Curse of Tamerlane

Curse of Tamerlane
Curse of Tamerlane

Tamerlane (Timur) (1336-1405) - commander, emir (from 1370). Creator of the Timurid state with the capital in Samarkand. Defeated the Golden Horde. He made campaigns of conquest to Iran, Transcaucasia, India, Asia Minor and other countries, which was accompanied by the devastation of many cities, the destruction and withdrawal of the population. Great Encyclopedia of Cyril and Methodius. 2000.

High rank scientific expedition

In March 1941, with the personal permission of Stalin, a scientific expedition was organized, whose members were charged with the obligation to establish the burial place of Tamerlane.

The expedition was headed by a prominent Uzbek historian and mathematician, later academician and president of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Tashmukhamed Kary-Niyazov. The expedition included: Alexander Semyonov, a historian and expert in the ancient languages of the East; the famous Leningrad archaeologist, anthropologist and sculptor Mikhail Gerasimov - the creator of a unique method of restoring the appearance of people on the basis of skeletal remains; Tajik writer, scientist and public figure Aini (real name - Sadriddin Said-Murodzoda) - the future first president of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, as well as four cameramen who were supposed to capture on film the main stages and results of the expedition.

As one of the operators, 28-year-old Uzbek Malik Kayumov, later a well-known documentary film director, People's Artist of the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labor, laureate of the USSR State Prize and the * Nika-91 Prize, in the Honor and Dignity nomination, went to the excavations. At the end of May 1941, all members of the expedition gathered in Samarkand - the ancient capital of Tamerlane's empire and the supposed CSji ^ place of his burial.

Four hypotheses

According to most scholars, the resting place of Tamerlane was the Gur-Emir mausoleum, built in Samarkand in 1403-1404. However, there were other versions as to where this outstanding military leader of antiquity was buried. Alexander Semyonov believed that Timur was buried in the ancient city of Otrar, located in the middle reaches of the Syr Darya River and existed until the middle of the 16th century. The remains of Otrar are located in Kazakhstan, in the vicinity of the Timur railway station. It was in this city in 1405 that the great conqueror died suddenly when he led his hordes to the east - to conquer China. One of the arguments in favor of his hypothesis, Semyonov considered the fact that those close to the leader hid his death for some time in the hope of a successful campaign and large spoils of war.

In turn, Kary-Niyazov was sure that Timur's grave should be sought in the ancient Afghan city of Herat, which was considered the founder of Alexander the Great. There, according to the scientist, his son Shahrukh secretly took the deceased Tamerlane.

According to the latest hypothesis, Timur was buried in Uzbekistan, in his hometown of Shakhrisabz, where the emir had previously ordered to build a magnificent mausoleum for his father and mother. In the underground part of this mausoleum, a special sarcophagus was installed, covered with a marble slab weighing three and a half tons. In 1941, no one knew what was inside the sarcophagus.

Petroglyph warns

And yet, the search began with the Gur-Emir mausoleum, since it was there, according to historical documents, that the remains of Tamerlane's closest relatives, his sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were located.

Work on the opening of the first burial, which Mikhail Gerasimov identified as the grave of Tamerlane's son, Shakhrukh, began on June 1, 1941. Scientists and master masons copied all images and inscriptions carved on stone slabs that could have been accidentally damaged during excavations. Additionally, the whole process was photographed and filmed by cameramen-chroniclers.

It was then that Alexander Semyonov discovered a mysterious inscription in ancient Arabic engraved on one of the marble slabs. It contained 16 names of Tamerlane and quotes from the Koran. And it ended with a warning of the following content: “We are all mortal and in due time we will die. Many great people were before us and will be after us. Those who allow themselves to rise above others and dishonor the ashes of their ancestors will suffer a terrible punishment."

