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Now such a prohibition does not exist. The citadel of Vardanzeh is one of the most well-known historical monuments of the region. Vardanzeh is mentioned often in the medieval written sources. The etymology of this old name is unknown. Several medieval authors left scarce information about this city. These small towns often defined by ancient authors as villages, were economic centre of secondary areas called rustak.

In its north-east periphery there is the ancient corresponding town. In the XIII chapter of his History of Bukhara he reports an ancient legend about the foundation of this settlement which he considers a village. In the ancient period among the Iranians and the Turkish people it meant God Allah. Just after the Middle Ages this term started to mean the whole of the geographic area of Central Asia. Mirzaahmedov a name but a title4. The archaeologists proved that the villages along its banks existed in the first centuries B.

It was a confeder- ation of territories, more or less independent but linked to the central autorities through alliance agreements. A king was at the head of this confederation but he had not absolute power on the governors.

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There were several wars between Persia and the Hephtalite kingdom and the former were always defeated with the result that the Sasanians had to pay a regular tribute to the Hephtalites. In this case his protector would be the governor of Bukhara whose territory was situated close to the right bank of Jaykhun-Amudarja. This river was the borderline between Iran and the Hephtalite state. It is correct to suppose that Middle Persian knew a wide diffusion around Bukhara since 6th-7th century together with Sogdian.

This is confirmed by historical sources, archaeological finds and in modern languages the ancient hydro-toponym were kept until the present moment of time. Probably for this reason Neopersian completely ousted Sogdian language in its historical territory. It is not improbable that in this period there were still some parts incultivated where wild animals lived. It is worth noting that in the same period this territory had not such a strategic and economic importance. It was on the border between the cultivated lands and the steppes, often threaten and far away from the main trade routes.

Probably he promoted the enlargment of the canal and the construction of other smaller ones in order to bring water in the fields and drinking water to the town and the villages. Maybe, it is for this reason that his name survived. To support this hypothesis we can report some facts obtained from the historical sources on the relations between Persians and the Hephtalites. After the first war he was imprisoned but he was rescued by the 6 The study of the written sources and the archaeological and cartographic investigations showed that the Kampirak wall was built in two phases.

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The first one is dated to the Hephtalite period end of the 5th-middle of the 6th century. The second phase is dated to the period between and and it is described in the XV chapter of the History of Bukhara. Between the two phases there was a long period when the wall had no importance.

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The second phase wall presents signs of destruction. Nowadays it was preserved just the Persian version. Possibly, the mistakes in the script were not due to the authors but to the copysts. Such mistakes in calligraphy were quite common among the Middle Ages copysts. Mirzaahmedov Byzantine Basileus. The second fact is linked to the Mazdakite revolution which happened in Iran in 5th-6th century.

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He knew that only the military Hephtalite power could support his return on the Sasanian throne. During the Middle Ages the custom of keeping hostages was a succ- essful system to control the aggressions from the neighbouring countries. In the history of Persian-Hephtalite relations there was likely to have been some episode in agreement with this legend.

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In the 8 Kunkhi Gunkhaz is the name attributed to him by the Byzantine historian Priscus. The Hephtalites led by their king Ghatifar were defeated by the Turks in the region of Bukhara around and their state was detroyed.

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Bukhara with other lands was incorpored into the Turk Qaghanate. The Kampirak wall lost its importance and the territory of the Bukhara Oasis now became an internal province of the Qaghanate. There was no reason anymore for its mantainance and the relationships between Turks and Sogdians were friendly. Many Sogdian feuds recognized nominally the Turkic power but were substantially independent and were allowed to have their own coinage and make pacts among them. The other big centre was Ramitan. This ancient town is mentioned in Arab sources as the second capital of the region of Bukhara.

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The two capitals were both situated along the Silk Road. In every period, the steppe under nomadic rule did not only import but also exported goods along this segment of the Silk Road. The Turks had their interests in trading with the Sogdians. The Sogdian colonies were settled along the Silk Road. Mirzaahmedov region of Bukhara. According to him in the region of 10th century Bukhara there were two rustak called Kharkana. So, this canal was a borderline between Obavija and Low Kharkan Such identification is based on the similarity of the two names, but the Khalkanrud is a small canal which drains into a bigger canal called Pirmast from the left side.

Undoubtedly, Obavija had its own coinage. The hoard was found together with a corpse dated to the period of the Arab conquest of Bukhara. The Sasanian silver coins and their local silver im- itations were spread over the territory of the Bukhara Oasis and also outside its limits. The Sasanian 11 In the ancient time the administrative and political borderlines were often fixed along a river, firstly because a river was a natural obstacle, secondly because it was a steady dividing line. In the whole of Sogd, including Bukhara and Samarkand, was under Arab rule.

Then, he continued the resistance to the conquerors as a governor of all the people of this part of Sogd. As a result, a strong opposition was found in the court of Bukhara among the military class which wanted a noble and worthy person as a ruler. However, the queen who knew about the conspiracy prevented it. Kh-t-k-khatun Asam ibn-Kufi. After the death of the queen the struggle began again and there appeared several pretendants to the throne of Bukhara.

He considered himself as a descendant of the Sasanian house and so the legitimate and worthy pretender to the throne of Bukhara. Then, Qutayba defeated the other pretender and the decentralizing ambitions of the local aristocracy. The inhabitants of Bukhara remained pagan and this was one of the reasons why the representatives of the Baghdad Caliphs at Bukhara rebuilt the Kampirak wall.

Mapping Cultural Philanthropy

In the second half of 9thth century, several rustak appeared in the territory of former Obavija. Most likely, the center of the rustak was situated in a place near to the town with the same name. If so it corresponds to a ruined old town situated approximately 7 km west of Vardanzeh. The local inhabitants call this place Jalvan. As Vardanzeh, it was inhabited also in the 19th century. In the Soviet period a new village called Jalvan appeared situated north of Vardanzeh where there was a canal called Jalvan. In this case the village gave its name to the canal. Modern Sultanabad corresponds to ancient Arvan. In the name it is mentioned the legendary or real? It is necessary to mention that all the other external rustak are correctly identified around the Bukhara Oasis. In conclusion, the rich history of this ancient town with its surrounding settlements entirelly deserves the interest of the authorities and the scientific community, in order to sponsor a big scale archaeological investigation for the study of the site.

However, through mixed fortunes, the Alans went on with their wandering life for almost a millennium, until the Mongol storm re- duced progressively their area of influence to the Caucasian lands which still remain under the sway of their Ossetian heirs. Since I have spent the last three lustra dealing with sources on the Alans one way or another, sometimes I have been asked to write a history of the Alans — a task which I hold to be too complex for the time being, due to the lack of evidence for many periods.

Nevertheless, today I would like to devote this paper to reconstructing the historical framework of an eventful century in the aftermath of their westward migrations, hoping that it arises Prof.