Gutlug Timur Minaret
The next monument reached is the Gutlug Timur Minaret, which at almost 60m is the tallest medieval structure in Central Asia, apparently. It was even taller before recent reconstruction work, aimed at stabilising the still somewhat unsafe-looking structure, bad the effect of reducing the height by a couple of metres. The minaret is an attractive, tapering column, some 12m in diameter at the base, but just 2m wide at the top, on which a long-vanished wooden balcony would once have stood. There are 18 horizontal bands of decoration, some incorporating blue majolica tiles. There are three bands of inscriptions in Kufic script, one of which links the minaret with Gutlug Timur and his father-in-law Uzbek Khan. This led researchers to date the monument to 1320-30. But it is now believed that the minaret is much older, probably dating to the 11th or 12th century, and that Gutlug Timur's role was limited to ordering its reconstruction.