Richard McClary – Medieval Islamic Architecture of Central Asia: The development of Qarakhānid tombs in the Ferghāna Valley

IMG_3772Tuesday 2nd December

5-6pm Minto House Common Room

followed by drinks and nibbles

This paper presents a complex of three tombs in Uzgend, Kyrgyzstan that date form the 11th and 12th centuries CE, along with a tomb in nearby Safid Buland that is dateable to the second half of the 11th century CE. All four were built during the rule of the Qarakhānids, a Turkic dynasty that ruled much of what is now Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
My recent surveys of the subject structures has revealed a number of connections between them and the wider tradition of Persianate funerary architecture of the period. An attempt is made to recreate the original appearance of the Uzgend site as well as to show how the architectural aesthetic developed there over time.
By giving a wider overview of the tradition of tomb construction it will be possible to show the numerous wide ranging connections over vast geographic areas. There are clear stylistic and technical links to the contemporaneous tombs built on the western fringes of the Persianate world, at Nakhchivan in Azerbaijan, and as far west as Sivan in central Anatolia.