Sites & cities that bear the name of Shamakhi


Today in : Azerbaijan
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Kamachia, Şamaxı, Sammachi

Description : Shamakhi (Azerbaijani: Şamaxı) is the capital of the Shamakhi District of Azerbaijan. The city's estimated population as of 2010 was 31,704. It is famous for its traditional dancers, the Shamakhi Dancers, and also for perhaps giving its name to the Soumak rugs. Eleven major earthquakes have rocked Shamakhi but through multiple reconstructions, it maintained its role as the economic and administrative capital of Shirvan and one of the key towns on the Silk Road. The only building to have survived eight of the eleven earthquakes is the landmark Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, built in the 8th century. Shamakhi was first mentioned as Kamachia by the ancient Greco-Roman Egyptian geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus in the 1st to 2nd century AD. Shamakhi was an important town during the Middle Ages and served as a capital of the Shirvanshah realm from the 8th to 15th centuries. Shamakhi maintained economic and cultural relations with India and China in the 12th century, and the excavation of pottery containers prove that Shamakhi also had relations with the Central Asian cities at around the same time. Copper coins found in Shamakhi during archaeological excavations, porcelain containers produced in China, caravanserais serving international trade, prove the role of ancient Shamakhi in the Silk Road. The Catholic friar, missionary and explorer William of Rubruck passed through it on his return journey from the Mongol Great Khan's court. In 1476 Venetian diplomat Giosafat Barbaro, while describing the city, stated: "This is a good city; it has from four to five thousand houses, it produces silk, cotton as well as other things according to its tradition.".

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