Painting Afrasiaba

Painting Afrasiaba

Table. I. Premise IX. Frieze. Peacocks.

The first paintings were discovered during the excavation in 1965 in room IX. The surface of the walls is smoothly plastered, the artists began their work with a frieze under the ceiling.
The drawing consists of repeated images of two peacocks coming from both sides to the vase, and a continuous ornamental strip above them (Table I). The width of the frieze with pheasants 0.2 m, the rims – 0.1 m. The vase, apparently, is metal, flat, without a foot, the lower part is scalloped, the upper one is smooth, yellow. In the vase fruit: in the center, apparently, the fruit of a pomegranate, from the top of which two yellow ribbons come down to the edges of the bowls. On both sides of the pomegranate one round fruit, perhaps apples, and on the very edge of the vase from the right and left sides of 3 mugs – some berries. All fruits are depicted on a blue background. On both sides of the vase in the lower part of the frieze are blue leaves of a stylized plant. The general background, which depicts a vase and peacocks, is red.

Peacocks are also somewhat stylized. They are portrayed as going; wide apart legs, head raised to the top of the vase. The beak, chest, legs and tuft on the head are blue. The head with a narrow oblong eye is yellow, the neck is black, contoured at the bottom with a yellow ribbon. The same tape is also on the lower part of the chest. The plumage of the abdomen and wings is yellow, the feathers are schematically drawn. The wings are raised upwards, in front they are depicted in the form of a circle from which horizontally located long feathers leave. The large black tail is stretched out in length, yellow shiny decorative feathers are depicted on it.
The rim, which runs along the top of the picture, is black. Against this background, five-petalled rosettes (acanthus-type leaves) of red color descending from the top are descended from above, contoured with a white line. In the center of each outlet is a blue triangle. Between the upper border and the lower frieze there is a continuous brown strip.
The frieze passes through all walls, but the rest of the surface of the western, southern and eastern walls remained white, without drawings, and only on the northern wall are the man and woman sitting under the arch (Table II).
A large semicircular arch in the central part of the wall rests on columns with rectangular capitals and consists of three bands – two yellow at the edges and red in the middle. From the upper yellow strip drop-shaped pendants are attached, attached to the rings that are in the upper part of the outer circle of the arch. To the bottom of each ring a small circle is suspended, to which a narrow part of the suspension is fixed, and on each side of the main suspension is attached one more so that the point is between them. The middle part of the suspension is blue. On the outside, each suspension is contoured with a thin red line. All the pendants are depicted on the red middle part of the arch. From the inside of the arch hang round bells, well viewed from the left and right sides of the picture.
The central part of the wall under the arch is painted in blue. On this background two sitting figures are depicted: on the right side there is a man, on the left – a woman. The man is depicted in full-face with a slightly turned to the woman’s head. His face was not completely preserved: a part of his chin, a straight nose, small plump lips, thin black antennae above his lip, black hair on his head; visible dangling earring.

Table. III. Detail of the incense burner from Varakhshi.

Painting Afrasiaba
The man is dressed in a red tight-fitting caftan with short sleeves and yellow cuffs, under the caftan is a white shirt, one can clearly see her right sleeve ending at the wrist with a black cuff. On the caftan from the left and right sides of the chest are two vertical yellow ribbons, trimmed with a black border. Stripes, apparently, passed down under the belt. Narrow waist is tightened with a belt with three large round buckles in the middle. To the belt are attached some objects, which because of poor preservation of the bottom of the figure can not be identified. A yellow-green cloak with a red roll-shaped rim is thrown on his shoulders. The cloak is tied on the left side of the chest with two knots, thrown over the back and lowered under the right arm. The folds on it are transferred by black lines.
From the neck to the chest descend jewelry. In the right hand, raised to the shoulder, a bowl with a scalloped bottom and a flat protruding bottom. There are some objects in it. The left hand is lowered down and rests on the thigh. Above the head of the halo is a very complex design. It consists of three circles of different colors: the first – ohristy, the second – red, with a yellow edging, passes over his head. On the red background, yellow tongues are visible. On the outside there is a third circle – light yellow. On the right side of the head above the cup is the end of the white ribbon.
The woman’s face was not preserved, only black hair above the ear is visible, in the hair there are some ornaments, on the neck – beads. On the head are wide ribbons, fixed in hair with four hairpins with round heads. Behind his head are traces of a yellow halo. The right arm is bent at the elbow and raised, it has the same bowl as the male, but with a protruding leg. To understand the cut of clothes is even more difficult. Fit in the top of the dress is red, under the neck is a large semicircular cutout, on the chest is a dark insert with ornaments in the form of circles and a black rim.

Table. IV. Caryatid. Varakhsha.

The dress is detachable, with a yellow insert, counter vertical ribbons and white beads coming down from under the red jabot. The folds of the jabos diverge on either side of the chest. A richly decorated red cape with a white border is thrown over the woman’s shoulders, under her is a left hand, her elbow is probably on a low red stand, four legs of which are visible from under the cape. If this assumption is true, then the left hand brush should be in the central part of the trunk (in place of the plaster rupture). There was an object with ribbons in it. The lower part of the dress is difficult to reconstruct, perhaps it is the ends of a cape, one floor of which descends from behind the right arm and left hip. The floors of the cloak are crossed in front, closing the lower part of the dress. Between the man and the woman lies a yellow cloth (?) With traces of drawing.
On either side of the picture, the characters approach the arch, but their images are almost not preserved.

Such arcades are known for many works of art. Thus, on the silver jugs of the 7th century, found near Perm (in Kvarzpileev, Lymar- kov), half-naked priestesses are depicted standing under semicircular arches, which are supported by columns. In the literature, the probability of the Sogdian origin of these objects was noted. Even more close parallels in the representation of arches are found on the ossuary from Biya Naiman, where the figures of kings, priests and priestesses stand in arches. MM D’yakonov in the study of painting Penjikent identified a group of paintings, which he compared with the ossuary Biya-Naiman and found a number of similar details in both accessories and ornamentation. This opinion is also supported by AM Belenitsky, who singles out common motifs in paintings and images on ossuary.
In his opinion, these coincidences can not be called casual, they speak about the existence of a common iconographic canon, and also that the images were given a certain symbolic meaning.
During the excavation of Penjikent in 1969, a square room was opened at object XXIV, the walls of which were covered with paintings, it was combined with a vaulted corridor divided into two parts by a raw arch, which rested on wooden columns. Researchers have determined that the premises were for a time in desolation, and then they were repaired and the walls covered with paintings, at the same time and the main hall was covered with painting. On the south wall of the corridor remained the remains of the painting: under an arch resting on columns, on a broad throne depicts a male and female deity.
On both sides of the throne are two small figures of men sitting on bent legs. On the knee of the male deity is a disk with a lion’s mask (according to researchers who symbolize the sun), and on the female on the left knee – a blue circle with a yellow rim, probably a symbol of the moon. Consequently, the figure depicted the deities of the sun and the moon.
This painting is very reminiscent of Afrasiab. The nimbus above the head of the Afrasiab man is iridescent, tricolor, and yellow tongues of flame pass along the red central strip. It is possible that in the murals of Afrasiab similar gods are depicted. Painting of Afrasiab and Penjikent is very close and by the time of creation. Both here and there – the second construction period, and in Penjikent in the layers of the sexes of the period after the restoration, coins of Turgar (after 738) and Arabian fels were found. All this suggests that the repairs and paintings date back to the time immediately preceding the Arab conquest – by the end of the 7th or the beginning of the 8th century.

Table. IX. The Western Wall. Detail 3.

At object II in Penjikent, earlier paintings were found. On one of the end walls, closed before the wall of the second period, the image of the goddess sitting on the throne is open. Above the head, decorated with flowers, a halo consisting of three circles, over the shoulders develop ribbons, as well as in the paintings of Afrasiab. Her suit also has much in common: on the shoulders of the “pelerine”, from under which, wrapping her hands, ribbons come down or, as the researchers suggest, a shawl. Above the waist are scalloped folds or jabots, like the woman in the murals of Afrasiab.
These paintings of Penjikent date back to the 5th – beginning of the 6th century. n. e. It would be possible to give a number of analogies in painting, confirming the existence of certain definite canons for the depiction of deities. JI. I. Rempel noted that on the Biya-Naiman ossuary, two figures – a king with a hatchet and a woman sitting next to him – are the main characters, that these are not just images of the ordinary palace scene, and that no one depicts the artist-inhabitants of the sky or terrestrial beings , he proceeded from real, “familiar to him images of the king, the queen, the royal nobility.”
The arch, under which the characters of the Afrasiab murals sit, is apparently the image of a niche or canopy above the throne. Its facade is decorated with hanging medallions and bells, which obviously played a part in the ritual.
In the paintings of the eastern hall of Varakhsha on the southern wall there is an incense burner (altar), to the left of which there is a woman and a man with nimbuses above their heads. According to VA Shishkin, these are priests. In this scene, you need to pay attention to the censer (Table III), which depicts the figure of a man.

