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site of the fortified town of pre-Mongol Samarkand (the Maracanda of the ancient authors, the center of Sogdiana); located on the outskirts of Samarkand, Uzbek SSR. Diggings have been carried on (with interruptions) since 1874. Life in Afrasiab was found to have continued almost uninterruptedly from the sixth century B.C. until the town was destroyed by the Mongols in 1220. The site contains a citadel, an inner city, and suburbs. Living quarters and craftsmen’s quarters, a mosque, and remnants of a palace from the seventh and eighth centuries (in which multicolor wall paintings were discovered in 1965) have been brought to light. The numerous findings include some pre-Islamic Ossuaries, terra-cotta statuettes, and tiles, as well as slip-glaze ceramics and glass dating back to the 10th—13th centuries.
REFERENCESViatkin, V. L. Afrasiab—gorodishche bylogo Samarkanda. Samarkand, 1926.
Shishkin, V. A. Afrasiab—sokrovishchnitsa drevnei kul’tury. Tashkent, 1966.