The ancient funerary complex Shah-i-Zinda is in the south of Afrasiab, the site of ancient town. In 14-15 centuries there were built 12 mausoleums of Uzbek noble families. At first, there was built the mausoleum of Kusam ibn Abass, who is believed to be the cousin of the prophet Muhammad.
According to the legend, in 676 Kusam ibn Abass came to this land with a small troop to spread Islam. During one of the skirmishes he was wounded with an arrow, but had time to hide in a rock crack and was never found. After that there appeared the legend of his miraculous salvation. And the word Shah-i-Zinda means the «Living King».
Kusam ibn Abass Mausoleum is the earliest surviving building of the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis. It dates back to 1334. All the other mausoleums were built in the period of 1340-1405, that is, in the reign of Timur. In 2005 there took place a reconstruction of the Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis during which there were discovered even more ancient mausoleums and mosques of 11 century.