Mausoleum of 1361
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
The Mausoleum of 1361 is located within the Shah-i Zindah funerary complex; mausolea built between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries that form a string of spectacular tilework down the southern slope of the Afrasiyab hill, north of Samarkand. An existing inscription indicates that the mausoleum was built for a woman, but her identity is no longer known.

Typical of the mausolea within the complex, this structure is square in plan, with a pishtaq on the western side facing the Shah-i Zindah corridor. A revetment of polished brick in Central Asian bond with glazed blue plug-ends decorates the other three sides. The pishtaq rests on a recently unearthed socle, and is detailed with semi-attached columns at the outer edges and underneath the entrance arch. A muqarnas half-dome in disrepair covers the entrance portal.

The interior plan is also square, with shallow recesses centrally located on each wall above a tile socle. The walls above the socle are plastered. A highly decorated octagonal zone of transition includes muqarnas squinches and arched panels that crown the wall recesses. Alternating voussoirs of glazed brick delineate the wall surface from the zone of transition, and outline the arches.

A rectangular crypt is located beneath the mausoleum. The dome no longer stands, probably due to the poor construction of the zone of transition.


Brandenburg, Dietrich. 1972. Samarkand: Studien zur Islamischen Baukunst in Uzbekistan (Zentralasien). Berlin: Bruno Hessling Verlag, 76-78.

Lisa Golombek and Donald Wilber. 1988. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 236-7.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
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Qutluq Aqa
Shah Arab
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