TASHKENT: ALONG THE ROADS OF HISTORY

Issue #2 • 2399

Tashkent, the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is the largest industrial, academic and cultural centre of Central Asia. For the first time the name ‘Tashkent’ was registered in written sources dating early 11th century. According to the hypothesis of Abu Raikhan Beruni, the name traces to Turkic words ‘tash’ – stone, and ‘kent’ – town; that is, the word Tashkent proper translates as Stone City. However, there are reasons to believe that the first part of the name is more ancient and can be traced to the word ‘Chach’ that was subsequently transformed by Arabs into ‘shash’, as neither their language nor literature had letter ‘ch’, and by Turks into ‘tash’ (stone) due to the consonance of certain letters.

The earliest mentioning of the name ‘chach’ known to science dates back to the year 262 A.D. It is the mountains of Chach, which, along with other areas of Central Asia, are mentioned in the inscription of King Shapur (241-272) on Zoroaster’s Kaab. One should think that Chach is a truncated form of a fuller name such as Chachan or Chachani. This is the form that appears on different coins minted in this area, and the start of the coin issue dates back to the middle of the 3rd century A.D. The inscription on the coins reads: “The Ruler of the Chach People (or community), Vanvan (or Vanun, according to V. A. Livshitz).

Dating to the 4th century A.D. is a silver platter from Kerchevo settlement (West Siberia) bearing a Sogdian inscription that proves that the platter belonged to the possessor of Chach (the community or the people of Chach, as the inscription says). The name Chach that apparently dates to the same time is found on another silver platter found at a burial site in the vicinity of China-Vietnam border.

The name Chach, as a truncated form of Chachani or Chachan, is widely used on bronze coins minted in this area in the 6th and early 8th centuries. It is also mentioned in a famous letter of Devashtich Fatufarn, the ambassador of Sogdian ruler. From the second half of the 8th century the name Chach was no longer used; instead, its equivalent ‘Shash’ was introduced, which Arabs used in reference to the whole area rather than a particular city.

In the 9th-10th centuries Tashkent was also known by another name – Binkat; the etymology of the first component ‘bin’ is as unclear as one of Chach: these are probably ancient Sogdian words. Its earliest known use dates back to the beginning of the 9th century, which is proven by inscriptions on falses minted by Samani dynasty governor of Shash area Yakhiya b. Asad, whose earliest falses belong to the year 820.

There are reasons to believe that the name Binkat was given to a new town, which, starting from the second half of the 8th century, began to gradually evolve in the area of present-day Chorsu district and adjacent areas after the deserting of the “old” town, Chach, that was previously located in the railway station area – Ming-Uryuk township.

The contemporary name Tashkent appeared in early 11th century, and perhaps even earlier, which does not mean, however, that the more ancient names of the city, such as Binkat and Chach were no longer in use. For instance, Jagataid coins of the 13th century record all three names: Binkat, Tashkent and Shash. However, the name Tashkent gradually ousts all other names. On its large territory one can find numerous ancient and medieval townships and architectural monuments – tangible evidence of a long path of historical development from a small settlement of the first millennium B.C called Shashtepa to a modern city.

Written sources, especially of ancient and early medieval period, tell very little about the history of Tashkent; however, the studies of archaeological monuments dating to different time periods, of which there is more than a hundred, largely enable to trace the milestones of the emergence, establishment and development of urban life on the territory of contemporary Tashkent.

Urban transferences in space and time are typical of Tashkent, just like of many other ancient cities in Central Asia. Its original core (Shashtepa) emerged in one place – southern outskirts of Tashkent; the ancient and early medieval town (Ming-Uryuk) in another – the railway station area; and the medieval town Binkat still in another – on the territory of the present-day old city. It was here, owing to favourable climatic conditions and the availability of water sources, where Tashkent evolved and subsequently grew in all directions. Some 30-40 thousand years ago on the banks of Bozsu and Karakamysh streams the Upper Paleolithic primeval communities were stationed (40-10 millennia B.C.), and ten thousand years ago, in this same place lived people of Middle Stone Epoch (Mesolithic).

A Bronze Age burial ground and cattle-breeders station were discovered in the area of Childukhtarontepa and on river Karakamysh. Burial grounds dating 2.5 millennia back found in the eastern part of town have been studied.