Semyonov was able to read the full text of this inscription only on June 17, when the excavations were already in full swing. The prediction of punishment for those who disturb the peace of the ancient rulers made a strong impression on the scientists, but no one dared to interrupt the work. After all, not only Soviet and foreign journalists, who literally did not take their eyes off the researchers, sought to receive detailed reports on the progress of affairs in Gur-Emir, but also Comrade Stalin himself, whose anger could be much more real than the threat written on stone 500 years ago. Therefore, after a short meeting, Kary-Niyazov, Gerasimov and Semyonov decided to continue the work, and the text of the discovered inscription should not be made public. Moreover, the sarcophagus of Shakhrukh has already been opened, followed by the burial place of Timur's grandson Ulugbek, the famous astronomer and mathematician. But nothing unusual happened during this time.

Strange events in the tomb

In the early morning of June 21, they began to open the third burial, the alleged grave of Tamerlane. For some reason, the work did not go well from the very beginning. Almost immediately, the winch, with the help of which the stone monoliths were raised to the surface, went out of order, and all the participants in the excavations had to remove another marble slab from the grave by hand. When the slab was pulled out, it was found that the hole was filled to the brim with earth. Some members of the expedition decided that the grave was empty and that Timur's remains should be looked for elsewhere.

And suddenly all those in the tomb were simultaneously seized by a feeling of some incomprehensible anxiety, a feeling of a growing threat. People looked at each other in silence, tried to calm their nerves, suppress the causeless excitement. And they continued to dig the grave.

The archaeologists raked the earth out of the sarcophagus with their hands, and soon another marble slab appeared to their eyes. It was possible to lift it and drag it aside only by noon. A wooden coffin lid appeared from under the slab. And at that very moment all the lamps in the mausoleum went out at once, and people began to feel a lack of air.

It was decided to take a lunch break and go outside to catch my breath and calm down. And the operator Malik Kayumov took advantage of the break in work to get some tea.

New caveat

“I went to the nearest teahouse,” he recalled, “ordered tea and sat down with the three elders sitting at the table.

Before them lay an open book with text in Arabic. Since I studied Arabic in school, they asked me to read one sentence from the book. It read: "The one who disturbed the ashes of the great leader will unleash a great war."

After reading this, I ran with all my might after Kary-Niyazov and Semyonov so that they could talk with these elders. The conversation took place, however, scientists expressed great distrust of such a prediction, a dispute ensued, which turned into a quarrel. The offended elders got up, took the book and left the teahouse. I wanted to stop them and ran after them, but they turned into an alley and … melted into thin air!"

Subsequently, Kayumov repeatedly asked the residents of Samarkand about the Arab book and the predictions contained in it. Many have heard of the tome, but no one held it in their hands.

Desired find

In the afternoon, excavations continued. Gerasimov went down inside the sarcophagus and began to take out the boards that formed the lid of the coffin.

“And all those present immediately felt an unfamiliar but very pleasant smell spreading throughout the tomb,” Kayumov recalled.- When the boards were raised to the surface, everyone saw the remains of a very tall man with a large head. Scientists began to carefully remove the surviving bones from the coffin, one after another. They paid special attention to the femur of the left leg, which, although it was not broken, retained traces of serious damage. Seeing this, everyone was convinced that they had found the skeleton of Emir Timur, nicknamed Timur-Leng - Iron Lamer, which the Europeans pronounced as Tamerlane."

It is pertinent to note here that the origin of Timur's lameness is interpreted in different ways by different sources. According to one, he began to limp in childhood, after falling from a horse, and received the nickname Timur-Khromets from his peers, boys. According to others, lameness was the result of a wound received in battle in 1362. There is no consensus on which leg Timur limped on. True, most sources claim that it is on the left.

After making sure that the discovered remains belonged to Tamerlane, the scientists did not hide their joy: it means that the expedition completed the task received from the leader of the Soviet Union, Comrade Stalin.

Did the prediction come true?

But the joy of the expedition members was short-lived. The next morning, the radio reported on the treacherous attack by Hitlerite Germany on the USSR. The Great Patriotic War began.

