Yarkand Cemetery
Shache, China
The royal cemetery is located directly across from the prayer hall of the Altun Mosque in Yarkand, although accessed via a separate modest gateway. Rows of almost identical cenotaphs, each with remarkable decorative stone carving, fill its raised platform. Among them is a low octagonal stone mausoleum, ostensibly one of the earliest tombs at the site. The faces of its base are modestly decorated with framed niches and its dome is paneled with large tiles in various hues of green.

A nearby tomb is encased with metal screens held together by four columns with muqarnas capitals, and covered with a flat roof raised on brackets. The tomb of musician and poetess Aman Isa Khan (1526-1560), located inside the cemetery, is two stories tall, with slender columns defining an arcade around the lower tier and engaged columns on the upper tier, all crowned by a ribbed dome from which rises a bulbous finial. The upper is bedecked with white and blue tiles, while the arcade is decorated with delicately carved lambrequins and muqarnas capitals.


Frishman, Martin and Hasan-Uddin Khan, eds. 1994. The Mosque: History, Architectural Development and Regional Diversity. London: Thames and Hudson, 128.

Waugh, Daniel C. 1999. Description of Kashgar: Selections from the Tarikh-i-Rashidi by Mirza Muhammad Haidar, Dughlat. Silk Road Seattle Project Website. http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/texts/rash1.html [Accessed November 29, 2004]

Armin Scrinzi. 2001. "Yarkand Cemetery: Report about a Journey from Beijing to Xinjiang." http://eos.photonik.tuwien.ac.at/china/gallery/yac.shtml [Accessed Nov. 29, 2004]
Shache, China
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Yarkand Cemetery
Tomb of Aman Isa Khan
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