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Samarkand – one of the ancient and unique cities in the world. He embodies the 2750-year rich in history and monuments of ancient civilization. This unique city, located in the Central part of the Zerafshan valley, since ancient times has been a center of sedentary lifestyle, irrigation agriculture, science and progress. It is justifiably considered one of the cradles of human culture.

About the history of the origin, formation and development of Samarkand there is a lot of information in the historic istochnika material and cultural monuments in the samples of folklore. In particular, in the most ancient monument of culture of the East, the book Avesta was mentioned about the unique climate, the fertile lands of Sogd, where is located Zerafshan valley. Also in numerous historical geographical literary and artistic works, in particular, in the books Abul AB-bass Aypara Ibn Muhammad al-Mystifire “Tawarikhi Samarand”, Abu Hafs Najmiddin Umar bin Mohammed EN-Nasafi “Kitab al-Kida Phi Tarikhi Samarkand”, Abulfazl Muhammad Ibn Abdujamil Ibn Abdumalik Haydar al-Samarkand “Candijay Hurd” provides information about the history of the city, about the outstanding thinkers and scientists of the saints who lived here.

In the historical sources have different opinions about the meaning of the name “Samarkand”. The great scientist-linguist Makhmud Kashgari in his book “Devoni lugati-Turk”- “Sofa Turkic language” writes that “Samarkand” means rich, thriving city. The Greek historian Kallisthen calls Samarkand own way “Maracana”, and Chinese Ambassador Wei Jie-Kahn MD. Most likely the word “Samarkand” means the area of overlapping trade routes, as well as a rich and prosperous city.

About Samarkand there are countless legends and stories, and all of them are connected with great glory and history of the city. The Arab historian Abu Ali Mohammed bin Mohammed Salyami (X century) puts forward the idea that “Samarand was founded 3000 years before Zulkarnay-Alexander the great”, and Abu Hafs Najmiddin Umar bin Mohammed an-On-Safi writes about it thus: “2 250 years before Kuta-’d Ibn Muslim, was erected city”.

As is known, the ruins of the ancient part of Samarkand city is known as the ancient settlement of Afrosiab. In the historical piece of Abulkasym Ferdowsi “Shahnameh” the historical identity of Afrasiab portrayed padishah country Turan. He is mentioned in the Avesta as TransAsian, in the Turkic sources – as the Alp er Tonga.

The period of formation and development of Samarkand began with the monument of Afrasiab. The urban population for ages called this area “ruins of Afrosiab” or simply “Afrasiab”. Samarkand was completely destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1219. Since then the remains of the city are under the ruins. Its territory is located in the Northern part of the present city, between the famous Siab market and the river Siab, occupying an area of 219 hectares.



In the Institute of history and archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in 1958, was organized a special expedition under the leadership of academician Yahya Gulyamova for the study of Afrosiab. Since 1970 a special expedition of the Institute of history archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan conducts the Afrosiab archeological excavations – since 1988 works here Uzbek-French international joint expedition. Uzbek expedition was led M Isamiddinov, French – Bernard P. and F. Grenay.

The most ancient finds of Afrosiab were found in the Northern part of the settlement. It is the remains of the fortification walls Dating back to the VIII-VII centuries B.C. the remains of the city fortress, that is a military-administrative center. The fortress was surrounded by tall and thick fortress walls.

When determining the age of Samarkand was important ancient objects found in 25-30 km North of Afrosiab, on the ruins of the city Koktepa near the city celac, as the cultural layers of the earth on Koktepa belong to the VIII-VII centuries BC, and there are almost on the surface of the earth. While cultural layers

Afrosiab are deep enough, at a depth of 15-25 meters. Therefore Koktepa conducted large-scale excavations. There were found the remains of fortress walls, monumental buildings, temples. Used here gobala (clay coils round or oval in shape, sun-dried), building of the wall is very similar to Afanasievskii.

Afrasiab, as Koktepa, consisted of two parts – the fortress and the town itself. Even when viewed from the side it is easy to see that the area of its inner city is 40 hectares. So, Afrasiab in VIII-VII centuries B.C. in its scope was not less than the city Koktepa. Thus, there is reason to conclude that the development of urban culture in the Zarafshan valley falls on the VIII-VII century BC.

By the way, according to Avesta and archaeological sources on the Sogd statehood was formed in VIII-VII centuries BC, and its capital was the city of Samarkand. In Avesta Sogd characterized as “the best among countries and regions”.

Sogd state ruled aristocratic military dynasty. The rulers built a well-fortified fortress. In the hymns Avesta mentioned such communities. The community was led by strong commanders – “rahta estar,” that is, “riding in the cart”. Sogd in this sacred book is mentioned after the first state created by Ahuramazda. Then referred to Bandi (Bactria), Moura (Margiana).

In 329 B.C. Alexander the great with his army crossed the Amu Darya river and conquered the capital of the Turan-Samarkand and thus in the history of this city began a new period.

According to historical sources, our ancestors fought bravely for their freedom under the leadership of the brave Spitamen. The battles were ruthless, the Greek-Macedonian army nobody regretted executed thousands and thousands of people. Spitamen tried to retake the city and made it the siege. German scientist F. Altheim writes about this: “the Spitamen have managed to achieve, so far nobody has been able in the battles he destroyed a large part of the Macedonian army”.



