Samarkand region is located in the heart of Uzbekistan, in the Zarafshan river basin.
On the territory of the Samarkand region people have lived since ancient times. This fact is evidenced by the sites of primitive settlements: Aman-kutan, Zerabulak, Kuturbulak, where locals lived 100 – 25 thousand years ago.
During the excavations at the ancient settlements were found stone tools of the Neolith and Bronze age. And in the mountains surrounding the Samarkand region, found the so-called petroglyphic “galleries”. Their walls depict animals, hunting and grazing scenes from different times, from the Bronze age to the early Middle ages.
On this ground set their foot the great conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Amir Timur, who made Samarkand the capital of the great Empire. During the reign of Ulugbek, grandson of Timur, Samarkand became a scientific and cultural center of the Ancient East.
At the entrance to Samarkand from the north, on the high hills is the ancient settlement Afrosiab (VII-II century BC). It is believed that Afrasiab was an ancient Sogdian capital of Marakanda (Samarkand). The ancient city got its name in honor of king of Turan Afrasiab, one of the legendary heroes of the Persian literature.
History confirms that for several centuries before the beginning of our era Samarkand was one of the largest trade and cultural centers of Central Asia.
Samarkand region now is one of the main economic and cultural regions of the country. In Samarkand region there are more than 1800 objects of cultural heritage.
One of the main attractions in the city of Samarkand – Registan square with three madrassahs, mausoleum of Gur-Emir, complex Shahi-Zinda, Bibi Khanum madrassah — the most attended places in the region. Every year these places are visited by about 1 million 200 thousand tourists.
The historical center of Samarkand in 2001 was included in the UNESCO world heritage list as “Samarkand – crossroads of cultures”.
The capital of region – the city of Samarkand
Total area – 16 800 km2
Population — 3 719 006 people
Major cities: Kattakurgan, Urgut, Juma, Aktash