Panjakent

Location: Sughd region, Panjakent District.

Penjicant is located 255 km north of the city of Dushanbe, 68 km from the city of Samarkand, up the river Zeravshan. Mound ancient Penjikent located in the vicinity of the modern city of Penjikent and represents a unique monument of the early Middle Ages. In the V-VIII centuries it was the east of the cities of Sogd - an ancient country in Central Asia, inhabited by Sogdians, speaking in on of the East-Iranian languages and are the ancestors of the Tajiks.

The name Panjakent is commonly repeated by Arabs and Arabic-speaking historians in the messages of the conquest of Central Asia. Ruins of ancient Penjikent attracted attention in the XIX century,  and only in 1946 started and continued the the systematic archaeological excavations, which covered about half of the settlement. There was excavated the the citadel of the palace Divashtich standing alone on a hill, two churches with large courtyards in the center of the settlement, the eight main streets and ten lanes, shops, workshops, markets, walls, and even two- and three-storied homes. 

Striking contrast between the power of architectural forms of buildings and modest construction material - mud bricks of unbaked clay, from which they are constructed. Everyone more or less the owner of the house decorated the houeses with paintings and wooden sculptures. Remarkable works of art that were found in ancient Panjakent, decorating the today’s halls of many museums, including the famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia). Significant among the total number of works of art found in ancient Panjakent belongs to painting. Panjakent Walls buildings like temples and secular, were covered with colorful paintings. It is noteworthy that in spite of the more than 1300-year presence in the rubble, the walls of brick raw preserved some fragments of painting. 

Panjakent painting done mainly glue paints with mineral dyes. In pre-Islamic times figured wood carving were common form of art and achieved remarkable artistic perfection as wall paintings. Great interest is considered the found in Panjakent coins. Most of them released in Samarkand, where kings ruled supreme in all of Sogd - Sogdian ihshidy. But apart from the "royal" coins during the excavation the coins of smaller Sogdian possessions were found and among them were - rulers of Panjakent. Numerous findings in ancient Panjakent clearly show that the Sogdians were familiar with the achievements of the great civilizations of their time: Byzantine, Iranian and Indian features are found in their art. However, Sogdian art has its own, unique style.