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Samarkand (from Sogdian: "Stone Fort" or "Rock Town"; ; ; Cyrillic/, Sanskrit term Samara Khanda which literally means "region of war"), alternatively Samarqand or Samarcand, is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when exactly Samarkand proper was founded, some theories are that it was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand has been one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.

By the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda. The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian, Persian, and Turkish peoples until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of Samarqand Region, and Uzbekistan's third largest city.

The city is noted for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. In the 14th century it became the capital of the empire of Timur (Tamerlane) and is the site of his mausoleum (the Gur-e Amir). The Bibi-Khanym Mosque (a modern replica) remains one of the city's most notable landmarks. The Registan was the ancient center of the city. The city has carefully preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics, carving and painting on wood. In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures.

Samarkand (novel)

Samarkand is a 1988 historical fiction novel by the French-Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf. The narrative revolves the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyám and his poetry collection Rubaiyat. The novel received the Prix Maison de la Presse.

Usage examples of "samarkand".

Enormous topographical closeups of the various Sovereign Republics, wrinkled mountain ranges, satellite images of rivers, the Black Sea and Crimea, postcards from tourist spots and exotic cities: Samarkand, Bukhara, Vladivostok, Yerevan, Minsk, Kazan, Gorky, Arkhangelsk, even Moscow.

The train passed through Tashkent and Samarkand, and the major said their destination was Ashkhabad, which, by coincidence, was where Kolya lived.

The names of oasis cities like Samarkand, Bokhara, and Kashgar breathe romance.

Samanide chieftains of Samarkand -- but few Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon coins.

The railway made by him runs at present from the Caspian Sea to the Amou-Daria River, and will be continued to Bokhara, Samarkand, and Tashkend, in a northerly direction, while on the south it is to enter Persia.

After the Russian capture of Tashkend in 1865, the Amir Muzeffared-din proclaimed a holy war against the Russians, who invaded his province and captured Samarkand in 1868.

Mongols began to pour in from the east, sacking Samarkand and overrunning most of the expanse of the old Parthia before a Moslem army of Seljuks, Swarizmi, Kurds, Ortuquids, Zangids, Abbasids, and Azerbaijans met them on the banks of the Tigris and were soundly trounced.

A great white shark came by for a while, and cirded the vessel several times, but most of the time the sky and sea were deserted, and the only sound came from some part of The Samarkand, a board creaking, a knot grinding, as though the boat, like its owner, was starting to doubt its own existence, and was making a noise to remind itself that it was still real.

And then, as Port Samarkand moved overhead and cast its light down into the alley, he saw a manhole cover about ten feet away.

Bukhara and Samarkand are Persianized islands in the heart of a Turkic-run state.

It was these Uzbeks in the early sixteenth century who deposed Babur, the great Turkic poet and the last of Tamerlane’s successors, who consequently fled Samarkand to found the Moghul dynasty in northwestern India.