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Ahsikent (recorded as Akhsikath in medieval texts) is a site of ancient settlement and ancient capital of Farghona (Fergana). It is located on the right branch of the Sirdarya River in the To‘raqorghon district of the Namangan region of Uzbekistan (40°53′12″N 71°27′02″E / 40.886569°N 71.450602°E / 40.886569; 71.450602Coordinates: 40°53′12″N 71°27′02″E / 40.886569°N 71.450602°E / 40.886569; 71.450602). It is currently under consideration for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Site Description[edit]

Ahsikent occupies an area of more than 25 hectares. The city was founded between the 3rd - 2nd centuries B.C., and functioned up to 1219 A.D. It has been completely destroyed by Mongolian forces. The city structure consisted of the citadel, Shakhristan - the city itself and the rabad (suburb) of the city. All three parts of the city have been enclosed by the fortification. The palace of governors and zindan (prison) were situated in the arc. There was a city market, cathedral mosque, and a khouz, erected from baked brick in Shahristan. The craftsmen's area was located in the rabad. Metallurgical production in Ahsiket was known far beyond Central Asia. It was the only place in Central Asia where very high-quality steel - known as Damascus or Damask steel - has been produced. At Ahsikent there was discovered a bath constructed in the 2nd century A.D. After the Mongolian invasion, new Ahsikent arose 5–6 km to the west of the ancient city. According to historical data, the known poet and historian - Babur, grandson of Amir Temur, was born here.[1]

World Heritage Status[edit]

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 18/01/08, in the Cultural category.