He sits on the throne, which is depicted as a lying camel, and, what is particularly interesting, the camel and figure are inscribed in an arch resting on columns. The pose and clothes of a man on a camel are analogous to the figure of a man in the considered murals of Afrasiab. He sits in the front with his legs crossed, his head turned three quarters to the left. It has a complex crown, and around the halo. He is dressed in a tight-fitting caftan with a semicircular neckline and short sleeves. With his right hand he leans on his hip, and in the left holds the censer in front of him. On the chest you can see the ends of a tied cape thrown over your back.
In the paintings of the same Varakhshi hall, a part of the throne decorated with figures of winged camels is depicted. The figure of the king on the throne occupies the entire central part of the wall. To the right of the throne is depicted a platform on which traces of the figures of the approximate tsar were preserved. Above the platform there is a canopy or kiosk, the roof of which is supported by two yellowish columns, in the upper part, winged young men or women perform the role of caryatids. “The right hand is raised upwards, as if supporting the roof, perhaps an” arch “(Table IV).
Nimbus above the heads of the characters of the murals of Afrasiab emphasize that – before us are depicted deities or the royal deified couple. Nimbuses are found in some of the male figures of the paintings of Penjikent, attributed by M. M. Dyakonov to the second group and dated by the end of VII-VIII cc. They, in M. Dyakonov’s opinion, differ from all other human faces of the paintings not only of Middle Asia, but also of neighboring countries.
He saw the possibility of communication with the paintings of Byzantium and Transcaucasia, and believed that this image in Central Asia appeared under the influence of Christianity or Manichaeism. Comparing these Penjikent murals with the scene we are studying, we find here also explicit parallels. The similarity is not only that here and there a halo, but also in ribbons that go beyond the halo. It is difficult to judge the costume of the Penjikent character (only the drawing is given in the edition), but he also has two vertical ribbons on the caftan, short sleeves and a round neckline. In the paintings of Penjikent, a similar costume is known by two more soldiers in the painting on site II. Nimbus, apparently, depicted not only over the deities, but also around the heads of kings and priests.
It remains to consider the possible date of the murals of room IX.
Painting Varakhshi, which was involved for comparison, dates back to the end of the VII century. The paintings of Penjikent are also dated to the 7th-8th centuries.
The paintings of the IX hall of Afrasiab echo with all the above works of art, which allows to date them by the end of VII – the first quarter of the VIII century. On more detailed evidence of this dating, we will dwell below, after describing all the murals.
The small remains of the murals of Afrasiab, found in rooms II and III, are so fragmentary that they do not allow reconstructing the plots. Only one fragment of the room III gives an idea of ​​the nature of the hall murals – this is the image of a man in a red robe sitting on legs bent under him. The cloth of the robe depicts the figures of winged blue horses. The waist is drawn by a black belt, decorated with square badges. On the right side of the belt is a pouch (moshna), under it a sheath for a knife and a handkerchief hang down on the strap. Because of the back, 5 braids descend, each of which is woven with ornaments (Table V). Similar figures are found on the western wall of Room I, to the description of which we pass.
Paintings of the room I. In the hall filled with pieces of the pakhsa bat on the height of 1.5 and from the floor level, there were pieces of plaster with paintings. Above in the obstructions of plaster with paintings there was not. When preparing the construction of new buildings, the upper parts of the walls were destroyed, they filled the lower part of the room, and the missing ground for backfilling the upper part was brought from the side. At the leveled site erected in the second half of VIII or in the IX. The buildings, in turn, destroyed during the construction in the X-XII centuries. pottery furnaces.
After clearing the hall on all four walls were found murals of varying safety. The southern and western wall paintings were opened in 1965, the southern part of the eastern wall in 1966, the rest in 1967-1968.
Paintings on all four walls at first glance seem to be disconnected, thematically independent. However, their careful study and interpretation of the signatures accompanying the murals showed that they are subject to a single theme-the embassy in Samarkand and their reception at the court of the Samarkand king.
The southern wall, like the rest, was not completely preserved. It depicts a group of people dressed in rich clothes, riding horses, camels and an elephant heading the procession. People are depicted moving to the left side of the composition, towards a small hill, depicted in the eastern part of the wall.
As shown by the Sogdian inscription on the figure of one of the birds that is part of the composition of the southern wall, the whole scene of the painting depicts the arrival in Samarkand, to the court of the Sogdian king Varhuman, of the embassy from Chaganian, an area in the Surkhandarya basin, which in the VII- was a semi-independent state and was in vassalage dependence on the king of Tokharistan. More details about this embassy we learn from the Sogdian 16-line inscription on the western wall.
The northern wall is divided into two parts: in the eastern part there is a scene of the struggle of riders on the river bank with predators attacking them; in the west, a river with two boats, the first of which is occupied by women, and the second by men. Both parts are, in our opinion, a single composition. Judging by the costumes, the embassy of one of the regions of Eastern Turkestan is depicted here, bound for Samarkand to pay homage to the Samarkand king.
The eastern wall was preserved worse than the others, its height does not exceed 1.5 m.
On its southern part, next to the doorway, there is a sea, in the waves of which young men frolic, birds and animals swim; on the northern part of the wall there are two figures, judging by their costumes, they are Hindus.

The Western Wall contains an integral artistic composition that allows, together with the murals of the southern wall and especially in connection with the inscriptions, to draw a conclusion about the theme of the entire hall painting. It depicts the ceremonial reception of foreign ambassadors by the Samarkand king Varhuman. The king’s figure did not survive, but it is clear that he was depicted in the center of the upper part of the wall surrounded by his entourage, dressed in richly colored gowns. Judging by the costumes and hairstyles (long, scythe down the back), these are Sogdians. Some of them are depicted sitting on rugs, the other – accompanying ambassadors, who bring their gifts to the king.
In the center in front of the king is the Chinese embassy, ​​they have the same costumes and hairstyles as the figures of the northern wall. To the left of them is an embassy from Chaganian, with whom we are already familiar by the murals on the south wall. In the right (northern) part of the western wall there are two more groups of ambassadors, one, in all probability, from Chach (this embassy says in the inscription), while others, judging by the costumes, apparently from Korea.

Table. V. Fragment of Hall Paintings III.

As the murals give us new materials for covering historical events and, in turn, some messages from written sources make it possible to explain the content and details of the paintings, it is advisable to consider in detail the drawings of each wall separately and to try to determine their themes and functional purpose.
This wall was preserved at a height of about 2.7 m, along its lower part there is a sufa about 0.6 m high with a protruding central part. In the lower part of the wall, above the soufa, an ornamental border about 0.5 m wide. Above the wall is covered with paintings. In many parts of it there are plaster attacks, scrapes and traces of deliberate spoilage. In the southern (left) and central parts, entire sections of the walls are spoiled by drainage pits arranged in the premises of the 10th-11th centuries. And yet their safety makes it possible to understand the general plot.
Despite the fact that painting in this part has suffered considerably, several contours of figures made with red paint can still be seen on the damaged surface (Figure 4, Table VI). Since the group of persons on the western wall, which is the largest of the Samarkand king, we first give a detailed description of it, and then we proceed to describe and define the ambassadors on the western wall and their figures on the other walls.

We will dwell in more detail on some issues of the penetration of the Turks into the Sogdian society, when they become active participants in his political and economic life from outside observers and collectors of tribute. In this connection, first of all, it is necessary to try to find out who is represented by the most numerous group of figures on the western wall? As we have already noted, according to our assumption, the Turks from the suite of the Samarkand king are depicted. According to written sources, it is known that in the second half of the 6th c. on the northern borders of Central Asia, the Turkic tribes appeared, who greatly assisted the Sassanids in their struggle against the Ephtalites.
Having broken in the sixties the VI. under the Bukhara of the Ephtalites, the Turks occupy a number of regions of Central Asia, which led to the deterioration of their relations with the Sassanids. The latter invade the southern regions of Central Asia, where semi-independent Ephtalit rulers still remain and seize them. But in the 80’s, the entire right-bank Tokharistan to the north of the Amudarya was subordinated to the Turks. Between the Turks and the Ephtalites there is a peace treaty to fight the Sassanids.

Table. VI. The Western Wall. Detail 1.

At the end of the VI. The Turks, supporting the Samarkand ruler, are strengthening their positions in Central Asia. Thus, the Zapadoturk kagan Datou (Karakurin) (575-603) gives his daughter to his wife the Samarkand ruler. Its contacts with other areas of Middle Azin are being strengthened.
In 605, the Turks killed the ruler of Shi (Chacha), and the management of this property was given to the Turk of Dalet-Fuzhi.
In 618, one of the Western Türkic hagens Thun-Shekhu (618-630) seized vast areas in the West, including Central Asia, conferred on the local rulers “the title of Sylif, and sent Tutun (the title of governor, L.L.) to monitoring them and collecting taxes. To win the support of one of the powerful rulers of Central Asia – the ruler of Kan – Samarkand, Thun-Shehu gave him his daughter as his wife. This he strengthened the connection with the local ruler, who, according to the source, “succumbed to the Toukou”, ie, became a subject of the Turks. R Tohapistar r RN-v years VII c. there was a Turkic governor. In the 40’s of the VII century. the territory of Central Asia was a part of the possessions of the Turkic ruler Ibis Yshbara dzhabgu-khan (Ipi Shabalo Shekhu) (639-641), who, besides Kana (Samarkand), were subordinated to Kucha, Karashar, Toharistan, Shash, Kesh, Amul and others.
In the area between the interfluves of Chu and Pli, there was the nomadic capital of Ibis-Yshbara dzhabgu-khan, called the Southern Horde.
The internecine war of the Turks led to the strengthening of the power of the Turkic khan Yuku-ka (Dulu-khan), who sought to recreate the former power of the Turkic Khaganate; He was subject to a vast territory from the Il “to the Siberian taiga. In the 40’s of the VII century. he undertakes a campaign to Sogd. Subordinating Tokharistan, he “struck together” forces against Samarkand and Maymurg and defeated these rich cities. But the outbreak of hostility between the Yukuk Khan and the tribes of the Dulu resulted in an uprising with which he could not cope and Yukuk was forced to retire to the conquered Tokharistan, where he died in 653.
The militant Turkic tribes of the muzzle always played a large role in the distribution of the forces of the Turkic khans, their military success depended on the military success of one or another khan. After the collapse of the West-Turkic Khaganate in 604, the alliance of the Dulu tribes acquired great strength. They sought to limit the power of the khans and concentrate it in the hands of their beks, maintained close contact with another major Turkic tribal union of Nushibi and the rulers of the Sogdian oases.
As a single ruler, they recognized the grandson of Kara Churin, the ruler of Chach – Sheguykhan, who by the year 612 had subordinated all Sogdian possessions. Later Turkic tribes of the Dulu supported Yukuk-khan in his campaign against Tokharistan and Sogd, they participated in the seizure and destruction of such large cities of Sogd as they were in the middle of the 7th century. Samarkand and Maymurg. In such an unsettled situation, Sogdians lived in the middle of the 7th century. The incessant internecine war of the Turkic princes for possession of the Western Khaganate ended in the victory of Yshbar-khan, who defeated the troops of the Mervian ruler Mahuya Suri. Yshbara-khan is transferring his troops from the Amu Darya to the Ili Valley to repel invading United Imperial troops. In 655, he managed to contain their onslaught, but in 657 the Turks were defeated. Yshbarara-khan runs to the Chach tarshan, but he gives it out. The Zapadnoturk association finally ceases to exist.
Even during the battle of Yshbarakhan with the imperial troops, many Central Asian possessions have fallen away from him and become independent, including Kahn, Kushaniya, Maymurg, Shakhrisabz and many others. Apparently, during this troubled time many of the Turkic khans seized power in separate possessions. Thus, the king of one of the largest Toharistan possessions of Khuttalyan came from the Turkic tribe. At the same time in historical chronicles, written sources, on coins appears the name of Sogdian king Varhuman. The social and political history of Sogd on the eve of the Arab conquest is devoted to a large number of studies, but it is impossible to consider any of the problems finally resolved. The internecine wars of the Turks led to the disintegration of this union into a number of small independent principalities, led by many of them were the Turkic princes.
The participation of the Turks in the life of Sogd could not but affect the culture of the Sogdians. Without violating the established rhythm of city life, they actively join their customs and rites in the life of the Sogdians, while at the same time perceiving much of their life.

Table. VII. The Western Wall. Detail 4.

