Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, Tashkent, Uzbekistan


Before leaving Tashkent tomorrow, we spent the day visiting some pretty incredible structures and collections of antiquities.  We went to the Hazroti Host Imam Complex, Chorsu Bazaar, Museum of Applied Arts, and the Amir Timur Museum.  Each continued to add to, and change, or understanding of the region. 

We had to admit at dinner tonight how overwhelmed we were grasping at the impacts of so many warriors, prophets, and poets, and political leaders who have invaded this region.  Their languages, religions, and cultures have swept through on horseback, and left the seeds of change in mountain and river villages.

A region in which nomadic tribes settled into mountain valleys and steppes, and where hunting and gathering still competed with farming crops and raising sheep, intruders with superior weapons made the rules.  As the region sat in the middle of the Silk Road, invaders were often intent on ensuring stable economic and military supply lines.  The peoples of this region learned to adapt to these invasions, and hang onto their distinct identities.

The last major empire defeated foes and consolidated lands in China, India, Iran, Turkey, southern Russia, and Mongolia.  It brought Islam to Central Asia, and Tamarlane and his descendants ruled it from 1370 until 1858, and it finally fell prey to a combined assault from Britain and Russia in the 1860s.  After sixty years of subjugation and dissolution, a central core of area previously known as Turkistan was divided in 1924 into what we now know as Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.  

To see the photos taken today, click on:
Saturday, April 23rd

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