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Meakin, Annette M. B. / In Russian Turkestan; a garden of Asia and its people
(1903)

Chapter VII: Sart towns,   pp. 51-63


Page 51

CHAPTER VII
SART TOWNS
THERE is a remarkable similarity between one Sart
town and another. Indeed it has been truly said
that, if a man well acquainted with the country were
to be set down blindfolded in any one of those that
are not distinguishable by their towering ruins dating
from the time of Tamerlane, he would find it difficult,
on using his eyes again, to say in which town he
was. The central point in every town is its bazaar.
Round this are built the dwelling-houses of the
people, interspersed with small gardens, courtyards,
and crooked alleys, very few of which are wide
enough for European traffic. Surrounding all these
is the town wall with its gates and citadel, or at least
the traces of them, and outside the walls are the
fields and gardens of the citizens. The whole is
intersected by innumerable canals. As all the chief
streets converge to one point-either the market-
place or the bazaar-a new-comer soon learns to
find his way about. Then, too, there are always
plenty of heavily laden Kirgiz camels passing to
and from the surrounding steppe, and a glance at
these will soon show the lie of the land. Town
5'


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