We know about a large scale development of the Tashkent oasis in ancient times also from written sources (Herodotus, 6th c. B.C.; Bekhistun inscription of Darius I, (6 c. B.C.), where its population were referred to as “Saks, who are beyond Sogd”, “Trans-Yaksart (Trans-Syrdarya) Saks” and “Saks who brew haoma”; in Avesta they are called the inhabitants of a legendary land Turan, or Tur warriors. One cannot exclude a possibility that the sacred Kangdiz, the Kankha of Avesta, was kept here, which is evidenced by the name of township Kanka near Akkurgan.

The study of Shashtepa township on Jun stream provided an opportunity to trace the stages of cultural evolution and urbanization of Tashkent. The starting phase of urbanization began in the 6th century B.C. That was the time of the emergence of an ancient farming community settlement with dwellings of a semi-dugout type.

The second, transitional, phase occurred in the 3rd and early 2nd centuries B.C. Dating to the third phase (1st century B.C.) there was a building of cross-shaped layout surrounded by a defence wall with internal arched corridors exiting into a tower that gave the structure a rounded outline. It was a public building with cult-related orientation. In terms of its design and function it was connected to sun and fire worshiping, and, perhaps, the worshiping of astral symbols.

The next period was the time of the formation of a constructional/fortification massive of the citadel with a new rectangular layout of the building. Thus, the above periodization enabled researcher to identify the dynamics of urban development of a selected part of the future Tashkent. Archaeological data are complemented by numismatic materials and scant data from texts.

Owing to the studies of ancient and early medieval coins from Chach, important information was drawn about the start of coin mintage in this area, about the penetration of Sogdian writing and language, and about the nature and specificities of a dynasty rule in Chach and its relation to the House of Kangyui, one of the possessions of which were Yuni or Chzhe Shi.

The most ancient Chach coins are represented by copper stamping of rather large coins. The coin face shows the right-facing bust of a ruler with a peculiar style of hair that fall down in isolated locks; he has a retreating forehead, large protruding nose, long and thin moustache and large almond-shaped eyes. The reverse side bears a tamga that is very typical for Chach, encircled by a Sogdian inscription. The studies of a large number of these coins provide an indication of their belonging to Kangyui period, a rather developed monetary system, an intense market trade and the appearance of Sogdian literature in this domain.

Chach, located on one of the main ways of the Great Silk Road, undoubtedly, was to experience a strong influence by Sogdians who already began a resettlement to Serindia (East Turkestan) through this area – apparently, after the marches of Alexander the Great. This process accelerated even more in the first half of the 1st millennium A.D., which is proved by numerous studies, particularly of the “Old Letters” dating to the 2nd century A.D. or early 4th century A.D. The dukt of their writing is to an extent similar to the one on ancient Chach coins. If a dating earlier than the 3rd – 4th centuries is confirmed, one would be able to say that Sogdian literature and language were prevalent in Chach as early as the beginning of the first millennium A.D. At least the earliest specimens of these coins feature a clear and developed italics – perhaps in evidence that Sogdian writing in Chach had a long path of development before it appeared on coins.

Interesting data can be obtained from these coins in terms of dynasty history of Chach in the first half of the 1st millennium A.D. Specifically, just like Khorezmian coins, those from Chach bear the same dynasty symbol. However, whereas on Khorezmian coins Kushan, while maintaining overall resemblance, varies in details (i.e. each ruler probably had his individual one), on Chach coins this symbol remains unchanged throughout several centuries. This testifies to the fact that in the fist half and the beginning of the second half of the 1st millennium, unlike early Middle Ages, Chach was a single domain, probably encompassing most part of Tashkent oasis, and through all this time its rulers were conscious of their belonging to one dynasty and one kin. This dynasty, most probably, was of Kangyui origin, which can be inferred from coin data and Chinese texts.

The dynasty symbol that appears on Chach coins belongs to the number of Kangyui tamga which, having overall similarity, vary in their lower part and are substantially different from tamga of Kushan rulers. The monuments of that period are townships and castles (over 100 names) scattered all over the city. The major ones – Aktepa, Kugaittepa, Khanabadtepa and Ming-Uryuk, the largest of them – are fairly well studied.

