Abu Sa'id Mausoleum
Mane, Turkmenistan
The mausoleum of famed Sufi scholar and poet Abu Sa'id bin A'bil Khair
(967 - 1049) stands in the village of Mane or Mihna, along the international borders of the Ahal Welayaty province of Turkmenistan. This revered Sufi shrine is popularly referred to as the Meane Baba mausoleum, or the mausoleum of the saint from Meane or Meykhene, after the name of the village. Situated between the towns of Sarakhs and Kaka, this remote region also hosts the ancient archaeological sites of Abiverd, Namazga-Depe, Altyn-Depe, Ak-Depe, and Gara-Depe.

Scholars date the construction style to the middle of the eleventh century, during the reign of Seljuk ruler Chaghri Beg Dawud (1040 - 63), though portions of the mausoleum were renovated later in the fifteenth century. The structure presents significant innovations in the traditional Seljuk dome-atop-brick-cube mausoleum typology. The entrance portal is projected and vertically exaggerated, until it partially screens the dome. The resulting entrance gallery places a new emphasis on the zone of transition. The central chamber's tapering brick walls are unadorned on the exteriors, though the finial-topped hemispherical outer dome bears traces of turquoise tile décor.

The inner dome is elaborately adorned with polychrome paintings and tile mosaics. The entrance portal's iwan is extensively decorated with blue tile facings and Naskh calligraphic friezes. Large portions of the structure have collapsed and the site's inaccessibility has resulted in poor maintenance. The structure is in desperate need of structural repair and tile ornament restoration.

Sources:

Hillenbrand, Robert. 1999. Islamic Architecture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 291.
Location
Mane, Turkmenistan
Events
mid 11th c.
Style Periods
Variant Names
Abu Sa'id Mausoleum
The Mausoleum of Abu Said Makneyi
Variant
Meane Baba Mausoleum & Shrine
Variant
Building Usages
mausoleum
funerary