Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of the Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of the Daughter of Emir Khodzha Toglu Tekin. Inscription on the Upper Left Side of the Front


This photograph of the facade of the Toglu Tekin (Emir Hussein) 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 (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 Timur (Tamerlane) and his successors. Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. In 1386 a mausoleum was built for Toglu Tekin, daughter of Emir Khodzha and mother of Emir Hussein--one of Timur’s grandees. This view shows the left side of the main facade. The rich display of polychrome ornament includes (from right): a glazed, carved terracotta column at the corner of the entrance arch, or peshtak; vertical strips of majolica tiles in geometric and floral patterns; an inscription in cursive Thuluth script set within intricate floral strapwork; and a strip of tiles with a rosette motif. The outer corner of the structure is marked by a large glazed column with an ascending rhomboid pattern. The basic colors are dark blue and turquoise, with white detailing.

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Гробница святаго Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Мавзолей дочери Эмира Ходжи Тоглу-Текин. надпись на левой стороне фасада (верхняя)

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 69.

Last updated: September 30, 2016