In the works of the Greco-Roman historians: callisphaena, Arrian, fifth Kurtz rufa Samarkand is mentioned in the Greek form as “Marakanda”.

Marakanda – Afrasiab in IV-III centuries BC, was surrounded by walls of the old and the walls were repaired. The level of Greek and Turan cultural development was almost equal, so they vzaimoobratima.

This culture was developed after the death of Alexander the great (323 BC) in the period of the Seleucid Empire (IV-III century BC), the Greek-Baktrian state (III-II century BC), and even in the period of kangju (II-I centuries BC, of the II century ad).

Recent numismatic finds on the Afrasiab and Samarkand region demonstrate the current monetary circulation in Samarkand and possibly in Sughd in General in the III-II centuries BC
According to historical sources, our ancestors fought bravely for their freedom under the leadership of the brave Spitamen. The battles were ruthless, the Greek-Macedonian army nobody regretted executed thousands and thousands of people. Spitamen tried to retake the city and made it the siege. German scientist F. Altheim writes about this: “the Spitamen have managed to achieve, so far nobody has been able in the battles he destroyed a large part of the Macedonian army”.



1) Drachma. LST: the head of the goddess Athena. About. senior: the eagle with a bunch of grapes in its beak.

Silver: Weight: 1,35, Size: h mm. the End of IV century BC mountains. Afrasiab. Storage: IA an RUz.





2) Tetradrachma. LST: Head of Alexander the lion’s scalp. OST: Sitting on the throne of Zeus. Silver. Weight: 16,97, Size: 29,h,0 mm Kurgan Baiseitova, village Sazagan, on the outskirts of Samarkand. Storage: IA an RUz.




Storage: IA AN RUz.

The day before our era in Europe formed the Roman Empire, the Chinese Empire Khan, and starting from this period, began to function transcontinental the Great silk way, connecting the West and East.

Located in the heart of the Great silk road city of Samarkand became not only trade but also large industrial and handicraft center. According to some information, Samarkand at the beginning of our era released its silk fabrics.

The Ephtalites (509-567 years), then the Turkic Kaganate (VI-VII century) controlled territory from the Black sea to the great wall. At this time a special activity differed Sogdian merchants. This also confirms the fact that all sections of the Great silk road Sogdian alphabet and language steel trading language, i.e. acquired international status.

Samples of the Sogdian script found in the Chinese countryside Dunhuang, temples in Tourphone and Carshare with wonderful wall paintings and drawings in Karakorum are unique monuments of Sughd the history of this period.

Chinese traveler Suan Jian in 629, visited Samarkand and described it as the center with a large population, fertile land, abundant goods brought from different countries and developed crafts.

In detected in Afrosiab wall paintings of the VII century, is represented by the aristocracy in the centre of the ruler of Samarkand, Arguman, left from him, the representatives of Chaganian (South), on the right – chacha (North-East), to the Rank of Machine (China) and even Curia (Korea).



As you know, our ancestors for several centuries worshipped Zoroastrian religion. After the conquest of Central Asia by the Arabs our ancestors took the religion of Islam. It must be emphasised, in Sogd and Zoroastrian period, and after the spread of Islam have been preserved traditions of religious tolerance. In this period had different religions, including the Christian Church. As it is mentioned in historical sources in the capital of Sogdiana – Samarkand in the VI century was the first Christian metropolis.



Geographer X century istakhri calls Samarkand “port of Mawarannahr on land”. Maybe traveler meant that it attracts traders from all over the world.

In the XI century Samarkand as a separate province became part of the state of Karakhanids, and in the beginning of XIII century the Khorezm state.

In IX XII century Samarkand became one of the cradles of the Oriental Renaissance. It was during this period lived and created tens of such outstanding thinkers as Imam Abu Mansur moturidi, Abu Hassan Samarkandi, Muhammad Nasafi Samarkandi (XI ; C.), Abellis Samarkandi (X-XI century), Abu Fazl Mohammad Samarkandi (XII century), Ashraf Samarkandi (XII century).V IX-X centuries, Samarkand became the center of astronomy, medicine, history, philosophy, literature, law, and theology. In XI-XII centuries creative activity was engaged in a number of poets and scientists. Among them were Nizami Arose, Rashidi, Ashraf Ali Satrangi Samarkandi. In 1218 Mongolian troops led by Genghis Khan began the invasion of Transoxiana. In the spring of 1220 they attacked Samarkand, and to the extent destroyed the city, resulting in Afrasiab was in ruins. With 200-year-old yoke of the Mongols was over due to the great Amir Temur. Further development of Samarkand is closely connected with the activity of Amir Temur. Getting started construction of a new Samarkand, which rebuilds its ancient urban development, gives it the appearance of a new kind, filled with new content. Under rukovodstvom of Amir Temur in Samarkand erected beautiful monuments – the Jami mosque, the Koksarai water, Bostonsafe, Gur-Emir, Ishratkhona, Aksaray, Shakhi-ind.

In this period in Samarkand develop science, literature, architecture, monum orbital and landscape painting, weaving, carving, chasing, carving stone, glass case, pottery. Widespread in the East and the West, the process of spiritual and educational rise, called “Renaissance of the Temurids” started in Samarkand.