In the same narrative it is said about Kahn’s possession: “His lord braids his hair … His wife is the daughter of a Turk khan …, piles hair on her head and covers with a black veil.”
Consequently, not only the Turks, but also the rulers and peoples subordinate to them, even before the collapse of the Zapadnoturk kaganate, wore braids.
The custom of wearing long braids is also known from the Huns. During excavations “one of the graves found seventeen braids. Apparently, the cut mowings were a sign of mourning. The braids were enclosed in silken cases with triangular festoons sewn on them. ” They date from the boundary of a new era.
In connection with this same issue, let us consider some stone exhalations known in the literature as “balbals” .. They are widespread in the vast mountain space in Central Asia – in Mongolia, Tuva, the Southern Altai, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, ie, in the areas inhabited by the Turkic tribes. For many decades, scientists are studying them, trying to give a classification, to determine the dating. Many researchers call them ancient Türkic sculptures, but with respect to their semantic definition, there are two main points of view.
One group of scientists suggests that the statues depict the noble Turks and are placed over their graves. Supporters of another theory believe that balbalas depict the main enemies of the buried. We adhered to this theory too. But, analyzing the new data and, especially, taking into account the conclusions of JI. R. Kyzlasova, we consider stone sculptures depicting the buried, although in the struggle of western and eastern Turks on the Türk’s tomb could put a statue of the Turk defeated by him during the life of the Turk. But in this work we are interested in the fact itself – stone sculptures depict the Turk.
Comparing the images of the stone sculptures of the Turks-their clothes, consisting from a robe with right-hand and two-sided triangular lapels, with dial-up belts and daggers, vessels, pouches, etc. hanging from them, with images of the figures of the above-described group in the paintings of Afrasiab, we find very much in common. Long braids are found in many stone sculptures. All this suggests that both here and here the Turks are depicted.

All other europeoid figurines have the same attributes, but differ in individual details, some have clearly long hair, combed back, one has a water vessel (?)
All figurines are forced into shapes and the reverse side is smoothed, so that hair and other details are not visible. The researcher’s attention was drawn to a group of monuments that appeared in Central Asia since the time of the Turkic conquest, stone statues dating from the 6th-8th centuries. and giving materials about the costumes, decorations and realities of the Turks.
A comparison of all materials led the researcher to the conclusion that in terracotta statuettes of horsemen with Afrasiab one can see the local Sogdian version of “stone women” and that they may have been “images of the dead”, although these conclusions can hardly be accepted. Next, the researcher analyzes individual parts of clothing, belts, weapons, vessels, ornaments and concludes that the terracotta figures with maces are “images of the characters of the Turkic and Sogdian feudal nobility”, they contain “some categories of the ruling class of the Sogdian society of the V-VIII centuries . “Similar figurines found in Afrasiab and elsewhere are found in many museums, for example, in Samarkand: out of 28 published statuettes of riders, 10 are Caucasoid type, 18-Mongoloid, ie, more than 64%.
In this regard, it is interesting to point out a single Khoresmian terracotta statuette depicting the male head: a broad, almost round face, a low, slightly bobbing back forehead.
The corners of the eyes are slightly lowered, the mustache is thin, lowered down, the hair is combed on a straight part, and the braids descend to the shoulders. Under the neck triangular lapels of the dressing gown are well traced. The type of face is close to the group depicted in the murals of Afrasiab.
Among the peoples of Central Asia, the tradition to receive guests on floors carpeted in the center with carpets, and on the edges with special mattresses – kurpach, on which they sit and which lay under the arm for convenience, was preserved. In the paintings of the crochet and small sticks-canes are replaced by kurpachi.
Let us list some characteristic common features of the characters of stone statues, terracotta figurines and figures of the above-described group in the paintings.
Hair – on the head smoothly combed back and braided in braids (Table XI). In the paintings of 4-5 braids, in the statues 1-2. As on the statuettes, there are traces of hair combed back, thin mustaches descend. The beard is not traced.

Table. VIII. The Western Wall. Detail 2.

Dressing gowns – with right-hand or bilateral lapels and with the smell of the right floor on the left – clothes characteristic of the characters depicted in the paintings, and for some stone sculptures. All dressing gowns are one-color, the lapels and wide sleeves are made of expensive ornamented fabric. In some cases, dressing gowns without lapels.
Boots – soft, such as ichigov.
Earrings rings. Most of the characters have earrings in the form of a small round pendant. Similar earrings were found in Turkic burials of VII-VIII cc. in the Altai. Rings are often with a balloon at the top. Such a ring with a golden ball was discovered by us at the excavations of Karaultepe in the Surkhandarya region.
The hryvnia, apparently, is bent from a single metal rod, judging by the yellow color – golden, the ends are decorated with two circles connected by rectangular plaques.
Ornaments woven into braids, stones, apparently, lapis lazuli, round, drop-shaped, were attached with the help of special metal bundles – hangers.
The bracelets are round, gold from a single rod, the ends are bent, sometimes in the center is a small blue round stone, trimmed with the same metal.
Belts – in black leather dials, each link was decorated with a round metal plate, sometimes with a stone, attached to the belt with rivets. In the Türkic graves found typed belts with plaques, tips and pendants. Silk belts, apparently, were a symbol of nobility and a special position of the face.
Daggers – in a rectangular scabbard with a metal tip. In the upper part of the scabbard are two round or figured handles for fastening the sword belt. Similar sheaths are depicted in the paintings of Varakhshi (Table XII), Penjikent, Kyzyl, etc. The dagger has a crosshair, the straight handle ends with a round top, sometimes an image of a bird’s head. The handle of the dagger and the blade are at a slight angle (cranked). Similar daggers are characteristic both for the stone Turkic statues of the 6th-8th centuries, and for the murals and terracotta statuettes of Afrasiab.
Swords – straight, with a cross, a round top on the handle, a sheath with two loops, are widely distributed in Central Asia since the 1st century. BC. e. until the VIII century. n. e.
Shawls – made of heavy, one-color fabric, sometimes with an edge, attached to the middle of the laces by a metal clip. Suspend to the belt on the right side.
Sacks – attached to the belt on the right. The name is conditional, since they are made, judging by the pattern, of solid material and covered with ornamented cloth, have an upper closing valve and a strap with a buckle to prevent the bag from opening. According to the research of AD Grach, the pouches depicted in most of the stone statues on the right side of the belts are the Kantargi for carrying small things. Such captions are found in Altai and Mongul-Taiga. The material for them was felt, leather, silk (for hanging). During the excavations on Mount Mug, a piece of silk bag made of four pieces of silk was found. By our assumption, this is a purse-pocket pocket.
Knives. Most of the pieces on the right side have a narrow object suspended. We think that these are small sheath knives. During the excavation of the Türkic graves near the right arm near the belt sometimes lay iron petiolate knives in wooden scabbards, in some cases they were canisters for brushes.
Even a cursory comparison of the appearance, costume, accessories of one of the groups of people in the murals of Afrasiab with the Turkic stone statues, as well as some items from the Turkic burials and terracotta figurines testifies to the common material culture of the Turks and Sogdians in VI VI AND RR.
In the early, the residents of Soghd are told the following: “They have sunken eyes, a high nose, thick brows”, this is quite understandable, since the chronicle gives a description of the Sogdians of the VI century.
The change in the number of characters depicted in murals and terracotta statuettes of the monoloid type of characters in no way suggests that this applies to the entire population of Sogd. With the formation of the West Turkic Khaganate, the percentage of the Mongoloid population increased only among the ruling military feudal urban elite of Sogdian society. Therefore, in the paintings of the above-described group of characters, which are the retinue of the Samarkand king Varhuman, we see mainly Mongoloids – apparently, the Turk Sogdians, with long hair that is characteristic for them, braided in braids. For the same reason, the Coroplast painters depicted most of the warriors on horseback with Mongoloids, and the smaller part – with Caucasoid warriors.

Table. X. The Western Wall. Detail 1.

In all likelihood, the Turkic nobility who lived in Sughd had two names: the first – the Turkic and the second – the Sogdian, and the second could be given during some event, for example, the appropriation of the Sogdian title, marriage, etc. ., and, conversely, the Sogdian girl who married a Turk was given a second Turkic name. In the same marriage document it is said that the premise for the marriage ceremony was called “The Place of the Law”.
Chronicles, describing the customs of the state of Kan (Samarkand), mention the temple in which the Turkic code is stored and “in determining the punishment they take this code and decide the matter.” VA Livshits assumed that the said temple and the “Place of the statutes” are one and the same. It can be concluded that the legislation on which marital documents were concluded in the 8th century was Turkic. In Suy-shu it is said about Sughd that the marriage and funeral rites are the same with the Tukyus.
In the same plan, the document written on the skin, about the sale of half of the land plot, is of interest. It dates from the 15th year of the rule in Pendjikent of the Turkic ruler Chakyn Chur Bilga, which in turn is a very revealing fact for characterizing the role of the Turks in the life of the cities of Samarkand Sogd.

According to the Turkic, as well as the Sogdian funeral rite, the body of the deceased is placed in a tent. The son and relatives sacrifice livestock and lay it down in front of the tent, which is seven times ridden by horses. This is repeated seven times. Then, on a certain day, a horse is killed, on which the deceased traveled, and he, together with the things belonging to him, is burned.
Naturally, such a rite might not have liked the seller who sold the plot and it should be stipulated in the contract to avoid in the future “quarrels and scandals”, especially as OI Smirnova believes the plot on which the bill was drawn could be purchased for a family cemetery .
The rite of mourning is very well reflected in the Penjikent paintings. On the central part of the southern wall of the main hall of object II is a scene of mourning for the deceased. According to AM Belenitsky, the deceased is inside a permanent or temporary dome structure of an indeterminate type. In the spans of the arches there are depicted mourning figures of women (?) With loose hair, striking themselves on the head, “men with pronounced Turkic features.” Many on the body have traces of cuts, and two cut the lobes of their ears. To the right of the building is a pillar with a disk at the top.
AM Belenitsky associated this scene with the myth of Siyavush. This same point of view was also held by M. M. Dyakonov, believing that a catafalque was depicted “in the form of a wooden pavilion with arches and a red cloth dome stretched over a wooden frame.” We also believe that on the wall in the paintings there is a light wooden hearse.

Table. XI. The Western Wall. The head of the Turk.

