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Document Details :
Title: Returning to the Sogdian Incense-Burner of the Late VII - Early VIII c. AD
Subtitle: A Portrait of Ikhshid Varkhuman?
Author(s): FEDOROV, M.
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 41 Date: 2006
In 1965 some well-meaning Soviet bureaucrats decided to built a bypass so that the Tashkent-Termez highway would not cross Samarqand. Of course they could not have chosen for it a better place than Afrasiab (the site of ancient Samarqand adjacent to the northern outskirt of modern Samarqand). The work was started after our archaeological expedition had returned to Tashkent. When the news came that bulldozers were destroying Afrasiab I was sent to carry out an archaeological survey (we could not stop the works then) and to save what was possible to save. Having arrived there I found at the surface of land smoothed by the bulldozer a rectangle (about 10 ? 10m) delineated by pinkish line. It was a hall with adobe walls covered by clay plaster. The plaster became pinkish because of a fire which had raged in the hall. Then about 10-15 m west of it I came across fragments of alabaster plaster painted scarlet, blue, and yellow. I raised the alarm. The destruction of Afrasiab was stopped. Excavations started. The world-famous Afrasiab murals were uncovered and saved for science and future generations.