Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of the Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of the Aine Khane (Emir Mussa). Upper Detail of the Inner Niche
This photograph of the upper part of the entrance arch to the Tuman-Aka mausoleum within 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 album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architecture, such as 14th- and 15th-century monuments from the reign of Tamerlane and his successors. Of particular note is Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”), revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. The Tuman-Aka mausoleum and mosque were built in 1405 as a memorial to the youngest wife of Tamerlane and are located to the left of the chartak in the northern cluster of shrines. The ensemble is notable for vibrant ceramic ornamentation with floral, geometric, and inscriptional patterns in colors that range from deep blue to yellow, violet, and turquoise. The upper point of the niche created by the mausoleum arch (peshtak) displays the forms of the “honey-comb” (mocárabe) vault, culminating in decorative ribs and covered with majolica tiles. The facade niche is framed by inscriptions in the cursive Thuluth style of Arabic script.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Title in Original Language
Самаркандския древности. Гробница святого Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Мавзолей Айнэ-Ханэ (Эмира-Мусси). Верняя отделка входной ниши
Type of Item
1 photographic print : albumen
- Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 45.
Last updated: September 30, 2016