Antiquities of Samarkand. Tomb of Saint Kusam-ibn-Abbas (Shah-i Zindah) and Adjacent Mausoleums. Sections and Elevations


This plan of the tomb of Kusam-ibn-Abbas in 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. Among the accomplishments of this period is a collection of mausoleums known as Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”). Built on an ancient burial ground, the necropolis is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. These detailed sketches of the tomb are by L.A. Shostak, the artist who assisted the primary compilers, Aleksandr L. Kun, an Orientalist attached to the army, and Nikolai V. Bogaevskii, a military engineer, by producing watercolors that provided color information unavailable in the photography of the period.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Saint Petersburg, Russia


Title in Original Language

Самаркандския древности. Гробница святаго Куссама ибни Абасса (Шах-Зиндэ) и мавзолеи при ней. Разрезы и фасады

Type of Item

Physical Description

15 drawings (1 sheet) : ink and watercolor


  • Illustration in: Turkestan Album, Archaeological Part, 1871-1872, part 1, volume 1, plate 19.

Last updated: September 30, 2016