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Tourist Attractions of Uzbekistan: The Mystery of Ancient Kabudan

Archaeological research in the Jomboy district of the Samarkand region has uncovered the ruins of the ancient city of Kabudan, referenced in ancient Chinese historical sources.

Specialists from the Samarkand Institute of Archaeology named after Y. Gulyamov, under the Cultural Heritage Agency of Uzbekistan, are making invaluable contributions to the development of national historical science. Last year, they conducted more than 50 archaeological excavations and studies in various regions, including collaborations with international experts. As a result, over 300 entries about archaeological sites were added to the catalogs.

Comprehensive research is being conducted in the Jomboy district of the Samarkand region, where over 200 archaeological and architectural monuments from various historical periods have been identified. At the beginning of this year, one of the scientific expeditions in this area identified the ruins of Kabudan, a city that existed from the 5th to the mid-8th century AD.

"Information about Kabudan is found only in ancient Chinese sources," says Alisher Begmatov, Senior Researcher at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Department of Archaeology at the Faculty of History of Samarkand State University. "Recent excavations at the Mingtepa site in the Jomboy district confirmed that this monument is indeed Kabudan—one of the ancient cities that emerged at the dawn of our era in Sogdia. It was the first settled point upon entering Samarkand from the north, from the direction of Chach (ancient Tashkent)."

It took time and the consolidation of scientific potential from scholars of various countries to identify that the archaeological reserve Mingtepa is the city of Kabudan mentioned in historical Chinese sources. Archaeologists from Uzbekistan, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, and Kyoto University of Arts in Japan have been working on this site for four years.

"The urban area of the Mingtepa monument covers about 40 hectares," explains Husniddin Rakhmonov, Junior Researcher at the Samarkand Institute of Archaeology named after Y. Gulyamov. "Ruins of the citadel, defensive walls, and watchtowers have been discovered here. Two-story houses of the nobility in the western part of the city have been studied. Coins and ceramic fragments were found during the excavations. According to archaeologists' conclusions, trade, crafts, architecture, and urban planning were well developed here. It has been established that the city was supplied with water from the Bulungur River."

Archaeological investigations in this area are ongoing. Historians are obtaining unique materials on the development of pottery, construction culture, and the economy of early medieval Central Sogdia. There are proposals to include this archaeological site in the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, urgent measures are needed to protect the historical heritage from the economic and domestic activities of the local population.

There is also news that the remains of an ancient city have been discovered in the Surkhandarya region. According to archaeologists, its estimated age is two thousand years. The site was discovered by a joint Uzbek-Chinese archaeological expedition conducting research in the Uzun district. Excavations have unearthed ceramic vessels, weapons, jewelry, statuettes, as well as 4000-year-old tombs and 2000-year-old city ruins.

Preliminary conclusions by scientists suggest that the archaeological finds date back to the 2nd-3rd centuries BC. Research work in this area is ongoing.

Rinat Abdulmanov, "Narodnoe Slovo" Newspaper