Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Mausoleum of Emir Hussein. Inscription on the Right Half of the Facade. Lower Section
This photograph of ceramic tile ornament on the Emir-Zade 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 album devotes 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. The Emir-Zade mausoleum was built in 1386 by a member of Tamerlane’s court. Despite losses to its polychrome ornament, the facade remains a major accomplishment of Central Asian decorative art. This view of the lower right part of the main facade includes vertical strips composed of majolica tiles in floral and geometric patterns, as well as an inscriptional band in the cursive Thuluth form of Arabic script. At the base are panels with elaborate floral designs. Visible on the far left is the portal niche. On the far right is the lower part of the glazed terracotta column at the left corner of the Shadi Mulk mausoleum.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Title in Original Language
Самаркандския древности. Гробница святого Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Мавзолей Эмира Хусейна. Надпись на правой половине фасада. Нижняя часть
Type of Item
1 photographic print : albumen
- Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 25.
Last updated: September 30, 2016