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Panjakent, also spelled Panjikent, Panjekent, Panjikant or Penjikent, is a city in the Sughd province of Tajikistan on the Zeravshan River, with a population of 33,000 . It was once an ancient town in Sogdiana. The ruins of the old town are on the outskirts of the modern city. The Sarazm Important Bird Area lies downstream of the city on the tugay-vegetated floodplain of the river.HistoryAncient Panjekent was a small but flourishing town of the Soghdians in pre-Islamic Central Asia. It was known as Panchekanth. It means five towns (villages). The ethnic and territorial name "Soghd/Soghdian" or Sughd/Sughdian was mentioned in history as early as the Iranian Achaemenid Dynasty (6th century BC). The Achaemenids founded several city-states, as well as cities along the ancient Silk road and in the Zarafshan valley.The town grew in the 5th century AD and many professionals such as established businessmen and landowners made their livelihoods in Panjakent. In AD 722, Arabian forces besieged and took the town. The last ruler of the town Divashtich fled into upper Zarafshan but he was captured and sentenced to death. For around 50 years, ancient Panjakent was ruled by new administrators but towards the end of the 8th century the town on the upper terraces was depopulated and relocated. Many ancient ruins of the old city, particularly the city architecture and works of art remain today.Panjakent is in Sughd Province. Use our Tajikistan trip itinerary builder tool to plan your trip to Panjakent and other destinations in Tajikistan.
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