Once the most exclusive part of the palace, today the harem is the only section of the Tosh Hauli officially open to tourists. A new entrance has been built to provide direct access (barring entreaties from the museum grannies to buy socks!) to the magnificent interior. The courtyard is huge and windowless, surrounded by inward-facing balconies and aywans decorated with glittering tiles of swirling plant and flower motifs. Many of the tiles were designed to appear as hanging carpets - a remnant of the Khorezm tribes' nomadic past - with their cool blues and turquoises helping to sooth during the suffocatingly hot summer months.
The right side of the harem is dominated by five north-facing aywans which accommodated the Khan and his four official wives. They are decorated with majolica tiling and splendid ganch ceilings of dazzling colours, each decorated, assembled and then attached with hooks. Unfortunately the ceiling restoration clashed with the millennium anniversary of Al Khorezmi in 1983 when 'ustas' (craftsmen) were in short supply. Consequently the third, fourth and fifth ceilings were restored by ustas from Kokand with garish and unauthentic results
Each aywan boasts an exquisitely carved wooden pillar on a marble base which was brought from Samarkand. During construction a small circle of felt was placed between the marble plinth and the wooden column to make the pillar more flexible in case of earthquakes. One pillar displays an inverted Zoroastrian emblem which was appropriated by Hitler as a swastika. If rotated to the right it signifies wealth and eternal life, but if inverted it symbolises evil. The fifth aywan contains a storage vessel which was filled with water, vinegar or food and stored underground during winter.
During the tourist season there is usually an ensemble of Khiva musicians and dancers waiting to perform. Khorezm is renowned throughout Uzbekistan for its distinctive music and dancing style but, be warned, this particular group can be very pushy and demand exorbitant sums for a five minute concert. Bargain before you sit down and listen. The best place to see Khorezm dancing is at an Uzbek wedding, to which you may be invited by a friendly local.
Next to the fifth aywan lies the site of the former kitchens which is now a museum of crafts. Dingy mock-ups demonstrate Khiva's various crafts of silk weaving, ceramics, wood carving, metal work, fur hat making and block printing. There is also an example of Khiva's principle pre-Soviet method of transport, an 'arabah' or cart.
The Turkistan arabah is a unique type of vehicle. It has two great wheels the height of a man, which never cease from squealing. Between them a massive frame is fixed, the front of which acts as the shafts for the horse. ...The rim of the wooden wheels have no iron tyres and consequently soon wear out, but the size of the wheels is of great advantage in the sort of country over which they have to travel. Any other type of cart would certainly sink in and remain embedded to the axle in the deep mud of a Turkistan town. In fording rivers and streams - which, bridges being usually non-existent, is often the only means of crossing - the tall wheels are also invaluable.
Gustav Krist 'Journey through a Forbidden Land' 1933
Most tourists have a look at the harem and kitchens and then proceed with their tour. However the most interesting parts of the palace are still off-limits to tourists. A few kind words and the purchase of a couple of knitted socks may unlock the door to the 'dolum' or secret passage, once used only by the Khan to enter his harem.....
Goldschmidt Conference Archive: All abstracts by Dorrit E. Jacob in conference series: Goldschmidt


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All abstracts by Dorrit E. Jacob in conference series: Goldschmidt

(2020) Extensive Prekimberlitic Lithosphere Modification Recorded in Jericho Mantle Xenoliths in Kimberlites, Slave Craton
Greene S, Jacob D, O'Reilly S, Henry H, Pinter Z & Heaman L

(2020) Lithosphere Mapping in the South-Western Margin of the São Francisco Craton
Takenaka LB, Griffin W, O'Reilly S, Basei M, Ganade CE & Jacob D

(2020) New Perspectives on The Nacre-Organic Interface In Bivalve Shells
Otter L, Eder K, Gim J, Hovden R, Kilburn M, Yang L, Cairney JM & Jacob DE

(2020) Fluid Induced Formation of Garnet Coronas Around Scapolite: A Petrological, Geochemical and Mass-Balance Approach
Sommer H, Jacob D & Kröner A

(2017) Submicron Architecture of Bivalve Shells Revealed by Microbeam Techniques
Otter LM, Konsik MA, Kilburn MR, Sorowka A, Hoppe P, Williamson JE & Jacob DE

(2017) High Resolution Seasonal Signals in Bivalve Shells from Lake Rotorua, New Zealand
Herath D, Stern R, Jacob D, Clearwater S & Fallon S

(2017) Insights into Diamond Formation from Polycrystalline Diamond Aggregates
Jacob D, Stern R, Chapman J & Piazolo S

(2017) Fluid Induced Transition from Banded Kyanite- to Bimineralic Eclogite and Implications for the Evolution of Cratons
Sommer H, Jacob D, Stern R, Petts D, Mattey D & Pearson G

