Ancient Settlement of Afrasiab, Samarkand

Afrasiab Settlement: legend and description

At the entrance to Samarkand from the north side there is the ancient settlement of Afrasiab (VII-II centuries BC), which is located on high hills. What is amazing that  there were no any sign of the city and local population called this site as the city of Afrasiab, believing in the legend of existence of the huge city, founded by the mythic king Turan. Actually it is the settlement of  ancient Samarkand of pre-Mongol period.  It was the site of urban life from VI century BC till the destruction by Mongol troops in 1220.

Suffering from invasions of many conquerors, Samarkand could not withstand the invasion of Genghis Khan. The great Mongol ruler ordered to ruin the city to the ground. People were so shaken with the deed of Genghis Khan that wouldn’t dare to settle that land again. Coming back to the ruins of Samarkand they settled at the foot of that hill. Now Samarkand skirts the huge wasteland – the ancient city of Afrasiab.

In the course of excavations it was determined that the city of Afrasiab consisted of fortress, inner city and outskirts. In the inner city researchers found residential and handicraft quarters, the mosque, remains of the palace of Samarkand ruler (VII-VIII centuries), where they found wonderful fresco, devoted to the events of the city life.

The Museum of Afrasiab is located at the same site and displays the collectin of archeological findings, carried out on the site of this ancient city.