8- Mosques of Iran and Central Asia (8-11 century):

Tarik Khana Mosque, Damghan, Iran: (between 750-89): hypostyle, large axial nave, heavy cylindrical brick piers support elliptical, pointed arches; roof, barrel vaults. 

Nine-domed Mosque (Masjid-i-Ta’rikh), Balkh, Afghanistan: (first half of the 9th century), open pavilion with only a qibla wall, heavy brick piers and coupled-columns on the side walls; carved stucco decoration similar to Samarra styles.

Masjid-i-Jami, Nayin, Iran: (10th century), hypostyle; heavy cylindrical pillars; carved stucco decoration. Minaret is a transition between western minarets and later Iranian ones.

Development of Mausolea:

The Samanid Mausoleum in Bukhara, Uzbekistan: (ca. 914), built by Nasr ibn Isma‘il, square canopy tomb; tapering walls; engaged columns on the corner; very rich decorative program using brick motifs and patterns. Dome support: ribbed, double-arched squinches.

The Tower Tomb of Gunbad-i-Qabus in Gurgan, Iran: (1006-7), a ten-sided star plan, a high cylindrical tower (52 m) that ends in a conical dome.  Paradoxically identified as a qasr in the inscription.


Hazar-baf: a textile term borrowed in Persian brick architecture to designate the woven-like, checkerboard quality of brick decoration that appeared in the ninth century.

Chahar taq: a term referring to the form of the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian fire temples of Iran; a domed square with an opening on each side and no doors

Dihqans: the landed nobility of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia

Sasanians: dynasty which ruled Iran from 226-651; capital was Ctesiphon.

Sogdians: Central Asian people who inhabited and ruled the land roughly corresponding to the modern country of Uzbekistan up until the Arab invasion in the 8th century.

Ziyarids: dynasty which ruled part of the Caspian provinces of Iran from 932 to c. 1075; nominally Islamic but holding to pre-Islamic Persian traditions and claiming descent from the Sasanians; responsible for several tomb towers, including Gunbad-i Qabus and Pir-i Alamdar.

Samanids: dynasty which ruled part of former Sogdian territory from 819-1005; capital was Bukhara; patrons of New Persian literature, science and architecture.