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Luis Curran | profile | all galleries >> Uzbekistan 2009 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Uzbekistan 2009

The Silk Road

The ancient cities of Uzbekistan were located on the ancient Silk Road, the trading route between China and the West. The route took its name from silk, the commodity most in demand in Europe from China during the Roman period.

Some of the most influential and savage conquerors came and ruled these lands. Alexander the Great set up at least 8 cities in Central Asia between 334 - 323 BC before the caravans began traveling through the Silk Road after around 138 BC when China opened its border to trade. Between 484 - 1150 Huns, Turks and Arabs came from the west and the latest brought with them a new religion of Islam. Many mosques and madrassahs were built in the Uzbekistan cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva during this period, including remaining structures of the Samanids (Persian or Iranian empire). Most of the cities were destroyed during the invasion of Genghis Khan in 1220. Later Timur, known also as Tamerlane, resurrected the once famous cities by using the labor of slaves and artisans captured during successful crusades. Timur conquered Persia, captured Baghdad, and led expeditions to Anatolia (Turkey) and India. Most of the architecture that is found in Samarkand was built by Timur and his grandson Ulugbek.

There are a number of images showing each city before restoration - photographs taken by various Russian and French scholars and photographers. Their names and dates of the photograph taken are noted on each image.

"Caught in Time: Great Photographic Archives" Three Volumes: SAMARKAND,BUKHARA and KHIVA, Series Editor Vitaly Naumkin, Garnet Publishing 1992
The Silk Road
The Silk Road
Tashkent
Tashkent
Khiva
Khiva
Bukhara
Bukhara
Shakhrisabz
Shakhrisabz
Samarkand
Samarkand
Original Photographers
Original Photographers
Original Photographers 2
Original Photographers 2
Original Photographers 3
Original Photographers 3