(2015) From MARID to Lamproite: Melting Phase Relations of MARID-Like Xenoliths from Kimberley, South Africa
Förster MW, Prelevic D, Schmück HR, Buhre S & Jacob DE

(2015) Eclogite Xeoliths with Subducted Oceanic Crust Signatures from the Wajrakarur Kimberlites, Southern India: Evidences from Trace Element and O Isotope Geochemistry
Dongre A, Jacob D, Stern R & Viljoen F

(2015) Low-Ni Olivine from Silica-Undersaturated Ultrapotassic Rocks as Evidence for Carbonate Metasomatism in the Mantle
Ammannati E, Jacob DE, Avanzinelli R, Foley SF & Conticelli S

(2015) Composition and Characterisation of Chromites, Alloys and Sulphide Inclusions from the Indo-Myanmar Ophiolite Belt of Northeastern India
Maibam B, Foley SF, Jacob DE, Singh TB, Ray D & Panda D

(2015) Manganese Speciation in Bivalve Shell Aragonite
Soldati A, Jacob D, Glatzel P, Grattage J & Geck J

(2015) Nanostructure of Arctica islandica Shells: Implications for Formation Pathways
Jacob D, Wirth R, Piazolo S & Trimby P

(2014) Non-Matrix-Matched Calibration of Femtosecond LA-ICP-MS Applied to Geochemical and Environmental Analysis
Jochum K, Macholdt D, Stoll B, Weis U, Jacob D, Mertz-Kraus R & Andreae M

(2014) Mussel Shells as Potential Hydrothermal Biomonitor
Amini M, Jacob DE, Koschinsky A & Weis D

(2014) Vibrational Spectroscopy of Biominerals: Combining Computer Models and Experiments to Understand Structural Features
Demichelis R, De La Pierre M, Raiteri P, Gale JD, Wehrmeister U & Jacob DE

(2013) Trace Elements in Olivine Characterize the Mantle Source of Subduction-Related Potassic Magmas
Ammannati E, Foley S, Avanzinelli R, Jacob D & Conticelli S

(2013) Matrix-Independent Calibration of LA-ICP-MS Using Femtosecond-Uv-Lasers?
Weis U, Jochum KP, Stoll B, Jacob D, Mertz-Kraus R & Andreae MO

(2012) High-Resolution Ontogenic Distribution of Mg/Ca Ratios and Mg Isotopes in Modern Brachiopods
Farkas J, Tomasovych A, Chrastny V, Jacob D, Francova M, Boehm F & Vollstaedt H

(2011) Polycrystalline Diamonds Witness Redox Processes in the Earth’s Mantle
Jacob D, Wirth R & Enzmann F

(2010) REE Fractionation during Low-Temperature Water-Mineral Interaction
Loges A, Goeb S, Jacob DE, Bau M, Wagner T & Markl G

(2010) Trace Elements in Olivines as Probes of Parental Melt Compositions in the Western Rift of East Africa
Foley S, Jacob D & O'Neill H

(2010) Micro- and Nanoscale Studies of Mn Incorporation in Bivalve Shells
Soldati A, Jacob D, Wehrmeister U, Meibom A, Loges N & Häger T

(2010) Trace Elements in Mantle Olivine and Orthopyroxene from the North Atlantic and Kaapvaal Cratons
Rehfeldt T, Foley SF, Jacob DE & Pearson DG

(2010) Arc Peridotite, Eclogite and Tonalite: A Trio of Ingredients for Craton Assembly
Jacob D, Prelevic D, Rehfeldt T, Buhre S & Foley S

(2009) Delayed Continental Crust Formation on a Hot Archaean Earth
Buhre S, Jacob D & Foley S

(2007) Processes of Biomineralization in Freshwater Cultured Pearls
Jacob D, Soldati A & Wehrmeister U

(2007) Characterizing Fe-Rich Dunite Xenoliths as Cumulates of Phanerozoic and Archaean Flood Basalt Magmatism
Rehfeldt T, Foley SF, Jacob DE & Carlson RW

(2006) Re-enrichment of cratonic lithospheric mantle beneath an evolving rift: mantle xenoliths from East Antarctica
Jacob DE, Foley SF & Andronikov AV

(2002) Experimental Evidence for Shallow Recycling of Ocean Crust in the Archean Earth
Buhre S, Jacob D & Foley S

(2002) Lu-Hf Isotopic Systematics of Subducted Ancient Oceanic Crust: Roberts Victor Eclogites
Jacob D, Bizimis M & Salters V

(2002) Zero Eclogites – Half Way between Shallow Mantle and Deep Crustal Origins
Schmickler B, Jacob D & Foley S

(2002) Cohenite (Iron Carbide) and Native Iron Formation within Garnet Included in Polycrystalline Diamonds by Redox Freezing in the Cratonic Lithosphere
Kronz A, Jacob D, Cartigny P & Viljoen F

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