A different point of view is held by GA Pugachekova, she sees in this structure “not a portable catafalque and not a frame-cloth tent, but a capital pavilion-like structure … a family male” sneaker “whose construction consists of” raw or burnt bricks “. One of the proofs of this point of view is the post to the right of the tent, treated as flanking. Therefore, with this interpretation in the paintings of Penjikent, a cult Zoroastrian rite is depicted. We believe that the flanking column refers not to the tent, but to the structure drawn in the background.
S. P. Tolstov, analyzing the painting on the central part of the southern wall, believes that here is depicted the funeral rite of the early medieval Sogd.
In our opinion, the picture in the paintings of Penjikent can be viewed as follows. On the light stretchers carry the body of a nobleman. The front stretcher is supported by two porters for twisted light handles, on the left one more shoulder is supported by the protruding end of the beam. Perhaps, on the right side, closed by other figures, there is a fourth porter supporting the second end of the beam.
If we assume that the procession is moving towards the viewer, then there are four more porters coming from behind. Consequently, an easy construction with the deceased and three mourners is carried by 8 people. In front of the stretcher, a man with a pitcher for libations is depicted, and before him a scene of mourning and sorrow, 7 people from the nearest environment of the deceased are injured. The procession is headed, perhaps, by royal princes or priests with nimbuses above their heads. One of them holds in his right hand a torch for breeding a fire, in which, according to the funeral rite, the deceased is burned with a tent.
Therefore, in this scene, the moment of the burial of a noble Turk was captured, perhaps the ruler of Penjikent Chakyn Chur Bilga, who ruled for 15 years before coming to power in 708 Devastich.
We examined the main Turko-Sogdian group of persons representing the suite of the Samarkand king Varhuman and depicted in the murals of Afrasiab, touching upon the question of the great role of the Turks in the life of Sogd in the 6th-7th centuries. We learn about who Warhuman is from the chronicles, where he is called “Fohuman”.
Based on the study of coins and chronicles OI Smirnova restored some of the names of members of the dynasty that ruled in Sogdia from the middle of the 7th century.
Of the thirteen Samarkand kings mentioned in Nasafi’s “History of Samarkand”, seven were identified by her. The first of these, Shipshire is the ruler of Kesha, a possession located in the valley of Kashkadarya, but considered part of Sogd. The next – the very first of the new dynasty of the rulers who ruled in Samarkand, was, apparently, Varhuman. After the establishment of a new administrative division in the middle of the VII century. he was approved by the ruler of Kangyu.

Table. XII. The Western Wall. Detail of murals. Sheath. Varakhsha.

In another work, OI Smirnova specifically stopped at the information about the “ruling houses of Central Asia”, that is, the question of the dynastic origin of the rulers of Sogd in the 6th-8th centuries, in particular the representatives of the Kansk clan, which was fortified in Samarkand. In the same chronicle it is said that Kahn is considered a strong state. He conquered most of the possessions in the Western region: Maymurg, the Tashkent oasis, Kabadian, Kushaniya, Bukhara, Nahheb, and others. G. Gafurov writes that it is not known when this confederation developed and what extent these dependencies depend on the central authority. This information, first cited in the “Beyshi” chronicle, describing the events from 386 to 618, is repeated in the following Su-shu chronicle. In the latter, events from 627 to 650 are mentioned.
The same information, but with slightly changed names, is also given in the Tang-shu chronicle (926-936), 22.
This residence, apparently, was located in Samarkand, in the area of ​​the hall that we were digging with paintings long before its construction. When this residence could be built, it is difficult to say, but, apparently, during the peak of the West-Turkic Khaganate this territory was already surrounded by a “third” fortress wall.
After the death of the Tun-Sheha, the situation changed, a struggle began between the Turkic aristocracy for power. There is a separation of individual possessions.
Little is known about the situation in Sogd in the 40s of the VII century. During this period Yukuk-khan (Ibi Dulu-khan) undertakes a campaign against Yshbara-khan (Ibi Shabalo Shekhu-khan), who owned the South Horde. He was subordinate to Kucha, Shan-Shan, Jiimo, Tucholo, Harashar, Kan, ie, many possessions that were believed to belong to Kanu. It can be assumed that the Türks already considered all these possessions as early as the heyday of the Western Turkic khanate, they patronized the Sogdian rulers, conducting active trade with them and collecting taxes from them.
The owners retained their relative independence. It was under such circumstances that a confederation of Sogdian states could form under the protectorate of the Turkic rulers. When the invasion of Central Asia into the territory of Yshbara-khan Yukuk-khan “struck at Kangyu and Dami (Sughd) by the combined forces; and when he broke them, he took all the prisoners and did not give them to his subordinates “, because of this, a fight began against the Dulu tribe who supported Yukuk in this operation. The uprising ended in the flight of Yukuk (Dulu) – Khan to Tokharistan.
About further events in Central Asia, we learn from the chronicles of Tang-shu. In the beginning, the information of the first two chronicles is repeated in it, and then it is said that in the middle of the 7th c. in Sughd, the possession of Kang “was renamed Kangyu governorship, the ruler of Fohuman was appointed by the ruler”.
It can be assumed that somewhere between 40-50 years after the flight of Yukuk (Dulu) -han from Sogd to Tokharistan, one of his associates, perhaps of the kind of dulu, seized power in Samarkand and declared himself to be the only ruler, but only Varhuman succeeded in legitimizing this position and appropriating the titles of the ruler of Samarkand and the king of Sogd. Who was Varhuman-Türk or Sogdian, it’s hard to say, we already know from the marriage document from Mount Mug that noble Turks could have a second Sogdian name, especially if he became ruler of the kingdom.
Currently, there are different points of view regarding the time of the reign of one or another ruler of Sogd. One of the main sources for determining the date of their rule are coins, dynastic chronicles, Arab sources. Recently, several new interesting studies on the history of Kahn and its ruling dynasties have been made, but we did not dwell on these works, as on many previous ones, since this is a special complex problem.
In this respect, the following fact is interesting: on many of Varkhuman’s coins, like Shishpyra, there is the MLK’s ideogram-the “king”, it can correspond to the Sogdian “ihshid”, although this has not been proved. In the inscriptions from Afrasiab Varhuman is also called MLK, and only the Arabic authors Yakubi (IX century) and Beruni (XI century) referring to Gurek (710-737) speak of the Sogdian king as ihshid Sogd, afshin of Samarkand. If we accept our assumption that Warhuman is the first ruler of Sogd, who, after the collapse of the West-Turkic Khaganate in the middle of the 7th century, seized power in the Samarkand possession, then he as the king of all Sogd, for the first time could receive the title of ihshid, but as the ruler of Samarkand, where his residence was, he had the title of afshin.

Table. XIV. The Western Wall. Detail 1. The head of a man.

All the approximate tsar, depicted in the murals of Afrasiab, take a direct part in the reception of guests who came from different countries to Varhuman and present their messages and gifts to him. One of the main embassies was Chaganian.
Ambassadors of Chaganian. In the southern part of the western wall in the foreground are depicted the ambassadors who arrived from Chaganian – three representatives, who bring their gifts to the Samarkand king.
Figure 4 – a man stands, turning three quarters to the left. On the head a hat (Table XIII), decorated with circles with pearls, in circles a pattern of a stylized head of a wild boar. Above the upper part of the ear of the wild boar and in the lower part of the muzzle ornament in the form of a truncated pyramid (see Table XV). The white face of the man frames his beard, he has short hair protruding from under the cap. The beard and mustache are painted in a dark gray color, almost black, and on top, starting from the lower lip, are drawn clear black hair lines that give the beard a shape and volume.
The figure of the eye is cut out, the nose with a small hump, the red circle above the upper lip, the right black eyebrow, the right ear, in which the ring-shaped earring with a small round stone remained. Behind the ear on the neck there are traces of Sogdian inscription. The man is dressed in a white caftan, ornamented with alternating rows of white and red festoons, in the middle of each of them fantastic animals. The lower part of the caftan on the right side has a cut, edged with a border, on which the images of the head of the argali are visible, on the neck there are two developing ribbons. The same picture on the cuffs. Narrow waist is tightened with a yellow belt with dial-shaped round and rectangular plaques. To the belt on the strap is a dagger in a sheath. On the right side is attached a square bag, closed by a strap and a metal buckle, it is sewn from a fabric with the image of a head of a wild boar.
From under the bag on the ribbon comes a blue handkerchief, tied at the top with a knot with a bow, next to a pen case or a knife of a knife. On the left side to the belt is attached a long sword in a yellow scabbard, the end of it is visible from the bottom of the caftan. Behind the back is a gray cloak descending downward with deep folds, the upper ends of it tied on the chest under the neck. On the legs are soft black boots. In his right hand, a man holds necklaces of round stones, in the lower part of it there is an ornament consisting of a rectangular plate to which is attached a gold mug on the sides, and a large drop-shaped blue stone is suspended to the lower part of the plate. In the left, almost not preserved hand was, apparently, a hryvnia.

Table. XIX. Southern wall. Detail I.


On the eleventh wall there is a group of smartly dressed people riding on a richly decorated elephant, horses and camels to build a yellow color – the pavilion, schematically depicted on the left side of it, which is not completely preserved – the upper part of the picture is destroyed (Figure 8, Table XIX). The pavilion consists of a base in the form of a truncated cone, divided into three horizontal parts. On this basis the projecting rectangular cornice. The lack of perspective did not allow the artist to correctly reproduce the upper platform of this structure. The protruding lateral cornices, which go into the distance, turned out in the form of two vertical yellow “pillars”, between them the surface of the platform is black. There are four figures of standing men on this hill, from which only the lower parts of their robes have been preserved.
Hanging thick eyebrows are also strongly touched by gray hair (Table XXIV). On the swarthy face, deep-set blue eyes are clearly visible (this is the only figure with one eye well preserved). Hair on the head is tightened with a white ribbon. In the left ear is an earring, on the neck is a gold hryvnia with a white oval stone. With two fingers of his right hand he points forward, towards the construction. In the left hand is a mace, crowned with a stylized head of a crocodile, with a wide open mouth and protruding tongue. On both hands are gold bracelets.
He is dressed in a smooth red caftan with a large semicircular neckline, in which the ornamented cloth of the undershirt is visible. The high cuffs are decorated with a picture of the wall of the wall, we saw patched horses for the sword sword. In front of the belt attached to the right side of the belt is attached a dagger. A sword in a golden scabbard and only assumed that the scabbard is on the left side. The handle of the sword with the cross is encrusted with precious stones. If on the figures of the same embassy, ​​depicted on the west shawls on the sword belt, then on this figure we see that the sword belt is put in a special metallic (blue) loop in the upper part of the scabbard so that the sheath is tied to the thigh. Behind him a yellow cape flutters in the wind, shadows and penumbra in the folds give it lightness and volume.
The different skin color of some figures of the Chaganian embassy – reddish-brown and white – has caused a number of assumptions. VA Livshits proposed to compare them with Ephthalites-chionites, which are medium Persian and Indian sources are divided into “red chions” and “white chions”.
Many of the characters of these embassies have a different face color. One could assume that older men were portrayed as dark-faced, but this is also refuted by the figures of children on the eastern wall, whose bodies are also red-brown and white, so this question remains open.
The hair is smooth, combed back, reaches the shoulders, stretched with ribbons, so as not to crumble, in one case braided into one small pigtail. The hair of a beard, mustache, eyebrows dense, black and gray, only in one case red. In two cases, the hair on the head falls on the forehead and is laid out in a semicircle. In women, hair is dropped by locks at the temples and behind the back, in one case they are fixed with hairpins.
Round earrings. A small round stone is attached to the ringlet in his ear.
Hrivnas are gold from a thick round rod, its ends are bent to the back of the head, and in front are attached ornaments in the form of round stones, included in a gold frame, between them a square gold plaque to which a gold-shaded drop-shaped white or blue stone hangs on a golden shamrock.
Hairpins only for women – a round long rod with a ball-shaped pommel.
Rings are not available for all characters.
Men’s clothing. Smooth, one-color and ornamented dressing gowns with wide sleeves and high narrow ornamented cuffs. Below and along the sides of the incisions they are trimmed with a border of ornamented fabric. On the chest under the neck is a wide semicircular cutout. It flaps from right to left.

