I arrived in Samarkand yesterday and I will be here in the ‘Silk Road Capital’ for two days. I arrived in Tashkent yesterday and on Saturday I am heading to Bukhara with my archaeological team (we will be excavating near Bukhara). So today I spent the day exploring everything possible in Samarkand. My first stop was the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, which is most famous for holding the tomb of Timur, the nickname of Tamerlane, a Turko-Mongol ruler who established the Timurid Dynasty in the fourteenth century.
The most famous story that accompanies this site is the ‘opening’ of the Mausoleum of Timur. Supposedly on the grave marker it notes that whoever should open the tomb will be defeated by an enemy worse than Timur himself (Timur had a pretty fierce army with constant military campaigns that literally killed millions and millions). After the Soviet archaeologist Mikhail Gerasimov opened the tomb in 1941, the next day on June 22, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.