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Mausoleum of Il Arslan

Back on the main path, and following it south from the Tekesh Mausoleum, you reach the Mausoleum of Il Arslan, the favourite Konye-Urgench monument of many visitors. Dated to the middle of the 12th century, the mausoleum is square in plan, with a beautifully decorated eastern facade, offering Arabic inscriptions and floral designs in terracotta. Like that of the Tekesh Mausoleum, the cupola is conical in form, but unusually that of the Il Arslan Mausoleum retains the 12-sided structure of the drum below. The cupola is decorated with turquoise tiles, set in a playful zig-zag design. The mausoleum is identified locally as that of Fahr ad-Din Razi, a well-known scientist of the 12th century, but he is known to have died in Herat around 1209. The building might nonetheless have been built in honour of Fahr ad-Din Razi, but some historians, looking for a suitably important person who actually died in Gurganj at the right time, have suggested that the tomb may be that of the Khorezmshah Il Arslan, father of Tekesh, who ruled 1156-1172. The scholar Az Zamakhshari has also been suggested as a possible occupant.