Table. XLIII. East Wall. Detail 1.

The female costume consists of a long, up to the floor of a wide dress, on top of which is put on an upper, shorter clothing such as a shirt. In the chronicle of Beyshi the female costume of the inhabitants of Bosa (Persia) is described, and it should be borne in mind that in the VI-VII centuries. Sassanid Iran, while maintaining close contacts with its northern neighbors, undoubtedly influenced their culture. “Women wear long shirts and big epanchs unbuttoned” (that is, a wide cloak or short overcoat). Similar clothes are depicted in the women who were part of the embassy. The ribbon passing through the right shoulder, in this case, can be a wide border of the starboard side of the epanchi.
This type of female costume is represented not only by the horsemen, but also by the maid sitting on the elephant behind the canopy. Archaeological finds do not contradict the mural. Thus, on one of the terracotta tiles of the 6th-7th centuries, found on Afrasiab, a lying man is depicted, and next to him on the rug is a seated woman on bent legs.
She has the same long dress, gathered underneath in numerous folds.
Cloak-cape in men is thrown under the neck over the shoulders back, tied on the back with a bow. Two long ends descend along the back below the knees (see Figure 5, the western wall). Waving strips in figures 9 and 14 of the southern wall (and others) protect travelers from dust, heat and rain. In Persia, at the same time, men were dressed over their clothes with “shawls of white and dark color, embossing them with a curtain.
Belts. Leather with metal type plaques (of various shapes), in most cases gold and silver. To the belt, straps, kerchiefs, bags, pencil cases and cases were attached to the belt by straps.
Sword – straight with a cross at the handle, hanging in the scabbard from the left side of the trunk. In the upper part of the scabbard is a metal loop through which the belt belts pass. At the end of the sheath, a horseshoe pommel.
Daggers with a cross are worn in front. Sheath gold or gilded, tapering towards the middle and widening at the edges. In the upper part there are attached half-rings for fastening with belts that come down from the belt (figure 8, western wall). The handles of the dagger are straight, sometimes ending with the image of the head of a bird of prey. Similar forms of sheath and their fastening to the belt are known in the paintings of Penjikent, Varakhshi (see Table XII), Balalyktepa, “cave artists” in Kyzyl, etc., as well as on the figures of stone sculptures.
Maces or clubs are depicted in the hands of men riding camels, they end in the head of an animal resembling a crocodile. Maces mean not only a symbol of power, but also a combat weapon, it is often found in paintings, on silver vessels, terracotta statuettes. The maces are described in medieval Persian-Tajik literature. So, in the epic “Shah-name” repeatedly mentioned mace Faridun, crowned by a bullish head.
The bows are depicted in mantles. Fastened on the belt with a small strap (figure 5), attached to a metal loop in the middle of the cover of the bow. Judging by the shape of the cover, the bow is M-shaped, curved. The image of such bows is noted in the paintings of Penjikent, Varakhshi, etc. During the excavation of the Türkic graves, complex bows with overlays were found. Similar bows of the “Turkic” type come from the Huns.
On the field of the dressing-gown of figure 27 of the western wall there is inscribed an inscription (Figure 15), which allowed to accurately identify a number of characters in the murals and was the key to understanding the content of whole scenes and the character of the building. Later, he twice returned to the text of this inscription, refining the details of its interpretation and comparing it with the data of other significantly smaller Sogdian inscriptions on images of people and birds in paintings on the southern and western walls, as well as numismatic data and information contained in Chinese chronicles.
The final publication of Sogdian texts and commentary translations of all inscriptions found on the walls of the hall was prepared by VA Livshits, but has not yet been published. We had the opportunity to get acquainted with the manuscript of this work and received permission to publish the translation of the 16-line inscription below. This translation has a number of refinements in comparison with the first version published in 1965. The most important of these clarifications is related to the interpretation of the word that twice appears in the text of the large inscription, as well as attested in the Sogdian inscription on the image of one of the birds (the third, see above) on the southern wall.
In all cases of the use of this word in inscriptions, as established by Livshits, it serves as a definition for the combination of “King Avarhuman” – In the first publication of the translation of the inscription text by VA Livshits, based on reading wn y- (instead of ‘wnb- the letters § and y in the Sogdian italic can coincide in their outlines), suggested to understand the combination of pgw wm’n’wn from w MLK ‘as’ Hun (?) king Avarhuman’ and see in this character the king of Toharistan, in relation to whom the ruler of Chaga- Nian, who sent an ambassador to the Samarkand king, was a vassal. In two lines of the Bactrian letter, VA Livshits quite reasonably saw a sample of the official writing of Chaganian-this writing is indirectly mentioned in the text of the Sogdian inscription, its existence in the 7th – early 8th centuries. on the territory of Chaganian is confirmed by finds of monuments of this writing in the neighboring region of Chaganian Termez (in the VII century Termez and Chaganian, as noted, were independent possessions), as well as messages of Chinese travelers.

Table. XX. Southern wall. Detail 2. Elephant.

Already at the end of 1965, VA Livshits noted that, despite the vagueness of the meaning of the word, it seems at least possible to see in the “king Avarhuman” the ruler of Samarkand, known for coins, in which his variant name is Varhuman (pry wm’n ), as well as the Chinese chronicles, and who, according to the reports of the latter, ruled in the second half of the 7th century. With this interpretation, in the inscription, instead of the four persons previously assumed – the nameless king of Samarkand, the Chaganian ambassador – the dapirpata (letters, the “head of the scribes”) of Pukarszate, the Chaganian sovereign of Turantash and the “Hun” king Avarhuman, one should see only the first three, the king of Samarkand wears the well-known (according to coins and chronicles) name of Warhuman, which appears in the inscription in a variant form common to the Sogdian orthography with the initial aleph.
OI Smirnova, noting the presence on some copies of Warhuman’s coins of exactly the same form of his name as in the inscription, strongly supported the identification of “King Avarhuman” inscriptions with the Samarkand king Varhuman.
Finally, in 1972, Livshits succeeded in ascertaining the meaning of the word ‘wns in an inscription so important for understanding its contents and the titles of the persons mentioned in it. He showed that in wns- (wns w is a form of accusative case) the generic name of the kings of Sogd VI-VII c. Its significance was not understood until now by the synologists who tried to see in this word the title (with the meaning of “king of the Huns” or “king of nine families”), although the Chinese chronicles refer to the “family name”.
VA Livshits also showed that wns- (this spelling reflects, obviously, the sound of Unash) is represented in the Sogdian legend on the coins of the Samarqand king Mastich, who was probably the direct successor of Warhuman: m’ste ‘wns MLK’ “king Mastic (from the clan) Unash “(so read instead of the proposed reading OI Smirnova.
Thus, at present it can be considered established that a large Sogdian inscription contains the speech of the Chaganian ambassador addressed to the Samarkand king Varhuman who bore the Sogdian name, originating from the Unash dynasty (dynasty) and ruling in the second half of the 7th century. n. e. We have the right to assume that the other persons mentioned in the inscription are historical figures.
It should be borne in mind that in the sources of data on the rulers of Chaganian of the second half of the 7th c. almost not preserved, so that we can not establish the exact date of the reign of the sovereign of Turantas. His name we first learn from the inscription. It does not, however, raise doubts that he was a contemporary of Warhuman and that he did send an embassy to the Samarkand king. In the first publication of the translation of the inscription, VA Livshits believed that the inscription, like the murals, did not necessarily reflect genuine historical events and could be inspired by the semi-legendary, folklore character of legends about the recent past of Samarkand. However, later he told us, given the very precise designation in the inscription of the family name of the title of the Samarkand king Warhuman, as well as the very authentic reproduction of the sample of the Bactrian letter Chaganian and a number of details appearing in the inscription.
The above inscription is above the three ambassadors, from which it can be concluded that the inscription explains exactly this figure. Apparently, over each group of ambassadors there were corresponding explanatory inscriptions made simultaneously with the drawings.
The first researcher of the painting of Afrasiab VA Shishkin believed that the scene of the southern wall is thematically not connected with the western one: it depicts a honeymoon trip – the bride rides on the elephant, and on the horse-groom. VA Livshits believed that the murals on the western and southern walls are connected in a plot, and, as noted, initially doubted that the murals reflected genuine historical events.
BG Gafurov writes that the inscription undoubtedly contains an echo of real events. Odako these assumptions are made even before the opening of all the paintings. Kolchuga we see in the pictures of painting Penjikent, Varakhsha and Kyzyl, which were found on fragments of plaster paintings in the hall we are studying. When excavating room 5, an iron mail was found. The Chinese began to wear chainmail only in the first half of the VIII century, borrowing them from the Sogdians of Samarkand.

