Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:
The river oasis Samarqand on the Zarafshon river Uzbekistan exists since more than 3500 years. It was always part of the Silk Road. Archeology and Alexander "the Great" revealed the existence of a Sogdian state, with Afrosyab (Samarqand) as its center. Sogdia saw the conquerors come and go, from the early Persian Achaemenids to Alexander to Chinese to the Arabs. It ended only with Genghis Khan and the destruction of Afrosyab in 1220.

Here I show another part of the sensational 7th century AD murals from the royal palace of Afrosyab. The museum in Samarqand exhibits those murals today. It shows some foreign dignitaries on camels taking part in a bridal procession of a princess. The specialists distinguish Korean, Chinese, Pamiri, Turk faces and costumes on the whole mural : the ruler of Samarqand must have been a global player! The file of "Sacred Swans" gives no clue as to the underlying religion, it could be Buddhist or Zoroastrian (Nestorian Christians were also here). One hundred years or so later the conquering Arabs brought the Islam by way of the Silk Route to Sogdia and even China ( and they scratched the eyes out in the mural).
(From: MacLeod C. & Mayhew B. 2002. Uzbekistan. Norton, New York)

The pic was taken with a flash (very exceptional permission by the museum's custos), the saturation of colours and contrast enhanced in PS, the pic slightly sharpened.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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