The ancient town Ming-Uryuk. Its area covered about forty hectares – from the railway station to the central park area known as The Square. It is believed to be the place where Afrasiab, the legendary ruler of Turan, lived. The town encompassed a citadel-fortress surrounded by defence wall, a shahristan, a palace compound, and cottage industry neighbourhood. The ruler lived in the Ming-Uryuk citadel that also had cult area. Within the walls of shahristan lived not only the nobility, but also craftsmen and merchants. Dwellings, commercial stalls and shops constituted one whole structure, and only narrow streets traversed the quarters. The ceremonial halls of the ruler’s palace were decorated with monumental murals. The town has survived several centuries (from the 2nd c. B.C. to the 10th c. A.D.), reaching its heyday in the 5th-8th centuries when the political situation of Chach (this is how Tashkent was referred to in medieval Chinese sources) was fairly stable. Its representatives, along with ambassadors and guest merchants from other regions, travelled to the place of Sogdian ruler (which is reflected in a palace mural in Afrasiab in Samarqand), as well as to China and other countries.

People’s inherent love for music, poetry and dance was reflected in Chinese early medieval sources on Central Asia, including Shash, which contributed a lot to the introduction of new musical instruments and dramatic art to Japan and China. Musicians and dancers from Central Asia were particularly popular during Tan dynasty epoch (7-8 cc). Among them were people from Bukhara, Samarqand, Chach, Kucha… Samarqand music was part of formal court repertory.

From Chinese, Arab and Sogdian sources (coin finds) it is known that Shash had a governor – tudun, and a ruler – khvab, and the same administrative order as in Sogd. There was a mint in the capital of Shash. Strong Shash domain was in opposition to the Caliphate and joined a coalition against it. The squads of its golden-sash knights – malikzadagan – participated in the battles for the country’s independence.

On the eve of Arab conquest Shash Region reached its full bloom in all spheres of economy and culture. Temple-castles and necropolises discovered in Tashkent confirm the presence of different religions. According to Chinese chronicles, there they worshiped the spirit of Desi, fire, the spirit of earth, celestial deity, the spirit of sky, and their ancestors. Beruni mentioned that Sogdians worshiped fire and had a widespread cult of the dead and cult of Siyavush, dying and reviving god of plants.

Ossuary funeral rite that was noticed in Sogd and Shash makes it possible to speak about the prevalence of Zoroastrianism, which, however, had not become a religion of state, but encompassed local pagan cults that could coexist with fire worshiping.

In the 8th century Chach suffered greatly from Arab conquerors. The Arabs, in their efforts to crush the intractable population, looted their villages and destroyed irrigation system, leaving behind ruin and scorched earth.

The strongest resistance to Arabs was put up by the residents of Chach, Turkic khaganat and selected domains of Sogd.

In the 8th and early 9th centuries early medieval towns, castles and farmsteads become completely deserted.

Having acceded the Caliphate, Central Asia became most intimately connected to South-West Asia; this facilitated the development of its trade and culture.

Arabs often settled beyond the towns they occupied, constructing rabats – frontier fortifications of “fighters for faith”. In the 9th-10th centuries large feudal towns grew near such rabats. The new towns were built by local population, using their construction experience and skills.

From the 9th century, during the time of Samani dynasty rule, begins the new economic rise of the Shash cities. The capital moved from Ming-Uryuk westwards, to Bozsu canal and Kalkauz, where, on what used to be marshes but became a reclaimed area by the 9th century, a new settlement appeared; it would soon turn into the largest Shash city referred to as Binkat in the texts. That period saw the emergence of a large number of settlements and feudal farmsteads. Nowadays they are known as tepe Shakhnishin, Kukcha, Kallakhona and Tanyshykhar.

Numerous Arab-Persian geographical and historical literature (Istakhri, Maksidi) offer an eloquent description of Binkat, the capital city of Chach.
A coin discovered during the excavation, which was minted in Binkat on behalf of Yakhya ibn Asad, along with other archaeological materials dating 9th century, is an evidence of one of the early phases in the city existence, as well as of the fact that they started building the city on a hill with an area of 15 hectares, between Khadara square, Yangob (Jangob) aryk and Khamza street.

According to history chronicles, the transfer of Shash area with the capital Binkat to the domain of Yakhya ibn Asad occurred in year 204 (819-820).
Throughout the entire Samani rule, Shash was of major political import, especially due to the development of silver and lead mines of Ilak. The relative importance of Shash compared to other provinces of Mavarannakhr can be proven by the fact that the entire Sogd paid to the Caliphate treasury 326,000 dirhаms, whereas Shash paid 607,000 dirhams. The Caliphate had to be mindful of Shash, especially that its population was troubled, being both “a support, and a cause of concern for the government”. Therefore, when under caliph al-Muntasir (833-842) Binkat residents approached him with a message saying that they were in a dire situation due to the lack of irrigation water and asked him to release funds necessary for constructing a canal they needed, he did not dare deny their request and ordered the allocation of two million dirhams to build the canal, which was done under the Shash governor Yakhya ibn Asad.

