Mawara'nnahr, Khwarazm and Greater Khorasan
The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
Chorasmian frescoe from Kazakly-Yatkan (fortress of Akcha-Khan Kala), 1st century BC-2nd century AD.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Initial coinage of founder Ardashir I, as King of Persis Artaxerxes (Ardaxsir) V. c. 205/6–223/4 CE. Obv: Bearded facing head, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "The divine Ardaxir, king" in Pahlavi. Rev: Bearded head of Papak, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "son of the divinity Papak, king" in Pahlavi.
Chilpyk Zoroastrian Tower of Silence (Dakhma), 1st century BC – 1st century AD
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Female statuette wearing the kaunakes. Chlorite and limestone, Bactria, beginning of the second millennium BC
The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
Xerxes I tomb, Choresmian soldier circa 470 BC.
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
1840 illustration of a Sasanian relief at Firuzabad, showing Ardashir I's victory over Artabanus IV and his forces.
Location of the main fortresses of the Chorasmian oasis, 4th century BC-6th century AD
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Alexander the Great at the Battle of Issus. Mosaic in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Rock relief of Ardashir I receiving the ring of kingship by the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
Silver bowl from Khwarezm depicting a four-armed goddess seated on a lion, possibly Nana. Dated 658 AD, British Museum. The bowl is similar to that of the Sassanians, who were ruling the region since early 200's. It displays a fusion of Roman-Hellenistic, Indian and Persian cultural influencies.
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Triumphant crowd at Registan, Sher-Dor Madrasah. The Emir of Bukhara viewing the severed heads of Russian soldiers on poles. Painting by Vasily Vereshchagin (1872).
Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rostam of Persian emperor Shapur I (on horseback) capturing Roman emperor Valerian (standing) and Philip the Arab (kneeling), suing for peace, following the victory at Edessa.
Khwarezmian Empire
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
Russian troops taking Samarkand in 1868, by Nikolay Karazin.
The Humiliation of Valerian by Shapur (Hans Holbein the Younger, 1521, pen and black ink on a chalk sketch, Kunstmuseum Basel)
Takash mausoleum in Kunya Urgench, Turkmenistan
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
Two Sart men and two Sart boys in Samarkand, c. 1910
The spread of Manichaeism (300–500)
Turabek khanum mausoleum in Kunya Urgench, Qunghrat dynasty, 1330, Turkmenistan
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Map of Uzbekistan, including the former Aral Sea.
Rome and satellite kingdom of Armenia around 300, after Narseh's defeat
Khwarezm (Karasm), on a 1734 French map. The Khanate on the map surrounds the Aral Sea (depicted as much smaller than it actually was in those days) and includes much of the Caspian Sea coast of today's Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Uzbekistan map of Köppen climate classification
Bust of Shapur II ((r. 309 – 379))
Emir Timur and his maiden from Khwarezm.
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Cotton picking near Kyzyl-Kala, Karakalpakstan.
Early Alchon Huns coin based on the coin design of Shapur II, adding the Alchon Tamgha symbol Alchon_Tamga.png and "Alchono" (αλχοννο) in Bactrian script on the obverse. Dated 400–440.
The borders of the Russian imperial territories of Khiva, Bukhara and Kokand in the time period of 1902–1903.
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Map of flooded areas as a result of the collapse of the Sardoba Reservoir
Bahram V is a great favourite in Persian literature and poetry. "Bahram and the Indian princess in the black pavilion." Depiction of a Khamsa (Quintet) by the great Persian poet Nizami, mid-16th-century Safavid era.
Koi Krylgan Kala fortress (4th-3rd century BC)
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Comparison of the Aral Sea between 1989 and 2014
A coin of Yazdegerd II
Ayaz Kala 1 fortress (4th-3rd century BC)
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
The Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan (Lower House).
Plate of Peroz I hunting argali
Toprak-Kala palace city (1st-2nd century AD)
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
Islam Karimov, the first President of Uzbekistan, during a visit to the Pentagon in 2002
Plate of a Sasanian king hunting rams, perhaps Kavad I ((r. 488 – 496)).
Fortress of Kyzyl-Kala, partially restored (1st-4th century AD)
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
President Islam Karimov with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Samarkand in November 2015
Plate depicting Khosrow I.
Ayaz Kala 2 fortress (6th to 8th century AD)
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Leaders present at the SCO summit in Ufa, Russia in 2015
15th-century Shahnameh illustration of Hormizd IV seated on his throne.
Ossuary Lid, Tok-Kala Necropolis, Alabaster. 7th-8th century AD
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Political Map of Uzbekistan
