Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of Emir Kutuluk Turdi Bek Aka. View of the Facade from the North


This photograph of the Shadi Mulk mausoleum at the Shah-i Zindah necropolis in Samarkand 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, in 1867-82, of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The primary compilers for the visual material were Aleksandr L. Kun, an Orientalist attached to the army, and Nikolai V. Bogaevskii, a military engineer. They devoted special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Tamerlane and his successors. Built on the site of an ancient settlement known as Afrosiab, Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the prophet Muhammad. This view is taken facing south within the upper passageway of the necropolis. On the right is the mausoleum of Shadi Mulk Aka, built in 1372 for the burial of Uldjai Shadi-Mulk, the daughter of Tamerlane's elder sister, Kutlug-Turkan-Aka. Its main facade is covered with ceramic tiles, and the structure is surmounted by a ribbed dome. Adjoining to the left is the Emir-Zade mausoleum (1386), also with a large pointed dome. In the left foreground is the so-called octagonal mausoleum (15th century).

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Гробница святого Кассима ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при нем. Мавзолей Эмира Кутулука Турди Бек-Ака. Вид на фасад с севера

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 27.

Last updated: September 30, 2016