Stability in water supply enabled rapid growth of the city. Its residents built numerous aryks (ditches) bringing water from the main canal towards and through the city; archaeologists traced the ancient beds of these aryks in the shahristan area and two suburbs of medieval Tashkent.

On the site of a fortification built by Arabs that was located in the vicinity of spring sources (Chorsu area), a fortress was built, in which there was a ruler’s house and a prison.

Shahristan. Here, on the territory of the city proper, stood the palaces of the ruler and nobility. Market place becomes the main compositional hub – the site of commerce, cottage industry and sometimes battles; hence the name Jangokh (battle place) it earned in the 18th century. At the crossroads of two main streets leading to the gates the key monumental structures were located: a mosque, a madrasah, and buildings of secular institutions. Along the streets stood the houses/workshops of people engaged in trade and crafts; here they manufactured fine ceramic crockery famous far beyond the boundaries of Shash.

Cathedral mosque mentioned in the sources was located between the citadel and shakhristan on a square that was probably a trading place.

Rabad (suburbs). In the 10th-11th centuries the growth of trade and crafts necessitated area expansion at the expense of suburbs where isolated homesteads of big land owners were scattered. All this territory was incorporated into the city area and fenced by a fortress wall. Here, like in shakhristan, along the streams stood shopping malls, caravanserais, neighbourhood mosques and local sanctuaries such as mazar of shaikh Kaffal Shashi and mazar of Zainutdin Kui Arifoni.

Chach – Shash – Binkat – Tashkent. Each of these names represents the history of the city. The country of thousand cities – this is how Shash was referred to by Arab historians of the 10th-12th centuries, who reported that Shash exported different textiles, carpets and items made of hide. Also famous were Chach saddles and bows, metal-ware, products of livestock farming and grain.

As the power of Samani dynasty weakened, Chach was occupied by Turks of Karakhani dynasty and after that acquired the name Tashkent.
In the 13th century the leading role in the region was played by Otrar, the extreme point of Khorezmshakh empire. When Ginghis Khan brought down his army on the region, the main blow was received by Otrar. Then Ginghis Khan invaded Central Asia. Tashkent surrendered after a three-day siege. Ginghis Khan’s governor Makhmud Yalavach chose Khojend to be his residence. After a short period of decline, Tashkent soon turned into a large, populous town.

In the 16th century Chagatai’s ulus fell into two parts: the territory of Mavarannakhr (western) and Mogolistan (eastern). The residents of Mogulistan were called Moguls; they were the descendants of Mongols who mixed with Turkic tribes and adopted Islam. Tashkent and Fergana still constituted a frontier between Mavarannakhr and Mogulistan.

Mogulistan rulers were constantly at war with the Chagataids from Mavarannakhr. The population of these towns was selflessly fighting for independence and freedom, and even the great Amir Temur had to invest a lot of time and effort to subjugate Tashkent that was of strategic importance to him. For the entire Central Asia including Tashkent the rule of Amir Temur was the period of tranquility and flourishing.

Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yezdi, the biographer of Amir Temur, refers to him as sakhibkiran – the one who possesses the star of supreme happiness; a khumayun – grace; kamkori oftob davlatiturk – the mighty Sun of Turkic nation; he tells of Temur’s benefactions and his constructive nation building activity.

Amir Temur assigned big significance to Tashkent. He ordered rehabilitation of its irrigation system, the construction of new canals and restoration of destroyed sanctuaries. For instance, on Temur’s orders they built two single-chamber mausoleums near the tomb of a Sufi Zengiata, popular in Tashkent, and his wife Ambarbibi. The story has it that Zengiata was the fifth myurid of a Sufi Khoja Akhmad Yassavi who was considered to be the spiritual leader of all Turkic tribes of Central Asia. At that time Tashkent had a citadel and a city with several gates surrounded by a fortress wall. The story tells that the gates were given new names – the names of those ulus, tribes and kin whose squads were charged with the task of guarding them.