Coin of Khosrow II.
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
A proportional representation of Uzbekistan exports, 2019
The Siege of Constantinople in 626 by the combined Sassanid, Avar, and Slavic forces depicted on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Yodgorlik silk factory
Queen Boran, daughter of Khosrau II, the first woman and one of the last rulers on the throne of the Sasanian Empire, she reigned from 17 June 629 to 16 June 630
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Bread sellers in Urgut
Extent of the Sasanian Empire in 632 with modern borders superimposed
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Population pyramid 2016
Umayyad Caliphate coin imitating Khosrau II. Coin of the time of Mu'awiya I ibn Abi Sufyan. BCRA (Basra) mint; "Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, governor". Dated AH 56 = 675/6. Sasanian style bust imitating Khosrau II right; bismillah and three pellets in margin; c/m: winged creature right / Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left, mint name to right.
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Newlywed couples visit Tamerlane's statues to receive wedding blessings.
The Walls of Derbent, part of the Sasanian defense lines
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Uzbek children
Sasanian army helmet
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Shakh-i Zindeh mosque, Samarkand
A Sassanid king posing as an armored cavalryman, Taq-e Bostan, Iran
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Mosque of Bukhara
Sassanian silver plate showing lance combat between two nobles.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bukharan Jews, c. 1899
A fine cameo showing an equestrian combat of Shapur I and Roman emperor Valerian in which the Roman emperor is seized following the Battle of Edessa, according to Shapur's own statement, "with our own hand", in 260
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
A page in Uzbek language written in Nastaʿlīq script printed in Tashkent 1911
Sassanian fortress in Derbent, Dagestan. Now inscribed on Russia's UNESCO world heritage list since 2003.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Central Station of Tashkent
Egyptian woven pattern woolen curtain or trousers, which was a copy of a Sassanid silk import, which was in turn based on a fresco of King Khosrau II fighting Axum Ethiopian forces in Yemen, 5–6th century
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
The Afrosiyob high-speed train
Persian ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 526-539 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Uzbek troops during a cooperative operation exercise
Coin of the Kushanshah Peroz II Kushanshah ((r. 303 – 330))
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Traditional Uzbek pottery
Foreign dignitary drinking wine, on ceiling of Cave 1, at Ajanta Caves, possibly depicting the Sasanian embassy to Indian king Pulakesin II (610–642), photograph and drawing.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Navoi Opera Theater in Tashkent
Taq-i Kisra, the facade of the Sasanian palace in the capital Ctesiphon. The city developed into a rich commercial metropolis. It may have been the most populous city of the world in 570–622.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Embroidery from Uzbekistan
Plate of a Sasanian king, located in the Azerbaijan Museum in Iran.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Silk and Spice Festival in Bukhara
A bowl with Khosrau I's image at the center
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
Palov
Horse head, gilded silver, 4th century, Sasanian art
The ruins of Persepolis
Uzbek manti
A Sasanian silver plate featuring a simurgh. The mythical bird was used as the royal emblem in the Sasanian period.
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
Milliy Stadium in Tashkent.
A Sasanian silver plate depicting a royal lion hunt
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
The remains of the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Sasanian silk twill textile of a simurgh in a beaded surround, 6th–7th century. Used in the reliquary of Saint Len, Paris
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Sasanian sea trade routes
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
Seal of a Sassanian nobleman holding a flower, ca. 3rd–early 4th century AD.
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Ruins of Adur Gushnasp, one of three main Zoroastrian temples in the Sassanian Empire
Achamenid dynasty timeline
The Sasanians developed an accurate, phonetic alphabet to write down the sacred Avesta
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Sasanian-era cornelian gem, depicting Abraham advancing towards Isaac with a knife in his hands. A ram is depicted to the right of Abraham. Middle Persian (Pahlavi) inscription ZNH mwdly l’styny. Created 4th-5th century AD
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
A Sasanian fortress in Derbent, Russia (the Caspian Gates)
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
"Parsees of Bombay" a wood engraving, c. 1873
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today Khwarazm belongs partly to Uzbekistan and partly to Turkmenistan.

