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Arab-Ata Mausoleum

Date of Submission: 18/01/2008
Criteria: (ii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Samarkand Region
Coordinates: N39 35 E66 45
Ref.: 5290

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Arab-Ata mausoleum is located in the southeast slope of the high triangle shaped hill - tepa. According to the preliminary archeological dig-out was established that mausoleum erected on the archeological monument, functioned in V-VII centuries B.C. Mausoleum enclosed in itself one square of room of 5,60 х 5,60 m. External sides 8,0 х 8,70 m. The break of square shape became according to thickening of the main facade, that has entrance niche of three meters of bay, with width 1,05 m. Laying walls have performed by the couple of bricks, divided with wide vertical sutures. This perfect constructive method, played important role in the system of architectural decor of mausoleum. Outside composition of mausoleum designates the topped with a lancet cube shaped solid dome with overflow to a main facade by a raised portal. There was placed the octahedral columns in the plan ¼. In an interior above the smooth surface of the walls is transitive octahedron to a dome with superficial arch niches on the main axes and original pendentives overlapping corners. Decorative columns placed on the corners of an octahedron. Pendentives are two-story construction. The design of the mausoleum was integrally merged with its constructive laying. Exclusively interest represented with angular columns of the transitive octahedron to a dome. It is a pentagonal in the shape. Analysis of plan and facade proportion of Arab-Ata allowed establishing presence of exact proportional mechanisms. In the basis of constructions are correlations of so-called dynamic square, i.e., progressively increasing squares in which the side of subsequent rank is equal to the diagonal of previous. The earliest monument, in which that mechanism is strictly sustained, was mausoleum of Samanids in Bukhara. The constructions of the mausoleum of Arab-Ata follow the same system. Comparison Arab-Atа with mausoleum of Samanids in Bukhara (XI-X centuries) illustrates features of their generality and at the same time evidently marks out that essentially new, that appears in the architecture of Mavaraunnakhr during that time.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The first-class architect invited to the small mountain village from some big city-center like Bukhara or Samarkand constructed Arab-Ata mausoleum. Arab-Ata Mausoleum has great principle of interest in many aspects. It fills up the important group in the evolution of mausoleum construction in Central Asia. It shows that already at the X century in Mavaraunnakhr made out that type of portal-dome tomb that were preserved until the beginning of the XV century and being so highly art monument, it has strongly entered into the series of the best creations of medieval architecture of the East. Moreover, it is located on the route of the Great Silk Road.

Comparison with other similar properties

The construction methods in some degree close to mausoleum of Samanids in Bukhara, the medium mausoleum of Uzgen XI century, but it has own distinction «not rammed» construction.