Ming-Uryuk – the birthplace of Tashkent
Ming-Uryuk is the remains of the ancient settlement of Chach, which is often mentioned in historical chronicles. The more proper name is Madina Chach or “capital of Chach”. According to historians, the city was part of several towns under the common name of Chach, and Madina Chach was its capital. After the troops of the Arab Caliphate conquered the area, the city was called Shash because the sound “ch” doesn’t exist in the Arabic language.
Ming-Uryuk is the place where Tashkent city originally was located and existed before Arab conquerors destroyed it in the early 8th century. The total area of the ancient settlement was 35 hectares. However, the development of modern Tashkent, which began at the end of the 19th century, destroyed almost all remains.
At the end of the 19th century, Ming-Uryuk was excavated. Archaeologists discovered the destroyed and burnt remains of the Tashkent Kings’ Palace, which used to be a flourishing city. It was assumed that this settlement was from the 8th century.
However, in 2008, the Tashkent Institute of Archaeology conducted archaeological excavations, and it was revealed that other more ancient buildings were under the floor of the former royal palace. Ming-Uryuk settlement consists of many different archaeological layers. On the lowest level, the researchers found the remains of a fire temple. Therefore in 2009, the city celebrated its 2200th anniversary with the approval of UNESCO.
Today Ming-Uryuk houses an archaeological museum.