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Photographer's Note

Panjikent (or Penjikent) was once a major city on the branch of the Silk Road that went up the Zarafshan river toward the Pamirs and China. It was founded in the fifth century CE by the Sogdians, and apparently abandoned in the 8th century with the coming of the Arabs (why, was not explained). What you see here, looking like rock outcroppings, are in fact the remains of the buildings, with the Turkistan mountains in the background north of the site.

Although the city sits on top of a hill commanding the valley and makes an excellent defensive and offensive position, it was never built on again, making it a pristine site for archeologists, who started coming in the Soviet era.

Most of the artifacts they found there are now in museums in Tashkent and St. Petersburg, but there have been some recent, post-independence excavations, and those finds are now in the Rudaki Museum in the modern town of Panjikent about 2 km. away. I've posted a fresco from the museum as a WS, and another WS showing a reproduction of a fresco, which will give an idea of the wealth of the town in its heyday.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Kohanski (Wandering_Dan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 930 W: 150 N: 1023] (3449)
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