Then other gifts are transferred – the Yuezhi dwarf and the Turkistan dancers.
Dancers from Central Asia – girls and boys – made a great impression with their “flexible” and energetic dances. One of the popular energetic dances was the “western jumping dance”, usually it was performed by boys from Tashkent. They were dressed in shirts with narrow sleeves and high pointed caps with shiny stripes. Such caps were in the characters in Dalverzin’s sculpture. Central Asian “Chach” dance was performed by two young girls dressed in gas-colored translucent caftans with multi-colored embroidery and wide trousers.
The waist was intercepted by a silver long waist with fluttering ends. On his head there was a pointed cap with bells, and on his feet were brocade boots. Girls appeared before the audience to the sound of drums, at the end of the dance they threw off their blouses, exposing their shoulders. This spectacle evoked the enthusiasm of a satiated rich aristocracy. Figures of such dancers we see in the sculpture of the tree Afrasiab (room 5) and numerous works of toreutics.
As a valuable gift, the Samarkand king is also given a horse. Bactrian horses were legendary.
Bactria was famous for its golden-red-colored horses, which were especially appreciated in the ancient East. Horses of this color were sung in hymns and associated with the cult of the sun god. In the picture of the south wall the head of the Chaganian embassy is depicted sitting on such a golden horse.
The Tocharistan horses depicted in the paintings are slender, beautifully planted with a small head, thin straight legs, unlike most Sasanian images of horses, which are heavier, the tail is not tied with a knot, but in the middle is pulled by a ribbon. Horse harness is decorated with round badges with pendants and buckles, as well as brushes that head down from under the neck and from the scrawny to the croup. A double glue runs under the tail, and from the breastplate down one more gleam, passing between the front legs to the girth. The legs of the horse of the head of the embassy and the horse, brought as a gift, are decorated with ribbons. All these people and horses are decorated with precious stones, according to Beruni’s testimony: “Sogdians feed a fantastic faith in products [from precious stones] and [in colors obtained when] polishing them.”
To imagine the real value of things, we will point out that the cost of one yakhont (and under the jaunt in Sughd, stones of various colors – red, yellow, saffron-yellow, etc.) were called 80 drachmas, while the cow cost 11 drachmas, and the horse 200 drachmas. According to Beruni’s testimony, in Herat (11th century) the price of a polished loaf of the highest quality weighing 1 mizcal was equal to 5000 dinars. So it’s not difficult to imagine the high cost of gifts that the Chaganian ambassadors are carrying.

Figure 7 is almost not preserved, only the lower edge of the white caftan of the man standing with his back to the spectators is visible. Behind the byte fold, on the right side a triangular cut fastened in the upper corner by a metallic diamond-shaped rivet. The assumption that he belongs to this embassy is very conditional.
Figure 8 – the head of this embassy, ​​is depicted standing back to the audience. The head is slightly raised up to the ruler, which was pictured above in front of him, the face is not visible. The hair is collected upstairs and hidden under a black hat that does not cover the ears, two ribbons come down from the back of it to the back of the head. Neck and ears are pink. The robe is pulled by a black belt, decorated with white rectangular plaques, they are fastened to the belt with five rivets.
On the left side of the belt is a black sword sheath. The man holds three rolls of cloth of different colors in front of him: two white and one in the middle red. On the back at the waist are traces of Sogdian inscription.
Figure 9 is a member of the embassy, ​​also pictured from the back, but in a small spread. Head in a black cap, turned to the left – in profile, face white, a small nose slightly upturned. Eyes are oblique incision. Above the upper lip are thin antennae with lowered ends. On the face of the traces, Sogdian inscription. Abundant folds on the back of the dressing gown, sleeves and at the waist. The belt is black, there is no sword. At the bottom of the robe is a large byte fold. The foot of the left leg is turned to the left, and the right leg is visible from the heel. The man holds in his hands three rolls of cloth – two red and white in between.
Figure 10 follows figure 9, shown almost in profile. The face is light brown in color, the details of the picture are not preserved. On the head is a black cap with two ribbons. The contours of the figure’s figure are very well conveyed, the volume transfer is felt. Numerous light folds of the left sleeve, falling to the elbow, outline the hand. In the hands of a twisted silk yarn. On the left side to the belt is a sword in the sheath, in the upper part of the scabbard are visible round arches for fastening the sword belt.
On this wall the composition of the picture is divided into two parts: the eastern and the western. On the east side there is a scene of the battle of horsemen with predators attacking them. The battle is headed by a rider, drawn in full size; the remaining figures are half as large. The background is blue. In the western part of the wall water is depicted, along it float two red boats with people. These two parts – the eastern and the western – are separated from each other by a black strip with a poorly preserved red ornamental pattern, which obviously stands for the shore line, but both scenes are united by a single plot and represent a single whole. As on other walls, the picture was not completely preserved: the upper part of the wall is destroyed, in other parts there are many damages.
Since the plot line of the picture begins, as we believe, on the eastern side, then the description of the figures will begin with it.

Central Asian rulers, hitting the political life of the Kaganate, sought to use their advantageous position even more than in previous centuries, and rushed east and west along the great trade route from China to Byzantium. Unlimited wealth passed through Sogd and its capital Samarkand.
The main items of bargaining were silk fabrics, yarn, manufactured in China. One of the main caravan routes lay from China through East Turkestan, Kashgar, Fergana, Samarkand, Iran. The second way passed, bypassing Iran, from Samarkand through the western steppe expanses to Byzantium, but it was longer and more dangerous. Naturally, Sogdian merchants sought to establish friendly relations with all states on this great trade route, and first of all, with the West-Turkic khans, who provided security for the numerous caravans of Sogdian merchants. The main intermediate trade center between China and Sogd was the principality of Kucha, located in East Turkestan. This possession in 590 was conquered by the Turks and as a sign of obedience Turkic customs were introduced here, since the mother of the ruler Bo-i, who came to the throne, was the daughter of the Turk khan.
The main source of income of Gaochang, as well as Sogd, was a large caravan route, it was here that a large number of goods were concentrated before they were sent to Samarkand. Naturally, they sought to establish friendly relations with both the Sogdians and their patrons of the Turks, and with China, where they received the goods.
Expressive images of riders and horses. Some horses with a short-cropped mane and knotted tail are depicted jumping in a galloping canter. Riders, having inserted their feet in a semi-circular stirrup, rush to predators. In the paintings, the rider’s pose is well reproduced at the time of the attack on the beast: one of them pierces him with a spear, his left hand holds the spear from below, the right squeezes the upper part of the spear to strike a strong blow, the legs in soft boots are extended forward and abut against the stirrup. This rider softened his own inertia when struck with a spear.
It is characteristic that the horse is not controlled – both arms of the rider are occupied with weapons, this is evidence that the horse is well trained. One of the characters on the right side of the belt has a round object (a shield or a vessel with water), a handkerchief is attached near the belt. A shaft is attached to the saddle on the left-hand side – the ends are visible, a red cloth is wrapped around it.
We believe that this is either a marching tent or a spare spear. In this regard, it can be recalled that among the gifts Zhouzhan khan Anahuyuan was listed and two spears, “entwined with silk and silver wire.”
While some of the armed soldiers from the embassy on the river bank hit predators with spears and arrows, women and the bulk of the embassy have time to board boats. These two scenes are separated by an inclined black stripe, on which you can see traces of red ornament. We interpret it as an image of the shore line with flowers growing on it. In the center of the boat, probably, is a princess, intended for the wife of the Samarkand king. She is accompanied by close ladies and musicians. The ferry is not in danger – a black bird safely flies to its chicks with a snake, a snake catches frogs, fish, ducks swim. Floating has nothing to fear, and because they are guarded and accompanied by a fantastic beast – a patron who combines the concept of the three elements: the earth – the head and the front legs of the goat, the air – large wings and water – the body of the snake.
This is a kind of patron – the farn of the Samarkand king, accompanying guests who are sailing to Samarkand with good intentions. Such patrons – fantastic creatures are known among different peoples of the East, in particular, in Sassanid Iran and some other Iranian-speaking peoples. So, senmurv combines the image of a bird (wings and tail) and dogs (head and paws), and sometimes fish (scales) and goat (beard). This image we see in the ornamentation of the costumes of the Chaganian embassy (Table LVI). Senmurv is the personification of living nature in the form of a being still in the human consciousness. Such winged patrons were not only among the Iranian-speaking peoples, but also among the Scythians, Armenians, Georgians, Slavs, and others.
In the paintings of Afrasiab, the image is not of a dog, but of a ram or goat, which has a certain meaning in it. In describing Rustam’s fifth feat in the Shah-name, it is said of the capture of Turan ruler Awlad and Rustam’s campaign against the White Diva in order to save Kay Kobus. But along the road there is a two-and-a-half-foot-high barrier, it is guarded by Bozgush and Nermpai – the goat-eared and soft-skinned monsters. In one of the paintings of Penjikent, the figure of the king also depicts a flying zoomorphic goat creature, the upper part of the head and part of the body are not preserved, but judging by the preserved part of the trunk and the forelegs, it is very similar to the Afrasiab image. A similar creature is also noted in the sculpture of Penjikent.
BA Litvinsky traced the genesis of religious beliefs on Kangyu-Sarmatian ceramics. In the religious representations of the peoples of Central Asia in
I thous. e. the image of a ram can be viewed in connection with “the tsar’s cult.” In Central Asia, it “appeared several centuries earlier than this image began to be developed by Sasanian art.” In this regard, I would like to recall that in Avesta farn has another meaning of a being connected with running water and hiding in its depths.

In the paintings on the north wall, the picture of a red boat is well preserved, the nose of which is crowned by the head of a griffin. Boats with similar rostra are known for numerous medieval miniatures. No less interesting are women’s suits – long-sleeved dressing gowns, put on top of a dress, with a high coquette and a transverse border, from under which a counter insert with multicolored stripes falls on the chest. Noteworthy are the hairstyles – the hair is collected upward in one bundle and, apparently, braided in a braid, tied on the crown with a ribbon or a metal clip, and the end of it is fixed at the back of the neck, so that the shape of the ring was obtained.
In those cases where the spit is very long, two rings were made (in the form of a figure eight). On both sides of the head are gold diamond-shaped ornaments that end in fan-like feathers. To hair do not disintegrate, they were strengthened with stilettos, which is typical for female headdresses of the 7th-8th century Chinese women. This can be well traced in the painting of Dunhuang.
Before the boat, in which women sit, the artist painted the water element. Between the flowers of the lotus are sporting fish. There are a lot of symbols in the whole composition. Special attention in this respect deserves the poses of three characters located in the bow of the boat. It has already been noted that the woman shown closest to the lady, with her right hand, supports the right hand of the woman sitting next to her, who in turn put her left hand on her shoulder first.
This is, of course, not an accidental position of the hands, but a certain sign language, well known during the early Middle Ages, we see it also in the painting of Balalyktep, where two men are depicted on the southern wall (figures 10, 11), one of them with the right hand supports the left hand of the second. In the background, a woman sits behind them. As you can see, the arrangement of hands is similar, only in the first case it is women, and in the second – men. This gesture in the interpretation of LI Rempel in the scene from Balalyktep is explained as a purely domestic one – the drunken men are going to engage in a fight, the heavy hand of one of them lay on the shoulders of the other, but the “insinuating movement of the lady sitting between them is probably enough to calm young people “- Is this true? To answer the question, let us turn to the data of ethnography.
Thus, after the collusion between the matchmakers of the bride and groom, the Dungan symbol of the arrangement was a ritual handshake (Duan Shu). “The Swat and the bride’s father put their left hand on the right hand of the other and shook the hands folded three times as a sign of loyalty to their word.”
A similar gesture we see in the paintings of Afrasiab and Balalyktep.
In the early medieval painting of Central Asia, the image of characters of the Far Eastern appearance was met in the drawings of Penjikent on site 42 (excavations in 1958).
Here on one of the fragments from the reverse side of the top layer of the picture there are imprints of contour images of a man and a woman. Researchers noticed that they have a special ethnic type that does not occur in other paintings of Penjikent. “The narrowed incision of the eyes, the broadened face, the rare of the bearded hair, say that the artist portrayed an alien, a representative of some Far Eastern tribe.” And most importantly, in terms of clothes and posture, this image reminds the character of the embassy in the murals of Afrasiab on the western wall, in particular, the figure holding a rectangular object in hands, NV Dyakonova believes that this is a folded fan.
Arrived in the palace of the Samarkand king together with other ambassadors, they present their gifts to the tsar. Two of them are presented with silk fabric rolls, one is yarn and the last is a bunch of fruits.