In such a situation, all excavations were stopped, the members of the expedition began to leave Samarkand. Gerasimov packed Timur's remains and took them to Moscow. Cameraman Malik Kayumov volunteered for the army. He soon found himself at the front as a war correspondent and newsreel. However, the curse of Tamerlane did not leave his head, and he decided to report it to someone from the higher command staff.

“At first I found myself near Rzhev, on the Kalinin front,” said Kayumov. - When I learned that the headquarters of the front command was located nearby, I decided to take advantage of this success. I managed to get permission to meet with General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov without any problems, who received me in his dugout and even gave me tea. I told him in detail about the work of the expedition and about the mysterious warnings."

Since the future Marshal of the Soviet Union took Kayumov's story very seriously, he, mustering up the courage, asked Zhukov to inform Stalin about everything. Zhukov promised to comply with Kayumov's request, but did not.

Stalin's reaction

However, in October 1942, the paths and fate of the war again brought Kayumov to the location of the front command headquarters, where Zhukov was at that time. They met again, and Kayumov reminded the general of Tamerlane's curse and the promise to inform Stalin about him. This time Zhukov called the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and told him everything.

After that, Joseph Vissarionovich was connected with the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan Usman Yusupov, and the leader suggested that he urgently organize the return of Timur's remains to the Gur-Emir mausoleum.

It turned out to be a difficult task to fulfill the task set by Stalin, since these remains were still in the laboratory of Gerasimov, who was working on restoring the appearance of the great conqueror. To complete the reconstruction of the appearance of the head of Tamerlane, as well as his son Shahrukh and grandson Ulugbek Gerasimov, was succeeded by October 28, and on November 15, 1942, the remains of Timur and his descendants left the laboratory to go to Uzbekistan.

But they did not get to Samarkand immediately, but only a month later. This happened because of one of the most amazing military operations of the time, the purpose of which was to strengthen the morale in the units of the Red Army that defended Moscow.

According to Vadim Chernobrov, head of the Cosmopoisk international organization, which studies anomalous and unknown phenomena, Timur's remains were aboard a special military aircraft for several tens of days, which flew over the most dangerous sections of the front near Moscow.

And we can assume that this did not happen without the knowledge of the People's Commissar of Defense, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Joseph Stalin.

“All the soldiers knew very well that an airplane with the ashes of the great commander of the XIV century was flying over their heads,” says Chernobrov. - And such an action was not an isolated one. Previously, the same plane circled over the troops, having on board relics from among the Orthodox shrines, as well as a miraculous icon, which was supposed to save Moscow from enemy invasion. Holy icons, relics of Orthodoxy and other directions of Christianity, as well as Islam, often appeared on all front lines."

Consequences of returning to Gur-Emir

The remains of the Timurids, seized from the Gur-Emir mausoleum, were again in their graves on December 20, 1942. On the occasion of such an event, a special protocol was drawn up, written in four languages: Persian, Uzbek, Russian and English. One of the copies of the document was placed in an airtight capsule and placed in a coffin with the remains of Tamerlane.

And two days later, the news came about the beginning of the defeat of the 22 divisions of German fascist troops surrounded at Stalingrad with a total number of 330 thousand people. After repelling the enemy's attempt to free the encircled grouping, Soviet troops eliminated it. In early February 1943, the remnants of the Sixth German Army, a total of 91 thousand people, led by Field Marshal Paulus, surrendered.

Another remarkable event is connected with the epic of Timur-Leng's return to his tomb. In the summer of 1943, during the beginning of the famous "tank" battle on the Kursk Bulge, which ended with the defeat of 30 enemy divisions and the liberation of the cities of Orel, Belgorod and Kharkov, Stalin signed an order to allocate a million rubles for the restoration and reconstruction of the Samarkand mausoleum.

In those days, this money could be used to build 16 tanks or maintain an entire army division for a month.

“You should never disturb the remains of people - neither great nor simple,” sums up this story Malik Kayumov, who went through the entire war with his camera, went with it to Berlin, and then filmed the Victory Parade.

Malik Kayumov died in April 2010 at the age of 98.

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