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Notes on the Geography of Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Shah-e Zende: Photo 1

world pictures Uzbekistan: Samarkand: Shah-e Zende

There is a formal entrance, but we're coming from the back, which is a large cemetery deliberately located near the tomb of "the living king."  He was Qutham-ibn Abbas, a cousin of Muhammad and--arriving in Samarkand about 677--one of the first Muslims in Central Asia.  Beheaded by a Zoroastrian, he picked up his own head and disappeared down a well, where he survives underground, ruling from under the spot marked now by a mosque. The pilgrimage to his tomb goes back to the 11th century, and so does the tomb itself--but not before.  Pilgrims still come to join the ongoing prayers or (ziarat).

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