Let us now take a closer look at the scene in the northern part of this same wall. Here next to the figures drawn
11 poles slightly diverging upward (Figure 22, Table XLI). The lower part of them is not visible – the trellis, apparently, stuck into the ground. So that they do not disintegrate, there is a pole at the top and each vertical shaft is tied to it with a cross by a rope. The upper part is not preserved, it can be seen only that two red ribbons descend from above, obviously attached to the central shaft.
At the bottom of this composition are five large circles. All of them are partially preserved, as the plaster and the pattern on it are damaged. In the top row are three such circles. On the first, with a yellow rim, a fantastic face with converging to the nose branched brow ridges is depicted. Under the left eyebrow there was an eye with a large round pupil. To the right of the second circle with a similar face, the pupil is bright red, the left side of the face is covered with a brown object, possibly with a cloth.
The same fabric is shown to the right of the first person and below it. To the right of the second circle is the third one, traces of the ornament, which adorned the face, were preserved. In the lower part of this composition, on the left side, there is another circle with a relatively good image. The face is white, one round eye, which has escaped, is a blue, wide, three-parted nose, a dilated open mouth with fangs protruding from under the upper lip, a forked chin. Next to it is a yellow fabric with a border. To the right is the fifth circle with a yellow rim. Common background is gray. White curly eyebrows, white “round eyes, large pupils with round gray lenses.” On the upper part of the circle there is a rim in the form of curls of vegetable ornamentation, apparently treating the hair.

On the right side of Warhuman on the western wall is preserved the drawing of the lower parts of 9 more poles. When this fragment was discovered, it was suggested that the cloth that descended from the throne is depicted. Now we can say with more confidence that these are Bunchuk stems.
The lower parts of the bunchuk, as noted above, cover five round objects. Judging by the relationship with the figures of people, their diameter is more than 0.5 m. At their edge is a yellow bezel, and in the center is depicted an intimidating humanoid being. We believe that these are shields. Similar shapes of shields we found in the blockages near the southern wall are probably fragments of drawings of the riders accompanying the Chaganian embassy and depicted in the upper part of the southern wall. The horses’ feet were preserved at the top of the figure. On one of the found fragments of plaster with murals are depicted parts of two shields-blue and white (Table XL). In the center of the shield there is a circle and yellow rays diverging from it in the form of long petals. On a white shield between each petal is a round point. The figures of the soldiers were very close to each other, since the horses on which they sit go very tightly. On the first fragment from the obstruction from the rider holding the shield, only a part of the left shoulder in black clothes was preserved. On another fragment, found right there, is depicted a part of the left hand (holding the shaft of some weapon), in black clothes covered with C-shaped white strokes, designating the scales of chain mail. In the same chain armor is dressed and a warrior with a blue shield, but there the pattern of links of chain mail is not preserved. The second warrior in his left hand has a white shield, in the right, forward, a shaft of spears.
In the painting of Penjikent there are also similar shields, but with slightly different patterns.
Speaking about the shields, it is impossible not to mention the only true shield discovered in 1933 during the excavations of the castle on Mount Mug. The shield is wooden, covered with parchment. On the outside, a rider is depicted. Drawings of shields we see on the products of toreutics. So, on a silver dish found near the villages. Kulagysh b. Perm province, depicts a scene of a duel between two foot soldiers. Among the various weapons there is an image of shields.
When archaeological excavations very often there are round ceramic naleps with a diameter of 10-15 cm on their front side are depicted frightening faces, very reminiscent of the faces on the shields in the murals of Afrasiab. Such, for example, are the absurdities found in the layers of the 6th-7th centuries. on Fayaztepa (Figure 23), Khayrabadtepa (Figure 24) (Termez district of the Surkhandarya region). In connection with these images, you can point to a very distant parallel. In the VII century. BC.
In Greece, a remarkable ceramic vessel was made, known in the literature as the “Protocols from the Kiji collection.” It depicts warriors with shields, and on one of the shields depicts the head of the Gorgon, very similar to the heads of the shields in Afrasnab’s painting: the same curls of hair, a smiling mouth with protruding fangs. In these obvious analogies one can see artistic traditions, once borrowed by Central Asian artists in Hellenistic art, preserved here until the VII-VIII centuries, and possibly later.
If on the shields the image of the Gorgon, and later Medusa, was to frighten and help destroy the enemy, then the frightening image on the ceramic nudges is no longer a feminine but a masculine creature, could be a talisman – an amulet from penetrating into the contents of the vessel all that could damage it owner. This is a kind of farn, which protects the host of the vessel from various diseases (Figure 24).
In addition to the circles in this same part of the scene of the western wall, three maces are depicted: two with oblong tops and one with a round one, and the latter also shows an awesome head. In the paintings of Penjikent, in the hands of one of the soldiers, a mace with a pommel in the form of two human faces.
This wall has survived much worse than the others, it is divided by a doorway into two equal parts – southern and northern. Its highest northern part is about 1.5 m, and the lowest southern part is about 1.2 m. On the southern side of the ornamental half-meter border there is a scene depicting the water element (Figure 25). The water landscape is very peculiarly conveyed: the waves are depicted in the form of blue spiral curls on a light blue background. On them – an image of figures of people, swimming animals, birds, fish, turtles (see Table XLIII).

This part of the wall is separated from the northern doorway with a width of 1.2 m. The overall tone of the wall is blue, there is no pattern of spirals (Fig. 27, Table XLVI).
Due to the poor preservation of the eastern wall, the interpretation of the paintings presents great difficulties.
We have already noted that on the southern part of the wall a little more to the right and above the woman with the child the contour of the hind legs and tail of the animal has been preserved. Apparently, it attacks the person in front of him. To the right was the second figure in a long red robe with bare feet.
When we analyzed the debris of the earth and plaster near the western wall, we found four fragments, on which several interesting details of the paintings remained. On one of them is the foot of the blue elephant going to the right. Against the backdrop of the leg is a predator’s paw with yellow wool, the red hall depicts the struggle of horsemen on elephants with fantastic predatory animals attacking them.
On the fourth fragment (Table L) is depicted the right hand of white color, in it the shaft of the battle ax, at hand the white field, contoured in red, his left hand with some weapon directed towards the attacking animal. To the right above the head of the man is a small fragment of the figure, on which the part of the lower jaw of the animal is visible. The second man is pictured behind the back of the first. His face was not preserved, only a large ear with a stretched lobe and hair coming down from his head can be seen. The left arm is lifted up, the sleeve of the light fabric is lowered to the shoulder. Unlike other characters, the skin color of this figure is dark, almost purple.
The following fragment (Table XLIX), found nearby, still contains one more part of the figure, apparently from the same composition. Here is a torso of a man in a red robe, the waist is drawn by a white belt. From under the sleeve is visible part of the right hand, also purple, on the wrist of a white bracelet, studded with precious stones (white circles). Thin black lines transmit not only the volume, but also the abundance, perhaps the back or head of a white elephant. This hand may well belong to the first man.

