My Uzbekistan trip, introduced me to what is possibly one of the earliest Islamic funeral monument in Central Asia: The amazing 10th century, Samanid mausoleum of Bukhara.
The Samanids ruled parts of C. Asia from 819 to 999 CE with their capital first at Samarqand then Bukhara.
Of the three graves inside one is of Nasr II, the Samanid ruler.
The beauty of this brick mausoleum, resembling a basket weave is in the combination of various styles, prevalent earlier.
Perhaps it’s greatest similarity is to that of a Zoroastrian fire temple known as chahar taq style.
Those familiar with tombs in Delhi would have seen this style of a square building topped by a dome and buttresses on its corner.
This tomb has squinches, creating two triangular sections, an idea that later gave rise to the multitudinous divisions known as muqarnas.
“The geometric motif in the spandrels of each doorway arch likewise recalls very similar motifs executed in stucco on the façade of the Parthian palace at Assur.”
It is indeed a fascinating structure.