Tent of Ghosts: Traveling Through Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara
Paperback, 228 pages
Traveling Through Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara
Tent of Ghosts is the retelling of a journey which Kostas Ikonomopoulos undertook in Uzbekistan last year. He uses the travel narrative as a foundation to build a panorama of the history, people, and monuments associated with Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand. In the chapters on Tashkent, he traces the histories of political refugees and Soviet cosmonauts while the Bukhara chapters feature research on puppetry, the fate of Stoddart and Conolly of the East India Company, and a forgotten Turkmen theologian and saint. Finally, the Samarkand part of the trip revolves around Tamerlane and his grandson, the astronomer Ulugh Beg.
The book is both travel narrative and historical recreation. Though not strictly scholarly, much research went into it and it features extensive footnotes and bibliography. There are 4 appendices. Two of them required heavy research and feature presentations of things which, to the author’s knowledge, have never been published before: an account of what we know of Ulugh Beg’s 13 wives and a detailed chronological table featuring all those points where Greek and Uzbekistan history have met in the last 25 centuries.