As a result of archaeological works that have developed over the past decades in Central Asia, science has enriched a number of monuments of murals. Not all of them are equal in content, safety and, of course, in their artistic merits.
The history of painting in Central Asia can begin with the Mesolithic Age, remember the remarkable monument in the mountains of Baysun (Surkhandarya region) – Zaraut-sae. One of its grottoes is decorated with colorful drawings of hunting scenes of an ancient man. Representation of them gives the drawings of the artist A. Yu. Raginskaya, sketched the paintings during the expedition. By the Bronze Age and the first half of the first millennium BC. e. include numerous drawings on ceramic vessels. The study of their connections with the monuments of wall painting and the tradition of painting in the folk art of Central Asia, which is still present, is a topic of special research.
Considerable interest for our problem is represented by the southern complex of ancient settlement of Staraya Nisa (Turkmenia), first of all the central square hall erected in III-II centuries. BC. e. And rebuilt in the I-II centuries. n. e. The walls of this room are plastered with ganch and partially painted in bright red. The decoration of the walls uses a red meander pattern on a white background, palm marks, circles on a red background and gilding. In the same room, the remains of clay statues, painted in white and red, were found.
The murals discovered by SP Tolstov in 1945-1946 are well known. in the palace of Toprakkala in ancient Khorezm. Painting, which SP Tolstov dated the III century. , has remained very fragmentary, but despite this it is of exceptional interest. Both ornamental and ornamental paintings and fragments of multi-figure scenes, including the collection of fruits and the famous figure of the harpist (Figure 28), whose face is given in big eyes, are shown as a soft smile that convey the mood and character of the character.
Remarkable monuments of art of monumental wall painting fall on the period of the Kushan kingdom (I-III centuries AD). The development of monumental art was influenced by the traditions of the peoples that were part of the vast Kushan Empire, primarily Bactria and India, as well as the art of the countries with which this power maintained close political and trade contacts, primarily the Parthian Rome. This is indicated by terracotta figurines, coins, ceramic vessels (Figure 29), as well as other works of art made in Central Asia, which clearly bear traces of Roman influence.
Here, the monuments of wall painting are open on the three walls of the aivan and on the eastern wall of the central entrance. Only fragments have reached us, but they also allow us to judge the artist’s high skill in Khalchayan. The drawing was applied on a white base or directly on the plaster. Of particular interest are two fragments, which partially preserved the images of individuals, made with thin red lines. The faces are painted pink with shades giving a certain bulk. One of the faces is drawn in a three-quarter turn – it’s a young man with black hair and big eyes coming down slightly on his forehead (Figure 30). In the depiction of persons, the influence of the Greco-Bactrian tradition is distinctly felt. G. A. Pugachenkova, who researched the monuments of Khalchayan, compares these images with the iconography of coins I in BC. e. and believes that we have an image of Bactrians.
Another group of people in Khalchayan’s murals of Mongoloid type-on one of the fragments depicts a profile of a young man with a shaved head, the hair is left in the form of small locks on his forehead,
Other monuments are known in the Surkhandarya region. A special place is occupied by monuments connected with Buddhism. Among such monuments, the cave Buddhist complex of Karatepa began to be explored earlier than others. During his excavations B. Ya Stavisky discovered in 1970 several interesting fragments of painting, among them a Buddha or a Bodhisattva figure. Tone and at the temples. Analogies to this group of paintings can be seen among the monuments of Begur (I-II centuries), a very similar face is also represented on the paintings of the temples of Kuchi (Eastern Turkestan) (VI century). It is possible that this resemblance is due to the fact that in the paintings of Khalchayan this ethnic element, Sak-East Turkestan by birth, was reflected, which was destined to play a big role in the events that led to the fall of Greco-Bactria and the formation of the Kushan Power.
blue, the shadows are superimposed with more juicy strokes of the same color, glare-white strokes. For the first time painting on this monument was discovered in 1937 during the work of Termez archaeological complex expedition.
The dating of the monument, including the paintings, does not go beyond the Kushan period. Based on the found coins of Wim Kadfiz, Kapshka, Huishki and Vasudeva, ME Masson dated Karatep I-II cc. n. e. Subsequent excavations allowed B. Ya. Stavisky to distinguish two periods of the life of the Buddhist complex at Karatepa, the first one dating back to the II-III centuries. and. e., the second-period of secondary habitation, related to
IV century.
In 0.8 km to the east of Karatep we discovered a monument of Fayaztep, excavations of which were started in 1968. Here fragments of a décor made of marly limestone, depicting details of the microarchitecture, and on some fragments – figures of people were found.
In the southern part of Fayaztep there is a central cult room (6×6 m), the walls of which are covered with paintings and preserved to a height of 1.5 m; in the room found clay sculpture, covered with a thin layer of alabaster, ocher and gilding. Two clay gilded figures of bodhisattvas, the head of the Buddha (figure 31) and other sculptures were found in the open section. Exceptionally interesting composition is a triad consisting of Buddha and two monks (marly limestone) (Fig. 32).
Along the walls of the courtyard of the temple was aivan, the walls of which were covered with paintings. By now, the sections adjoining the central part of the south side of the yard have been opened. Most of the paintings slid down from the walls and lay on the floor. On the surviving fragments, one can clearly see the central Buddha figure, around which are small figures of bodhisattvas and gift-bearers.
Dating Fayaztepa is established by coins – a Buddhist temple here existed in the I-III centuries. n. e. in the same period as Karatep. The wall painting of Fayaztep is much better in terms of security than Karatepin and Khalchayan (as well as the monuments of Kushan wall paintings on the territory of Afghanistan). According to the technique of painting, Fayaztepa is similar to Khalchayan’s painting. Particularly interesting are two characters from the cult room – the gift-bearers. They are painted on clay plaster (pieces of it are found in the rubble). Faces in profile – beardless men with short black hair, combed forward. Very thin, a semi-dry brush, the artist painted his hair coming down on the forehead. Straight nose, small, slightly protruding lips, the line of which is somewhat lowered. The semicircular chin is underlined by a soft rounded line (Figure 51).

You can trace the work of the artist. Initially, on a white base with light brown paint, he applied a light contour drawing of the profile, and then completely painted the entire face with a light pink color, not very adhering to the boundaries of the drawing and in many places even leaving for them. Then, with very thin red strokes, he refined the painted parts of the contour, drew his eyes and proceeded to a detailed design of the drawing – he applied confident strokes of various thicknesses to places requiring shades. The transition from light to dark is very soft; it is clear that the artist sought to create the impression of volume. The drawing ended with the application of highlights with the help of thin white strokes, sometimes resembling shading. The same lines underline the edges of the lips; The last ones were the hair of the head. The main colors are white, ocher (different shades), brown, bright red, black, light green. Above the heads there are traces of explanatory inscriptions with a bakric letter (in one case the word “FARO” – “glory” was preserved above the head, it is less likely to see part of the name in it).
To assess the value of the monumental painting of the Kushan era, it is necessary to draw the materials of neighboring areas of Central Asia, primarily Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of particular importance is the painting Surkh-Kotala (Northern Afghanistan, Baghlan region). Her researcher, the French scientist D. Schlumberger, when inquiring about the origin of the Gandhar art, as well as the art of Afghanistan and Northern India in the Kushan period, came to the conclusion that in many parts of the Kushan state there were many art schools that are very dependent on local traditions and close to them in style .
In India, the Mathura school was the successor of the art of Sanchi, Bharhug, etc., and the North Afghan one – the “Greek-Iranian” art. The term “Greco-Iranian” for the monumental painting of Bactria is not entirely accurate, since in the territory of Northern Bactria and Soghda at that time there existed a school of pictorial art. Therefore, until established a certain difference between these schools, it is desirable art I-III centuries. call “Kushan”, which in his work and offers D. Schlumberger. The easternmost point where Kushan-type paintings are found is Miran, located south-west of Lake Lobnor in Eastern Turkestan.
Researchers date the painting of Miran III by the century. As for the technique of painting, the researchers also could not determine the date, although in the paintings one can feel the same hand (or the hand of the teacher and students). And the artist clearly belonged to the Gandhar school. Light, clear strokes give the drawing a special style. M. Bussali, who studied this painting, drew attention to the big eyes, many features bring this painting closer to the classical Gandhar school.
Appearance in the IV-V centuries. in Central Asia, as well as neighboring areas of new nomadic associations, was reflected in the life of most of the oases that were part of the Kushan state.
Cultural cities are declining, which, apparently, was not very long, at the end of the 5th-6th centuries. there are new cities and castles, the interiors of which are decorated with paintings, sculpture and wood carvings. In North Bactria, they are the castles of Balaliktep, Jumalaktepa, Zangtepa hillfort, located 30 kjk north of Termez, etc., in Sogd-Samarkand, Penjikent and a number of other centers.
One of the most important and earliest monuments of wall painting of the early medieval period is Balalyktepa (V-VI centuries). AM Belenitsky saw in Balaklyk’s paintings an important link connecting the Central Asian art of neighboring countries, primarily Afghanistan and Eastern Turkestan. To the V-VI centuries. Bamiyan painting and the earliest paintings of Penjikent, identified by researchers in recent years.
Further development of the art of Central Asia, Iran, India and other countries proceeded independently, but, of course, in the conditions of close contacts and mutual enrichment. Thus, certain elements of Iranian art enriched the art of other nations, which in turn also contributed to the development of Iranian art.
R. Hirschman, not denying the great influence of the Kushan culture on the Ephtalites, noted that the Kushan traditions, especially in Buddhist art, continued to survive after the fall of the Kushans – with the little princes who, under the auspices of the Turks, were virtually independent.
We mentioned only some of the monuments of wall painting in North Bactria from the 1st to 3rd centuries. On the territory of Sogd, the monuments of the Kushan period are not yet found, but they undoubtedly should be found here – so in the ancient settlement Afrasiab in 1969 we marked a room with paintings dating from the 1st-3rd centuries, but not yet excavated.
It is useful to recall the main landmarks of the opening of the monuments of painting in Central Asia: in 1913 – fragments of painting in Afrasiab, in 1936 – painting Varakhshi VII-VIII centuries., In 1946 painting Penjikent V-VIII centuries., In 1953 Wall paintings on the ancient settlement of Kuva in the Ferghana Valley, as well as in Semirechye, in 1961, painting and sculpture of Ajinatepe, in 1965, painting at Kalan Kakhkakha hillfort, in 1970, fragments of murals on Ming- Uryuk in Tashkent.
This list does not pretend to be complete, it can be continued with references to a number of other monuments on which fragments of wall painting have been discovered in recent years. In addition to Central Asia, it is also open in neighboring countries, primarily in Afghanistan.
Comparing the Kushan painting with the painting of the early Middle Ages, we find both common features and different. For the monuments of the Kushan era, special care is taken in drawing characters’ faces, the desire to convey the portrait resemblance of the depicted people, their individualization in the most important details – in the hairstyle, the type of person (the portrayals of the gift-bearers are indicative in this respect). At the same time, the artist of the Kushan period followed strict canons in the arrangement of the figures, the poses of most of them are frontal, the bodies are drawn carelessly, usually only by contour lines. Only in a few cases, when it was necessary to emphasize the special pose of the character, the whole figure was drawn carefully, with the transfer of chiaroscuro and volume.
Researchers drew attention to significant elements of the similarity of the paintings of the Kushan kingdom with the monuments of Parthian art. For the latter, frontal images, static postures and a number of other features characteristic of the Kushan art, including Buddhist wall painting, are characteristic. Especially significant in this respect is the juxtaposition with the frescoes of the Dura-Europos of the Parthian period (1st-2nd centuries AD), in which the images are static and the poses are constrained. Template gestures create the impression of monotony, the artist pays most attention to “the image of the head, where the whole life concentrates in unnaturally enlarged eyes with intense gaze.” These features are typical for the painting of Fayaztep and other monuments of Middle and Central Asia of the Kushan era.
The static character in the painting of Central Asia can also be observed later, in the 5th-6th centuries, which is very clearly traced in the painting of Balaliktep, which is an intermediate link between the Kushan painting and the monuments of Varakhsha, Penjikent, Afrasiab and Azhinatepe.
Balaklytep’s paintings are characterized by figures depicted in static poses. Recall that on the four walls of the balalaik room are sitting on the mats of men and women, behind them, in the background, there are servants with fans in their hands. All faces of women are lunolics and are similar to each other, the exception is only one, whose Mongoloid eyes are underlined. Men’s faces also resemble each other, they differ from women’s, mainly poiskhes. The faces of the rumor are similar to each other and at the same time are like the faces of gentlemen. This is a classic example of schematic drawing.
LI Rempel noted that in the painting of Balalyktep the artist did not attempt to convey “the inner movement or the state of the hero” by the expression of his face. ” Sometimes it seems that other shapes are repeated in contours. Known convention, apparently, has already entered into law.
At the same time LI Rempel disagrees with us in interpreting the content of the paintings, believing that the scene is inspired by the epic story on the “Shah-name” by Firdousi, on the marriage of the sons of Feridun to the daughters of Serv, the lord of Yemen. According to the story, Serv invited the sons of Feridun, showed them his three exactly identical daughters and suggested guessing which of them was the senior, middle and younger. The sons of Feridun guess, and Servo has no choice but to give them their daughters.

Painting Afrasiaba painting of Varakhsha, Penjikent, Afrasiab