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Afrasiyab (Samarkand)

Afrasiyab (Afrosiyob) is an ancient site of northern Samarkand which was occupied from c 500 BC to 1220 AD. Today it is a hilly grass mound located near the Bibi Khanaum Mosque.

Afrasiyab is the oldest part and the ruined site of the ancient and medieval city of Samarkand. It was located on high ground for defensive reasons, south of a river valley and north of a large fertile area which has now became part of the city of Samarkand.

The habitation of the territories of Afrasiyab began in the 7th-6th century BCE, as the centre of the Sogdian culture.

The area of Afrasiyab covers about 220 hectares, and the thickness of the archaeological strata reaches 812 metres. Archaeological excavations have been carried out in Afrasiyab since the end of the 19th century. In the 1920s it was extensively excavated by the archaeologist Mikhail Evgenievich Masson who placed artifacts found at the site in the Samarkand museum. His archaeological study revealed that a Samanid palace had once been located at Afrasiyab. It was again actively excavated during the 1960-70s.



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