F. Kidd, M. Negus Cleary, V. N. Yagodin, A. Betts and E. Baker Brite, Ancient Chorasmian Mural Art


Untreated fragment, laboratory photo of a face in three-quarter profile with grapes (?) and a vine leaf motif (?) in the background. Kazakly-yatkan. Not previously published.

Mural art in Central Asia reached an artistic peak between the 5th and 8th centuries C.E. at sites such as Afrasiab and Panjikent, but little is known about its early development. Some of the best-preserved early wall paintings have been found in northwest Central Asia, in Chorasmia. Here a number of sites dating from around the 5th century B.C.E. to the 2nd century C.E. have produced evidence for mural art. This paper reviews the development of earlier Chorasmian mural art, presenting material published by the Soviet era Chorasmian Expedition as a background to the recently excavated wall paintings at Kazakly-yatkan, excavated by the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition.