NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTIQUITIES OF TAJIKISTAN.
It was created in 1934 on the round of the Exhibition of National Economy Achievements and expeditionary research of Tajik base of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. At that time there were only 530 exhibits in this museum. Nowadays there are more than 50 thousand of them. These exhibits are archaeological and ethnographic collections of the museum among which there are ceramics, metal works, weapons, gold and silver wear, numismatics, manuscripts, sculpture, household goods, embroidery etc.
Among collections of the museum a large place is taken by unique memorials of fine art and national culture of Tajikistan. Chronology of the museum collections embraces the period from bronze epoch , IV millennium before Christ, to the beginning of the XX century.
Numismatics collection consists of ancient treasures, single and casual fins of coins. In the coin collection the most unique coins are Samanid coins made of silver and copper with Kufia inscriptions (IX cent.), golden coin of Kushan tsar Vasudeva (IV cent. Anno Domini) occasionally found in 1956, and Bukhara silver coin with Sogda inscriptions (V-VI cent Anno Domini).
Collections of domestic crockery- cups, jugs, different vessels, glass and stone wear, weapon fragments. These items descend from the territory of Sogd (basins of Zeravshan and Kashkadarya rivers ) and they are referred to the middle of I millennium before Christ. They were found when excavating a site of ancient settlement, situated near to modern Penjikent.
Collection of the items of material culture from Sogdian castle on the mountain Mug(VIII cent Anno Domini) in the upper reaches of Zeravshan is of great interest. These items were found by the expedition of professor Freiman in 1933.
When the distribution of Islam in Central Asia that has begun at the beginning of the IX century, new and peculiar culture appeared and the ways of production of different handicraft items were changed. Ornamental decorativeness predominates not only in handicrafts, but also in architecture, where painting, wood and gandge(central asian name of astringent material obtained through kilning of stones, which contains gypsum and clay; it is used as plastering, as the base for carving and also as a material for sculpture) carving. One of the most famous monuments of this epoch is Iskondarsky mekhrab(XI-XII century Anno Domini) which is known all over the world. It was found by professor Andreyev in Iskodar settlement in 1925. This mekhrab (a bay with lancet end at the wall of the mosque which is directed to the Mekka ) is made of wood without any nail or glue, by means of fitting the details. It consists of 300 details and over 100 ornamental moments. We can find a Kufia inscription on it. This inscription had not been interpreted up to 2000. Then it was interpreted by Sharipov A. This inscription appeared to be a fragment of speech of prophet Mukhammed.It is interesting to mention that mekhrab has elements of Zoroastriisky cult of ancient Tajiks, such as cross and a circle with hemisphere which symbolize the sun since ancient times.
Collection of coroplastics of Sogd that includes small terracotta art articles(statuettes which describe human beings and animals) is not great but it reflects religious ideas of the Tajik population in the middle of the I millennium before Christ.
Besides regular exhibition, many other showings are held in our museum. In winter, 2001, there was a painting exhibition of the works of Tajik artists. This exhibition was devoted to the 10th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Tajikistan. Such Tajik artists as Negmatzoda F., Safarov R., Odinayev S and others took part in this exhibition.