In 1404 Tashkent was one of the points to recruit a huge army, with which Amir Temur was going to conquer China. Sudden death prevented the implementation of his plans. Amir Temur epoch is associated with the appearance of one of the most revered sanctuaries in Tashkent – the mazar of Sheikhantaur. His cult was maintained by sheikh Khoja Ahrar, a prominent political figure and man of wealth. A huge territory from Khadra to Ankhor [canal] was the property of vakuf domain of Khoja Ahrar. Allegedly, he funded the construction of three mosques, two madrasah and a bridge in Kukcha area of Tashkent.

Following the demise of Amir Temur, Tashkent again became an arena for struggle between Mogulistan and Mavarannakhr. In early 1420s, Ulugbek marched into Tashkent at the head of numerous army. In the years that followed, with support from the Tashkent sheikh Khoja Ahrar, the city was ruled by the Temurids.
Interesting architectural monuments dating 15th-16th centuries survived in Tashkent.

The Sheikhantaur complex. In the 15th century a mausoleum was built over the tomb of sheikh Khavend Takhur who was related to reverend sheikh Khoja Ahrar. The building was repeatedly reconstructed, retaining its 15th century layout and proportions. The mausoleum has a portal with lancet niches in the foundations, an entrance under a lancet arch, and two rooms behind the portal. The larger room is covered with a dome on a twelve-corner drum, and the smaller one is octahedral. Located next to it is the mausoleum of Kaldyrgachbiya, another ancestor of Khoja Ahrar. These were united by a remembrance mosque (aurat mosque). West of it stands the mausoleum of Yunuskhan of Mogulistan, one of Ginghis Khan’s descendents. The mausoleum was built in 1486 by Yunuskhan’s sons after his demise.

The Yunuskhan mausoleum harbours many a mystery: the remains of Yunuskhan have not been found there, and beautifully carved doors turned out to be musical – cleverly built in between them was an ancient musical instrument called chang.
In early 16th century Tashkent was part of an Uzbek Sheibanid state. Mausoleums, Barak-khan madrasah, Abu-Bakr Kaffal Shashi mausoleum and Kukeldash madrasah were built during that period.

A compound including Barak-khan madrasah and mausoleum is situated in the northern part of the city, near the main Juma (Friday) Mosque (currently functioning). The madrasah features traditional layout with khujra around the courtyard, a large dome-covered dars-khana [classroom] at the far end of the yard, and mausoleums built into the structure. One of them belongs to Barak-khan, and the second one – to his father Suyunijkhan. It was Suyunijkhan, the grandson of Ulugbek and enlightened patron of arts, who attracted scientists and poets from all over the Orient. Entrance to the madrasah is through a streamlined portal decorated with carved mosaic; dars-khana walls are covered in murals with gilding. Presently, the building houses Spiritual Administration of Central Asian Muslims.

In the courtyard located in front of the winter mosque (Juma mosque), kept in a special library is a rare collection of the books of Koran and Khadith.

North of the Barak-khan madrasah is a mausoleum built over the tomb of Abu-Bakr Kaffal Shashi, one of Sufi preachers, educated theologian and poet. The mausoleum seen today was built in 1541 on the site of a more ancient burial place. Its former dazzling decoration can be inferred from the remnants of majolica and mosaic ornamentation.

At that time a scenic bank of Kalkauz stream was one of the most favoured spots for theological discussions, khafiz readings and scintillating poetic contests.
Kukeldash madrasah, named after Barak-khan’s vazir [minister] who built it, is erected on a high platform created by many centuries of depositions on Chorsu Square. The main fa?ade features a high portal with towers at the corners. Over the portal entrance there is a mosaic tympanum. Khoja Akhrar madrasah and Jami mosque were built here later on.

Zainaddinbobo mausoleum (12, 14-16, 19 centuries) is one of the largest and most interesting monuments in Tashkent. The mausoleum is devoted to a historical character Sheikh Zainaddin Kui Arifoni, the son of the leader of Baghdad Sufis, the “sheikh of the sheikh”. According to the legend, 600 years ago, following the orders of his father sheikh Shikhabaddin, Zainaddin moved from Baghdad to Tashkent where he lived in chilla-khona. After his death, his admirers raised a small mausoleum (chortak) over his tomb, which was later reconstructed by Amir Temur. The most ancient structure dating 12th-13th centuries is the underground chilla-khona. Below the existing building was the 14th century chortak. Walls below date back to the 16th century. The upper part of the building – from ‘sails’ and above, as well as its portal, was completely restructured at the end of the 19th century.

