The old site of Samarkand was occupied c 500 BC to 1220 AD. It was on high ground, for defensive reasons, and is therefore arid. There is a river valley to the north and there was a large fertile site (now the site of Samarkand) to the south. Timur Tamerlane's was on Afrasiyab but he spent his time moving from orchard garden to orchard garden on the fertile oasis land around Afrasiyab.
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