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Notes on the Geography of Uzbekistan: Khiva: Sayyid Alauudin

This tomb, very easy to overlook, contains the earliest example of underglazed painted tile.

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Uzbekistan: Khiva: Sayyid Alauudin picture 1

It's the cenotaph of Sayyid Ala al-Din, from about 1305.  The tile is coated with a silicious paste, then painted, then covered with a transparent glaze and fired.  The same technique was put to extravagant use in Samarkand toward the end of the century.

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Sayyid Alauudin picture 2

Close-up.

Uzbekistan: Khiva: Sayyid Alauudin picture 3

The inscription identifies Sayyid Ala Al-Din by name and includes his death date.


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