Version July 2007
Photos by Bernt Glatzer (1970, 1971, 1993) and Michael Casimir (1970)

Shah-i Mashhad is the local name of a site in the Afghan Province of Badghis, District Jawand (see exact location) where the ruins of a 12th century Ghurid madrasah were discovered in 1970 by Bayazid Atsak, Michael Casimir and Bernt Glatzer. One of its inscriptions reveal that the monument was endowed by a lady in 571 H. (1176 C.E.).

Shah-i Mashhad is unique for its very rich epigraphic decoration that may serve almost as a catalogue of variations in Ghurid architectural calligraphy. Shah-i Mashhad stands at the zenith of Ghaznavid, Saljuk and Ghurid (11-12th Cent. AD) epigraphical development and refinement.

When B.G. revisited the site in Autumn 1993 he found Shah-i Mashhad further demolished. Almost half of the building and decorations that we had documented in the early 1970s had vanished. We are afraid, by now (2007) virtually nothing is left at the site. We are sad to say that this monument representing some of the finest examples of Muslim epigraphy survives only on photographs of the 1970s.

Shah-i Mashhad does not belong to individuals or institutions. Therefore we offer this documentation to all those who wish to study Afghanistan's outstanding cultural richness, who wish to further analyse the data of this documentation and who wish to study the history of Shah-i Mashhad and of this part of the world. The photos are also offered to those who simply wish to enjoy the beauty of Ghurid forms, patterns, and calligraphy. Therefore we put this documentation under Creative Commons License (see Legal Note).

In the table of contents you find several "index maps": These are important for identifying each of the photos with the proper site at the building. For this purpose we divide the building into sections from A to U ("V" is a structure ca. 200 yards away from the main building.). The Inscriptions are ordered from 1 to 14. The sites of the sections and inscriptions can be seen on these index maps. The file name of most of the photos contain the index letter of section, the number(s) of inscription, the date the picture was taken, and the number of negative or slide.

Table of Contents:

Indexmap 1: Groundplan
Indexmap 2: Frontside
Indexmap 3: North part
Indexmap 4: Northwest part
Indexmap 5: Southwest part
Legal Note

Plans, Maps:

The Photos (directories with access to the photos):

Last update: July 19, 2007