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 Above a Former Entryway


This photograph of a facade fragment at the Toglu Tekin (Emir Hussein) Mausoleum at the Shah-i Zindah necropolis in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) 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 Kussam-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 of the upper part of the portal frame shows structural damage, probably from seismic causes. Crude brick fills the space originally occupied by the portal arch and a decorative panel. The ornate borders survived and display an Arabic inscription in cursive Thuluth letters interwoven with an intricate floral background of carved terracotta. The inscription is framed with checkered tile strips. On each side the inscription rises from a rectangle containing a lotus figure. The main colors are dark blue and turquoise.

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 над бывшем входом

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