- Khwarazm

After defeating the last Parthian shahanshah, Artabanus IV, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224, he established the Sasanian dynasty and set out to restore the legacy of the Achaemenid Empire by expanding Iran's dominions.

- Sasanian Empire

The first recorded settlers in what is now Uzbekistan were Eastern Iranian nomads, known as Scythians, who founded kingdoms in Khwarazm (8th–6th centuries BC), Bactria (8th–6th centuries BC), Sogdia (8th–6th centuries BC), Fergana (3rd century BC – sixth century AD), and Margiana (3rd century BC – sixth century AD).

- Uzbekistan

The area was incorporated into the Iranian Achaemenid Empire and, after a period of Macedonian rule, was ruled by the Iranian Parthian Empire and later by the Sasanian Empire, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century.

- Uzbekistan

The name also appears in Achaemenid inscriptions as Huvarazmish, which is declared to be part of the Persian Empire.

- Khwarazm

Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sakastan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Marw (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh and Chorasmia.

- Sasanian Empire

Per Al-Biruni, the Afrighids of Kath (آفریغیان-آل آفریغ) were a native Khwarezmian Iranian dynasty which ruled as the Shahs of Khwarezm from 305 to 995 AD. At times they were under Sassanian suzerainty.

- Khwarazm

By the 5th century BC, the Kings of Persia were either ruling over or had subordinated territories encompassing not just all of the Persian Plateau and all of the territories formerly held by the Assyrian Empire (Mesopotamia, the Levant, Cyprus and Egypt), but beyond this all of Anatolia and Armenia, as well as the Southern Caucasus and parts of the North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Paeonia, Thrace and Macedonia to the north and west, most of the Black Sea coastal regions, parts of Central Asia as far as the Aral Sea, the Oxus and Jaxartes to the north and north-east, the Hindu Kush and the western Indus basin (corresponding to modern Afghanistan and Pakistan) to the far east, parts of northern Arabia to the south, and parts of eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) to the south-west, and parts of Oman, China, and the UAE.

- Achaemenid Empire

In 427, he crushed an invasion in the east by the nomadic Hephthalites, extending his influence into Central Asia, where his portrait survived for centuries on the coinage of Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan).

- Sasanian Empire

However, six centuries later Ardeshir I, founder of the Sasanian Empire, would consider himself Artaxerxes' successor, a grand testimony to the importance of Artaxerxes to the Persian psyche.

- Achaemenid Empire

The empire's great armies were, like the empire itself, very diverse, having: Persians, Macedonians, European Thracians, Paeonians, Medes, Achaean Greeks, Cissians, Hyrcanians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Bactrians, Sacae, Arians, Parthians, Caucasian Albanians, Chorasmians, Sogdians, Gandarians, Dadicae, Caspians, Sarangae, Pactyes, Utians, Mycians, Phoenicians, Judeans, Egyptians, Cyprians, Cilicians, Pamphylians, Lycians, Dorians of Asia, Carians, Ionians, Aegean islanders, Aeolians, Greeks from Pontus, Paricanians, Arabians, Ethiopians of Africa, Ethiopians of Baluchistan, Libyans, Paphlagonians, Ligyes, Matieni, Mariandyni, Cappadocians, Phrygians, Armenians, Lydians, Mysians, Asian Thracians, Lasonii, Milyae, Moschi, Tibareni, Macrones, Mossynoeci, Mares, Colchians, Alarodians, Saspirians, Red Sea islanders, Sagartians, Indians, Eordi, Bottiaei, Chalcidians, Brygians, Pierians, Perrhaebi, Enienes, Dolopes, and Magnesians.

