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KHIVA (CITY) IN THE 19TH CENTURY

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1994
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YURI BREGEL
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Geography
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Akbar III 1948-2012
Stacked Wooden Logs

Description

"An Historical Atlas of Central Asia" written by Yuri Bregel. This is stated on Page no 85 of this book.

A settlement (probably an urban one) existed on the site of Khiva as early as the 4th-3rd centuries B.C : as a city it is first mentioned by Arab geographers of the 10th century. The ancient form of the name was Khivaq, which was still in literary use even in the 19th century, but the form Khiva was registered already in the 10th century.
It was then (as now) at the edge of cultivated land, close to the desert; Khiva was then one of the two cities along the southern rim of the oasis of Khorezm, but the other, Hazar asp, was probably of greater importance. In pre-Mongol times the political and economic centers of Khorezm were on the right bank of the Amu-Darya and in the north. It was only after the decline of these centers by the 17th century that Khiva attained some prominence.
After the Uzbek conquest of the early 16th century, Khiva was still just one of the appanages of the Arab shahid sultans (see map 26). During the 16th century Khiva twice served briefly as a residence of the supreme khan, but only with the reign of Arab Muhammad Khan (1603-1622) did it finally become the capital of the Uzbek khanate of Khorezm, which in Russian and West European literature was known since the 18th century as “the Khanate of Khiva.”
In 1740 Khiva was captured by Nadir Shah (see map 29) after he subjected the city to a severe bombardment; a Khivan historian of the 19th century claims that this bombardment destroyed “most of the buildings” of the city, but two English merchants who were in Khiva during the siege did not mention such destruction in their account. The same Khivan historian mentions in another place that the city wall of Khiva remained in ruins after the invasion of Nadir Shah, and that it was rebuilt in 1785-86 by Muhammad Amin Iraq. Probably more destruction was caused to Khiva by the disturbances of the second half of the 18th century, when the Youths captured the city in 1770, after which only forty families (according to another version, fifteen families) remained there.
It was under the rulers of the ------ dynasty, beginning with Muhammad Amin Inaq, that the city was restored and almost all the public buildings that now exist in it were built. The fact that the great majority of the architectural monuments of Khiva were built during a relatively short period and have much in common in their style makes this city a unique architectural ensemble.

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Very good information.

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