BY THE FOOTSTEPS OF SILVER MINERS ON THE SILK ROAD

The Tajikistan tour company "Javohirtour" will participate in the Kazakhstan Tourism and Travel exhibition KITF 2024, where it will present tours and routes in the High Pamirs, among other destinations.

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The company's first featured route centers around the ancient city of miners in the Bozordara valley, known as Samarqandak, situated at an elevation of 4000 meters in the Eastern Pamir Mountains. The remains of this ancient city stand as silent witnesses to the once-thriving trading hubs along the ancient Silk Road. Among the ruins, archaeologists have uncovered a caravanserai, residential buildings (numbering over 80), and an ancient cemetery with over 500 graves. The city's dwellings were equipped with sufas and hearths, while public buildings such as the administrative complex, Fire Temple, and a bath with underfloor heating systems have been preserved. According to Bubnova, an archaeologist who discovered the miners' city, around 1200 - 1500 people inhabited the city during its peak. Samarqandak emerged in the 11th century in the Eastern Pamirs during the "silver crisis" when silver deposits in the Pamirs were extensively exploited. To manage the workers and safeguard the silver, substantial human efforts were required, leading to the gradual establishment of Samarqandak, colloquially known as "Little Samarqand," which later evolved into a major trading center along the Silk Road, renowned as Bozordara, meaning "the valley of markets."

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The second addition to this route is the village of Ryn, located in the Ishkashim district of the Wakhan valley. This village stands out from others in Tajikistan due to its unique language, known as a linguistic gem worldwide, exclusively spoken by the inhabitants of Ryn. This language, which has survived through the centuries, holds significance within the Indo-European language system, prompting UNESCO's efforts to preserve it. Presently, the Ryni language is spoken by residents of only two villages on the right bank of the Pyanj River—the village of Ryn (with 1000 speakers) and Sumjin (with 360 speakers) in Tajikistan. The residents of Ryn village in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, being the majority speakers of this language, are dedicated to its development and preservation as a cherished heritage of their ancestors.

 Inspired by these intriguing facts, the company has named the route "In the Footsteps of the Silk Road Miners," offering a glimpse into the wonders of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, better known to outsiders as the High Pamirs. Travelers are invited to explore this route firsthand during their journeys to Tajikistan.

Details of the routes and their features will be available at the company's booth during the KITF 2024 exhibition, scheduled to take place from April 24th to 26th at the Atakent Exhibition Center in Almaty.

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