235 results in English
Fabric Merchant. Samarkand
This photograph shows a merchant at the market in Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) displaying silk, cotton, and wool fabrics, as well as a few traditional carpets. A framed page of the Qur’an hangs at the top of the stall. Founded around 700 BC, Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is best known for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West and for being an Islamic center of learning. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Melon Vendor. Samarkand
This photograph shows a melon vendor at his stall in one of the markets of Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan). The man wears a white turban and is dressed in traditional Central Asian attire. The city of Samarkand was surrounded by oases and agricultural regions that supported the urban population. Traditional crops grown in the area included melons, watermelons, fruits, beans, and nuts. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Emir of Bukhara. Bukhara
Between 1785 and 1920 Bukhara was ruled by eight emirs in the Manghit dynasty. After the Russian conquest of Samarkand (1868), the Emirate of Bukhara became a Russian protectorate. Seen here is the last emir of Bukhara, Said Mir Mohammed Alim Khan (1880–1944). Following the death of his father, Abdulahad Khan, in late 1910, Alim Khan assumed power in Bukhara. He initially flirted with ideas of reform, but self-interest and the opposition of conservative clergy led him back to despotic rule. Overthrown by the Red Army in September 1920 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
General View of the Shah-i Zindah Mosque (Evening Photo). Samarkand
This remarkable view, taken in the light of the setting sun, shows the middle group of mausolea in the Shah-i Zindah necropolis, located at the outskirts of Samarkand. Built on an ancient burial ground, Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. From left to right are seen the Octagonal Mausoleum, the Shirin Bika Aga Mausoleum, the Shadi Mulk Aga Mausoleum, the Emir Zade Mausoleum, and the double domes of the Kazy-Zade Rumi Mausoleum, built in 1437 by Ulugh ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Turkmen Man Posing with Camel Loaded with Sacks, Probably of Grain or Cotton, Central Asia
The resting camel seen here bears large sacks of cotton grown in the irrigated fields of the extensive Murgab estate near the town of Bayramaly (present-day Turkmenistan). Camels were the primary beast of burden for heavy work in this hot, arid climate. The youth next to the camel wears a bright robe and a shaggy sheepskin hat. Visible in the background are hundreds of other sacks awaiting delivery to the cotton gin. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sart Fields. Samarkand
Seen here are fields carefully cultivated by local inhabitants identified in the caption as Sarts. Sart was a term used in the early 1900s to refer not only to town dwellers but also to people who inhabited this area before the coming of Uzbek tribes in the 16th century. These fields were used for grains such as wheat, which flourished in the oasis setting of Samarkand, fed by the Zeravshan River that flows from the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. The terrain reflects ancient erosion patterns. The image is by Russian ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Samarkand. Portion of Shir-Dar Minaret and Its Dome with Tillia-Kari
At the center of Samarkand is the Registan complex, composed of three major monuments of the madrasah (religious school). Seen here is the Shir Dar Madrasah, built in 1619–36 during the Bukhara Ashtrakhanid dynasty. This view shows part of the main facade and imposing entrance arch, or iwan (on right), with a flanking minaret, behind which is a ribbed dome over an instruction hall. Despite structural damage, the ceramic work is relatively well preserved. The minaret displays geometric figures integrated with words in block Kufic script from the Kalima ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Nomadic Kirghiz. Golodnaia Steppe
This remarkable photograph shows a nomadic Kyrgyz family resting in the steppe grasslands. The Kyrgyz are a Turkic ethnic group widely spread over the area of eastern Turkestan. The man, with weathered face, is dressed in a skullcap and a frayed traditional striped coat. He is burdened with padded blankets and probably a small tent. The woman, with brilliant white turban, wears a tattered cloak and carries smaller bundles of blankets and clothes. Their small boy wears a colorful skullcap and a sparkling green silk jacket in the Chinese style ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Camel Caravan Carrying Thorns for Fodder. Golodnaia Steppe
The Russians developed an irrigation scheme to make Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe”) in Turkestan a productive area for raising cotton and wheat. Despite such projects, life adhered to ancient traditions for most of the local ethnic groups. This photograph shows a camel driver in a tattered cloak leading a small caravan in the midst of the vast steppe grasslands. The camels are carrying cut thorn bushes for fodder. The severe continental climate—cold in the winter and extreme arid heat in the summer—made camels the primary beast of burden ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Nazar Magomet. Golodnaia Steppe
