a single building untouched, left the city and went higher, to the hills, where they created fortifications to protect themselves, and within their walls they hid from enemies for a long time.

According to archaeological data, handicraft, trade and religious aspects of civilization flourished in the city. Many districts, workshops and mosques were discovered. Excavations are still underway and help to shed light on previously unknown aspects of the history of ancient Samarkand.

Archaeologists keep finding many fragments of ancient utensils, crockery decorated with ornaments, elements of clothing and jewelry, metal products. The remains of a large building were also found, with drawings and paintings on the walls that show the life of people and animals — both known and non-existent. The city was fortified with walls protecting residential buildings and craft workshops. One of the most interesting and important findings was the fortified construction of Shahristan.

In ancient times, at this place was a deep moat at its foot, with channels supplying water to it. All of that was competently designed and built by local people. However, that fortified urban system had also weak points. This is demonstrated by the ruins of the great ancient city destroyed after the Mongols had conquered it.

Settlement of Afrasiab — photo 2

As a result, the powerful fortress turned into ruins and became a local attraction. Once there were patrols on guard, now tourists spend their vacation here. However, the fact that so much of this settlement has survived to this day is amazing and gives an idea of the true meaning of the expression “to build for the ages”.

Canaan Travel invites you to visit wonderful Samarkand — the pearl of Uzbekistan. Let us be your guide to this city and we will make your trip truly magical.