Sogdiana

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Sogdiana or Sogdia (Old Persian: Suguda-; Ancient Greek: Σογδιανή; New Persian: سغد - Sōġd; Tajik: Суғд - Sughd; Turkish: Soğut) was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great (i. 16). Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created. This region is listed second after Airyana Vaeja, Land of the Aryans, in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad or "Videvdat", indicating the importance of this region from ancient times.[1] Sogdiana, at different times, included territories around Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand and Kesh in modern Uzbekistan. The inhabitants of Sogdiana were the Sogdians, an Eastern Iranian people, who are among the ancestors of modern-day Tajiks.

The Sogdian states, although never politically united, were centered around the main city of Samarkand. Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus (Amu Darya) and the Jaxartes (Syr Darya), embracing the fertile valley of the Zarafshan (ancient Polytimetus). Sogdian territory corresponds to the modern provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan.

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