Among the primary initiators of Russian development projects in Turkestan was Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, who in 1881 moved to Tashkent. There he sponsored a number of ventures, including a vast irrigation scheme to make Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe,” present-day Uzbekistan) a productive area for raising cotton and wheat. This photograph shows a local inhabitant, Nazar Magomet, on horseback near a simple settler’s hut in the grasslands. The hut is of adobe brick surfaced with mud, while the roof consists of log ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sart Cemetery near Syr-Darya. Golodnaia Steppe
Seen here is a Sart cemetery in the steppe near the Syr-Darya River (just visible in the right background). “Sart” was a term with various ethnic meanings in the late 19th century, and was often used to refer to inhabitants of this area before the coming of Uzbek tribes in the 16th century. The burial mounds were a widespread practice not only in the country but also in cities such as Samarkand. On the right the burial place of a venerated sage is marked by a mazar (ancient shrine) covered ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Migrant Farmstead in the Settlement of Nadezhdinsk with a Group of Peasants. Golodnaia Steppe
Among the primary initiators of development in Russian Turkestan was Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, who moved to Tashkent in 1881. There he initiated a vast irrigation scheme to make Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe”) a productive area for cotton and wheat. A related goal was to provide arable land to attract settlers from European Russia. Seen here at the settlement of Nadezhdinsk (from the Russian for “hope”) is a group of settlers in front of a stuccoed brick house with a thatched roof. The ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Camel Grazing in the Steppe. Golodnaia Steppe
Located to the southeast of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, Golodnaia Steppe is composed of the loess variety of soil suitable for growing grass and small shrubs in semi-arid conditions. This photograph shows a dromedary camel (with a single hump) grazing in the midst of the steppe grasslands. The harsh continental climate of Golodnaia Steppe—cold in the winter and extreme heat in the summer—made camels the primary beast of burden in this area. In the background is a cow. In the hazy distance is the Turkestan Range. The image ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Transit Farmstead in Nadezhdinsk Settlement. Golodnaia Steppe
This photograph depicts a family farmstead in Nadezhdinsk, a Russian settlement in present-day eastern Kazakhstan. As seen in the picture and as suggested by its name, Golodnaia (or Hungry) Steppe, this region was not particularly suitable for farming. Nonetheless, between 1906 and 1912, more than half a million Russian peasants moved to Kazakhstan, prompted by the agrarian reforms introduced by Petr Stolypin, chairman of the council of ministers of the Russian government. Stolypin’s reforms were in part aimed at creating a class of market-oriented, smallholding landowners. The image is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Volyn Levee on the Emperor Nicholas I Canal. Volyn Bridge in the Distance. Golodnaia Steppe
Among the primary initiators of development in Russian Turkestan was Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, who moved to Tashkent in 1881. There he sponsored a vast irrigation scheme to make Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe”) a productive area for cotton and wheat. A related goal was to provide arable land to attract settlers. This photograph shows the Volyn embankment, with water regulator, on the irrigation canal named in honor of Tsar Nicholas I. In the background is a wooden bridge near the Volyn settlement. The ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Chapel in the Settlement of Spassky. Golodnaia Steppe
Among the primary initiators of Russian development projects in Turkestan was Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, who in 1881 moved to Tashkent. There he sponsored a number of initiatives, including a vast irrigation scheme to make Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe,” present-day Uzbekistan) a productive area for raising cotton and wheat. Conditions in the region were harsh, and it was sometimes difficult to attract Russian settlers by providing arable land. Shown here is the primitive structure of an Orthodox chapel at the settlement of Spasskii ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Policeman in Samarkand
