Village. On the Outskirts of Samarkand
This photograph shows a kishlak (village) on the outskirts of Samarkand. The loess soil has been eroded into a gully, perhaps by the small Siab River. High adobe and mud walls in a good state of repair enclose homesteads probably belonging to local Sarts—a term referring to town dwellers, but also to inhabitants of this area from before the coming of Uzbek tribes in the 16th century. The dense groves of trees—birch, plane, and poplar—remind the viewer that Samarkand is an oasis, watered by the Zeravshan River. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. Prokudin-Gorskii was particularly interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states) in Central Asia, which he visited on a number of occasions, including two trips in 1911. Turkestan appealed to him not only for its Islamic architecture but also for everyday scenes in places such as Samarkand.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1646 / 735.7KB
- Contained in galleries