Tashkent History: Binkat

Binkat – the largest economy center of Shash

Arab invasion caused great damages to the development of city life on the territory of Tashkent. Almost all cities and settlements were destructed in the course of struggle against conquerors.

New economic upturn of the region began since the second half of 9th century. Shash became the part of the Empire of Samanid and it favored to the subdivision of handicrafts, development of craft manufacture. Wide trade and economic relations within caliphate and centralization of power in Mavarannahr promoted the development of urban culture. The most intensive process occurred in the Tashkent oasis, which included two possessions at that time: Shash and Ilak. According to the geographers of the 10th century, they were practically a single country. It included up to 50 major cities.

Craft workshops “rabads” formed and developed in the urban centers, becoming an important socio-economic part of the city. Its capital, Binkat turned into the largest center of economy of Shash.

"... Among regions that are within the territory of Turkestan, there is no region greater but the region of Chach. It includes large buildings, and a great number of them. In each palace there is running water and garden. All the buildings are made of clay. The main town of this region is called as Binkat ... "(Al-Istahri, X century).

Binkat citadel and shahristan (inner city) were situated on the high triangular hill between the Eski Juva Square on the north with towered remains of the old fortress Eski Juva, Khadra Square on the southeast and Chorsu Square on the southwest.

People of quarters and streets near the bazaar center were engaged in crafts and many of quarters until recently have been named after the professions of their inhabitants: blacksmiths, potters, leather craftsmen, weavers, etc. The city wall went across the Navoi street from west to east. Nearby archaeologists have found quarters of ceramic handicrafts with semi-subterranean, circular pottery furnaces, beautiful glazed ware. Quarters consisted of houses, streets, channels, shops of 9-12th centuries, mud and dried brick houses. The palace and prison were placed in Citadel. Rabads (handicraft suburbs) were located around shakhristan.

In 9-12th centuries the craft suburbs were built more closely and were widened for the account of earlier non-developed areas. In the second half of 12th century Binkat as well as other cities of Chach and Ilak fell to decay. By this time the name Binkat has disappeared.