The Golden Ring of Khorezm
The authors would like to thank Lonely Planet for permission to use the visitor's map of Khiva which was adapted with permission from Central Asia, 3rd Edition.

The Golden Ring of Khorezm
V.N.Yagodin and A.V.G.Betts


PREFACE

  The land of Khorezm is remote and little-known. Many people are unaware of the wealth of its standing monuments and the rich history that lies within their walls. This book is designed to serve as an introduction to the story of Khorezm, as told through its ancient cities and the museums housing artifacts from its distant and more recent past. For the traveler, the Golden Ring of the title is the route that can be taken through the land where this volume may serve as a guide. It is also the rich green of the oasis, ringed by the golden sands of the vast Central Asian deserts that surround it. There is much for the visitor to see. One or two days can be spent wandering the medieval streets of Khiva. Armed with a good pair of shoes, a camera and a hat, the earliest civilizations can be brought to life by a tour of the two-thousand year old fortresses that protect the oasis from the desert nomads, the great palaces of Toprak-kala and the Tower of Silence at Chilpik.   Traces of the original riverine landscape can be seen at the Baday-Tugai Reserve, a good place for a rest and a picnic. For the art lover, the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Arts houses one of the world's greatest collections of early 20th century Russian art as well as a rich assemblage of regional historic and ethnographic artifacts. Finally, to the north, at Muynak, lie the rusting ships of the old Aral Sea fishing fleet, a silent monument to man's ability to alter the landscape on a great and terrible scale. Returning home, perhaps the traveller may show this volume to friends and family and encourage them also to visit this remote and extraordinary land.