In the second half of the 16th century Tashkent was incorporated into the domain of Abdullakhan II of Bukhara, who, after a long siege in 1580, ordered to destroy the walls and burn the city. During a number of years that followed Tashkent was under the sway of a Kazakh khan Tevekkel, and then was made part of Bukhara again. For a long time people remembered a brutal massacre inflicted upon Tashkent residents by Imam-Kulikhan of Bukhara in response to a rebellion and the murder of his son, the governor of Tashkent.
In the 18th century, as a result of continuous wars and uprisings, the country experienced overall economic decline. City life concentrated within the fortress walls reflected on an 1890 map. The city consisted of four parts (dakha): Sheikhantaur, Sibzar, Kukcha and Beshagach. Each part was ruled by its own governor, khakim. One of them, khakim of Sheikhantaur dakha, originated from local khoja and was believed to be the descendent of Sheikhantaur in the 16th generation. Yunuskhoja had been able to take power into his hands after a short struggle with other khakims. His urda (fortress) was located south of Baland mosque and occupied part of the Birinchi Almazar makhalla that was formerly called Iski-Urda. A big orchard was located nearby. Yunuskhoja’s residence was located in the area now known as Yunusabad. On his orders Tashkent was fenced by a fortress wall again and the gates were restored. Tashkent troops won a victory over the Kazakhs, and Yunuskhoja subordinated all towns and settlements which used to be part of Senior Kazakh horde. In 1807, following a defeat in a battle with the khan of Kokand, Yunuskhoja perished. For non-compliance, the Kokand khan Olim Zalim (Olim the Brutal) looted the city and made it part of his domain. For about twenty years since that time Tashkent was ruled by Beklarbeks. The Old Urda was destroyed, and a new one was constructed on the banks of Ankhor canal. Its name survived till present day and lives as the name of a bus stop – Urda.

In the 19th century there was a certain economic rise. By mid 1900s Tashkent counted sixty thousand inhabitants. Repaired outer wall 14 kilometers in circumference had 12 gates: Labzak, Takhtapul, Karasarai, Sagban, Jagatai, Kukcha, Samarqand, Kamalan, Beshagach, Koimas, Kokand and Kashgar. In historical topography there evolved a radial-circular layout structure of the old city.

Residential quarters that had an internal structure of micro-districts – makhalla with its public centres – were traversed by a network of city roads. The hub of a makhalla centre was a neighbourhood mosque (sixty of them in Sheikhantaur and seventy in Beshagach), then a market-place and a tea-house. As a result of a long search for protection against hot continental climate and earthquakes the most interesting types of dwellings were developed: with covered courtyards and sash windows (rovon) of kashgarcha type.

The last century map shows many neighbourhood mosques, some of which were restored over the years of independence.
Thus, through archaeological and topographic study it was established that Tashkent as a capital of a large area remained on the same place throughout its long history. Class composition of its inhabitants and its architectural appearance changed, and each period introduced something new.

In early 20th century Tashkent consisted of two parts: Old City and New City, divided by Ankhor canal.
The centre of old Tashkent was a concentration of residential and administrative buildings, cult ensembles, numerous shops and stalls of various craftsmen (blacksmiths, chasers, tinsmiths, carpenters) and markets where each mall belonged to the traders in certain goods. Adjacent to these structures were broad covered streets. The northern road at the centre of old Tashkent was joined by roads going from Chigatai, Sagban, Karasarai and Takhtapul gates. Here, on Eski Juva Square, there were several neighbourhood mosques, Beklarbek madrasah and caravanserais.

The centre of old Tashkent was a concentration of residential and administrative buildings, cult ensembles, numerous shops and stalls of various craftsmen (blacksmiths, chasers, tinsmiths, carpenters) and markets where each mall belonged to the traders in certain goods. Adjacent to these structures were broad covered streets. The northern road at the centre of old Tashkent was joined by roads going from Chigatai, Sagban, Karasarai and Takhtapul gates. Here, on Eski Juva Square, there were several neighbourhood mosques, Beklarbek madrasah and caravanserais.

The formation of a new centre of Tashkent beyond the Ankhor canal began since 1867 following the designs of M. N. Kolesnikov and A. V. Makarov, which were based on radial-circular system. Territorial and administrative unification of the old city and new city parts (1929) resulted in the altering of the former layout with subsequent restructuring of the entire city.

Edvard Rtveladze, Lidia Rtveladze

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