Shown in this winter view is a local policeman dressed in a Russian-style winter uniform with a karakul hat adorned with a badge. The long coat has shoulder boards indicating a rank equivalent to sergeant. He is armed with a sabre (right) and a pistol on a red lanyard. He is standing guard at the gated entrance to the territory of the Namazga Mosque in Samarkand. The entrance, probably erected in the late 19th century, is built of fired Russian brick, rather than the usual soft adobe. The attached column ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Near Samarkand. Study
Russian forces took Samarkand in 1868, and in 1886 the city became the capital of an oblast within Russian Turkestan. Two years later the Trans-Caspian Railway reached the city. Seen in this autumn view (which the photographer called an “etude”) is a rutted lane flanked by adobe walls in a state of wear. In the center is a mulberry tree. This area has long been known for the quality of its silk, produced from the cocoons of silkworms that feed on the leaves of the mulberry. The image is by ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Dzhugara (near Samarkand)
In Russian Turkestan, large irrigation projects, such as those sponsored by Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich (1850-1918; grandson of Nicholas I), were intended to provide arable land to Russian settlers. Shown here is a field of dzhugara (white durra, or Sorghum cernuum) near Samarkand. This drought-resistant species of grass can be used both as edible grain and as feed for livestock. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Village. On the Outskirts of Samarkand
This photograph shows a kishlak (village) on the outskirts of Samarkand. The loess soil has been eroded into a gully, perhaps by the small Siab River. High adobe and mud walls in a good state of repair enclose homesteads probably belonging to local Sarts—a term referring to town dwellers, but also to inhabitants of this area from before the coming of Uzbek tribes in the 16th century. The dense groves of trees—birch, plane, and poplar—remind the viewer that Samarkand is an oasis, watered by the Zeravshan River ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
At the Saliuktin Mines. On the Outskirts of Samarkand
This unusual photograph shows camels and their drivers on the way to the Saliutkin Mines in the Tian-Shan Mountains. They are laden with equipment for a Russian group sent to observe a total solar eclipse on January 1 (14 on the Gregorian calendar), 1907, at the Cherniaevo Station settlement near the mines. Located in Central Asia near the border between present-day Kyrgyzstan and China, the Tian-Shan range derives its name from the Chinese for “celestial mountains.” The first Russian to study the mountains was the geographer Peter Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, who explored ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
At the Saliuktin Mines. On the Outskirts of Samarkand
Seen here is the path to the Saliutkin Mines in the Tian-Shan Mountains. Located in Central Asia near the border between present-day Kyrgyzstan and China, the Tian-Shan range derives its name from the Chinese for “celestial mountains.” The photographer of this view joined a Russian group sent to observe a total solar eclipse on January 1 (14 in the Gregorian calendar), 1907, at the Cherniaevo Station settlement near the mines. The high elevation and clear dry air were ideal for astronomical observation. In the foreground is a small horse-drawn cart ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Observing a Solar Eclipse on January 1, 1907, near the Cherniaevo Station in the Tian-Shan Mountains above the Saliuktin Mines. Golodnaia Steppe
This unusual photograph shows preparations for observing a total solar eclipse on January 1 (14 in the Gregorian calendar), 1907, at the Cherniaevo Station settlement near the Saliutkin Mines in the Tian-Shan Mountains. Located in Central Asia near the border between China and present-day Kyrgyzstan, the range derives its name from the Chinese for “celestial mountains.” The first Russian to study the mountains was the noted Russian geographer Peter Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, who explored the region in 1856 and 1857. The high elevation and clear dry air were ideal for observation purposes ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Pashazada Irrigation Canal, Supplying Water to the Estate of the Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich. Golodnaia Steppe
Shown here is the Pashazada aryk (irrigation canal, in Turkic languages), which served the estate of Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I, in Golodnaia Steppe (Hungry Steppe), located in present-day Uzbekistan. Exiled from Saint Petersburg in 1874 because of a family scandal, Nicholas settled in 1881 in Tashkent, which had been taken by Russian forces in 1865. There he sponsored a number of philanthropic and entrepreneurial projects. Among the latter was a vast irrigation scheme intended to provide arable land to Russian settlers and to ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Testing Field of the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property. Golodnaia Steppe