- Achaemenid Empire

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Iranian peoples

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The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse grouping of Indo-European peoples who are identified by their usage of the Iranian languages and other cultural similarities.

The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse grouping of Indo-European peoples who are identified by their usage of the Iranian languages and other cultural similarities.

The Bistun Inscription of Darius the Great describes itself to have been composed in Arya [language or script].
Archaeological cultures associated with Indo-Iranian migrations (after EIEC). The Andronovo, BMAC and Yaz cultures have often been associated with it. The GGC (Swat), Cemetery H, Copper Hoard and PGW cultures are candidates for the same associations.
According to Allentoft (2015), the Sintashta culture probably derived from the Corded Ware culture.
The Andronovo culture's approximate maximal extent, with the formative Sintashta-Petrovka culture (red), the location of the earliest spoke-wheeled chariot finds (purple), and the adjacent and overlapping Afanasevo, Srubna, and BMAC cultures (green).
Scythian horseman, Pazyryk, from a carpet, c. 300 BCE
Extent of Iranian influence in the 1st century BCE. The Parthian Empire (mostly Western Iranian) is shown in red, other areas, dominated by Scythia (Eastern Iranian), in orange.
Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BCE to 486 BCE)
Persepolis: Persian guards
The Eastern Iranian and Balto-Slavic dialect continuums in Eastern Europe, the latter with proposed material cultures correlating to speakers of Balto-Slavic in the Bronze Age (white). Red dots = archaic Slavic hydronyms
Archaeological cultures c. 750 BCE at the start of Eastern-Central Europe's Iron Age; the Proto-Scythian culture borders the Balto-Slavic cultures (Lusatian, Milograd and Chernoles)
Silver coin of the Indo-Scythian king Azes II (reigned c. 35–12 BCE). Buddhist triratna symbol in the left field on the reverse
Hormizd I, Sassanian coin
Nowruz, an ancient Iranian annual festival that is still widely celebrated throughout the Iranian Plateau and beyond, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The ruins at Kangavar, Iran, presumed to belong to a temple dedicated to the ancient goddess Anahita.
Bronze Statue of a Parthian nobleman, National Museum of Iran
A caftan worn by a Sogdian horseman, 8th–10th century
Tajik people from Afghanistan
Tat men from the village of Adur in the Kuba Uyezd of the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire
Kurdish people celebrating Nowruz, Tangi Sar village.
Population genomic PCA, showing the CIC (Central Iranian cluster) among other worldwide samples.

The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, the Bactrians, the Dahae, the Khwarazmians, the Massagetae, the Medes, the Parthians, the Persians, the Sagartians, the Sakas, the Sarmatians, the Scythians, the Sogdians, and likely the Cimmerians, among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Eastern Steppe.

Later on, in 550 BCE, Cyrus the Great, would overthrow the leading Median rule, and conquer Kingdom of Lydia and the Babylonian Empire after which he established the Achaemenid Empire (or the First Persian Empire), while his successors would dramatically extend its borders.

The Arabs conquered the Sassanid Empire of the Persians and seized much of the Byzantine Empire populated by the Kurds and others.

Currently, most of these Iranian peoples live in Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus (mainly Ossetia, other parts of Georgia, Dagestan, and Azerbaijan), Iraqi Kurdistan and Kurdish majority populated areas of Turkey, Iran and Syria, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.