Afrasiab is an ancient settlement, its area more than 200 hectares, located on the northern suburb of modern Samarkand. The city was named in honor of mythical king Turan. Thanks to archaeological research, it was known that Samarkand was one of the largest shopping and cultural centers of Central Asia. There were found ornamented pottery dishes, glassware, terracotta figurines, coins, women's jewelry, a variety of tools during the excavations. Buildings of VI—VII centuries were decorated with artistic painting. In one of these structures were found paintings with images of people dressed in festive costumes, bearing rich gifts, accompanied by real and imaginary animals.
During the reign of the Achaemenids, the city was surrounded by a high solid wall. In the IX-X centuries and Samarkand became the first capital of the Samanid dynasty, as well as one of the cultural centres of the Islamic East. A majestic palace of Samanid king was built in the western part of Afrasiab. By this time, area of the inner part of the city had reached 220 hectares. There were bazaars, mosques and caravanserais on the south part. In XI-XIII centuries, Samarkand became the capital of Karahanid. In 1220 it was destroyed by Mongol ruler Chinghiz Khan. In XIII century Samarkand was suffered, therefore Afrasiab was fully ruined.
Nowadays Afrasiab is one of the largest architectural monuments. Expedition is still exploring archeological excavations. All the finds of ancient city Afrasiab are restored in the History Museum of Samarkand..
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