One of the main initiators of development in Russian Turkestan was Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich (1850–1918), grandson of Tsar Nicholas I. Exiled from Saint Petersburg in 1874 because of a family scandal, Nicholas settled in Tashkent in 1881, where he sponsored philanthropic and entrepreneurial projects. Foremost among them was a model agricultural estate that involved a vast irrigation scheme in Golodnaia Steppe (“Hungry Steppe”). The long-term goal of the project was to provide arable land to Russian settlers and make Golodnaia Steppe a productive area for raising cotton and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Migrant Farmstead in the Settlement of Spassky. Golodnaia Steppe
This photograph shows simple stuccoed brick structures of a farmstead at the settlement of Spasskii (“Savior”) in present-day Kazakhstan. In the foreground a line of poplar trees has been planted to provide shade and shelter from the steppe winds. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Tillia Kari from Ulugh Beg. Samarkand
In the center of Samarkand is the Registan complex, consisting of three major examples of the madrasah (religious school). The third of these, the Tillia Kari Madrasah, was built in 1646–60 on the site of a former caravansarai. Its basic plan is formed by a rectangular courtyard, shown here with two stories composed of arcades of pointed arches that frame rooms for scholars. Although much damaged, the facades are profusely decorated with intricate ceramic work in geometric and floral patterns. On the far left is a corner of the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Study in Shah-i Zindah Mosque. Samarkand
The necropolis of Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad. Shown here is a view (what the photographer called an “etude”) of the hillside on which the necropolis is located. The photograph was taken in late spring, when the red poppies are in profuse bloom. Visible at the top are remnants of the adjacent cemetery, with burial mounds and tombs in abandoned state. The necropolis itself is beyond the frame of this photograph. The image is by Russian ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Mulberry Tree. Samarkand
This scene from Samarkand shows a rutted lane flanked by old adobe walls. In the center is a group of mulberry trees, while in the background are poplar trees. Samarkand was long known for the quality of its silk, produced from the cocoons of silkworms that fed on the leaves of the mulberry. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. He frequently used his photographic ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
(Steppe) Poppies. Samarkand
The necropolis of Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”), located within a cemetery on the outskirts of Samarkand, was revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad. This detailed view of steppe poppies was taken on a hillside near the Shah-i Zindah complex in late spring, when the flowers are in profuse bloom. The necropolis itself is beyond the frame of this photograph. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Rice Field. Samarkand
Irrigated rice fields thrived in the oasis setting of Samarkand, fed by the Zeravshan River, which has its origins in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan.  Seen here is an irrigated field with rectangular plots, bordered in the distance with plane trees. The flooding of the fields reduced weeds and pests. Rice was an important part of the local diet in dishes such as pilaf. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Elm Trees. Samarkand
This scene from Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) shows a karagach (a type of elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in the hot climate. In the foreground is a field of grass, used for fodder. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Small Mosque of Shah-i Zindah. Samarkand
The Hazrat Hyzr Mosque in Samarkand is located on a hillside near the ancient fortress settlement of Afrosiab. Legend states that the mosque was built following the Arab conquest of the city by Qutayba ibn Muslim in 712. Destroyed during the Mongol conquest in 1220, the mosque was rebuilt over the centuries. In 1854 the core structure (left center) was rebuilt on the presumed original foundation and enlarged in 1884. In 1899 the iwan (columned veranda) was expanded, and a darwazahana (vestibule) was added. Work on the mosque continued to ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Elm Tree. Samarkand
Seen here is a massive karagach (elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in this hot climate. To the left is a seated figure on a low adobe wall. The field in the foreground shows signs of cultivation. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. He used his photographic method ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
View toward Samarkand from Shah-i Zindah Mosque
This view was erroneously identified by the photographer as taken from the Shah-i Zindah Mosque in Samarkand. More likely it is from the Hazrat Hyzr Mosque, located on a hillside near the ancient settlement of Afrosiab, and which the photographer elsewhere misidentified as Shakh-i-Zindah. The oasis setting of Samarkand is evident, with a lush pasture and groups of poplar, plane, and karagach (elm trees) visible. On the left the view is dotted with adobe houses, one of which is built into the cliffside with a multi-leveled veranda. On the right ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Sart House. Samarkand
The caption identifies this homestead as belonging to a Sart, a term used in the early 1900s to refer not only to town dwellers, but also to people who inhabited this area before the coming of Uzbek tribes in the 16th century. The structure has a mixture of elements, with traditional decoration along the cornice and a Russian pattern for the veranda railing. The attached building on the left reflects a simple Russian design with a pitched iron roof. The elevated plan took advantage of cooling breezes for the main ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Study in Shah-i Zindah Mosque. Samarkand
The necropolis of Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) was revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Mohammad. Shown in this photographic detail (what the photographer called an “etude”) is apparently a structure known simply as the Octahedron, in the middle group of mausolea. Ceramic tiles decorate the surface both inside and out. Above the pointed arch are remnants of a floral pattern in faience. Visible through the doorway are red poppies in profuse bloom, which cover the hillside on which the Shah-i Zindah ensemble complex ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Chapel on Chapan-Ata Mountain, Five Versts from Samarkand
This photograph shows the Chapan-Ata mazar (mausoleum), located several kilometers northeast of Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan). The mausoleum takes its name from the summit on which it is located (chapan is a local word for shepherd). Its archaic centralized form, resembling similar structures from the 15th century, suffered damage over the centuries. Only a small portion of its original ceramic tile surface is visible, and the structure, built of adobe brick, is braced by several simple buttresses. The high drum supporting the dome has been coated with stucco. The image is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Zeravshan Mountain Ridge from Chapan-Ata. Samarkand
This spectacular photograph shows part of the Zeravshan (Zarafshan) Mountain Range, located some 40 kilometers southeast of Samarkand. The view is taken from the hilltop location of the Chapan-Ata mazar  (mausoleum), located on the outskirts of Samarkand. This north flank of the range, with snow visible on the peaks, is indented with valleys created by tributaries of the Zeravshan River, which is the main source of water for the verdant Samarkand oasis. In the foreground is pasturage marked by sheep tracks. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Elm Tree. Samarkand
This scene from Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan) shows a karagach (a type of elm tree). Densely leaved, the karagach flourishes in the oasis setting of Samarkand. The compact branch structure helps the tree conserve moisture in the hot climate. In the foreground is a rutted road flanked by an aging adobe brick-and-mud wall. In the distance the wall is being rebuilt with modern techniques to reinforce the upper pathway in this hilly terrain. Another wall is visible on the other side of the upper path. The image is by Russian photographer ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
General View of Mosque at the Top of Chapan-Ata Mountain. Samarkand
The Chapan-Ata mazar  (mausoleum), located several kilometers northeast of Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan), takes its name from the summit on which it is located (chapan is a local word for shepherd). Its archaic centralized form, resembling similar structures from the 15th century, suffered damage over the centuries. Only a small portion of its original ceramic tile surface is visible, and the structure, built of adobe brick, is braced by several simple buttresses. The high drum supporting the dome has been coated with stucco. Turbaned figures are visible to the right of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
General View of Chapan-Ata Mountain. Samarkand
This photograph shows the gently rolling landscape leading up to the Chapan-Ata mazar (mausoleum), located several kilometers northeast of Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan). The mausoleum takes its name from the summit on which it is located (chapan is a local word for shepherd). Its archaic centralized form, resembling similar structures from the 15th century, has suffered damage over the centuries. The structure, built of adobe brick, is braced by several simple buttresses. The high drum supporting the dome has been coated with stucco. A solitary path ascends the steep slopes leading ...
Contributed by Library of Congress