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Afrasiab, once located in the heart of ancient Samarkand, was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century.The museum's exhibits illustrate the history of Samarkand’s development from the time of Alexander the Great conquest.There are also a number of women's hawza, mostly located in Iran.Already in the early 1800s, the Salehiyya madrasa in Qazvin ran a women's section where several lady mujtahids were trained.According to data from archaeological excavations, the original Karakhanid Djuma Mosque was destroyed by fire and dismantled, apparently at the time of the Mongolian invasion.
Its dimensions are just slightly smaller than those of the Bibi-Khanum, Temur's congregational mosque in Samarkand.The findings discovered during archaeological excavations at Afrasiab, each of which belongs to a different period of the settlement history are one of the most valuable artifacts of the museum.These include ossuaries, fragments of ancient swords, knives, arrows, coins, pottery and frescoes of Samarkand palace belonging to the Ikhshidid dynasty (7-8th centuries).Archeological excavations and the study of the ancient city began in the late 19th century and are underway to the present day.
The most valuable exhibits of Afrasiab museum also include unique pieces of wall paintings dating back to the 7-8th centuries, depicting hunting scenes and holiday celebrations.
However, several smaller hawzas exist in other cities around the world, such as at Karbala, Iraq, Isfahan and Mashhad in Iran, Beirut, Lebanon, Lucknow, India, Lahore, Pakistan, Europe and North America.