Syr-Darya Oblast. City of Turkestan. Cauldron Donated by Emir Timur Kuragan for the Tomb of Saint Sultan Akhmed Iassavi


This photograph of the interior of the mausoleum of Khodzha Ahmed Iassavi in Yasi (present-day Turkestan, Kazakhstan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. Yasi is associated with the Sufi mystic, Khodzha Ahmed Iassavi (1103-66), whose great reputation led Timur (Tamerlane) to construct a memorial shrine (khanaka) at his grave site. Built in 1396-98, the mausoleum displays features of Timurid architecture, then at its height in Samarkand. This view shows the interior of the main structure, with a large bronze ritual water basin elaborately decorated with botanical figures and Perso-Arabic inscriptions. In the foreground are two massive bronze holders articulated in ascending circles. The height of the basin, which rests on a masonry stand, is about one meter. Leaning against the basin are wooden poles similar to those placed at burial markers. Dimly visible in the background are the brick walls of the mausoleum, which has a cruciform plan. At the center is a niche that appears to culminate in a stalactite vault.

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Сыр-дарьинская область. Г. Туркестан. Котель (сакая) пожертвованный Эмиром Тимуром Кураганом гробнице святаго Султана Ахмеда Яссавия

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 4.

Last updated: September 30, 2016