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.