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Firm answers may prove elusive.

Nearly all the scientists, including Ibn Sina, wrote at least part of their works in verse. The building arts and painting flourished. The stunning multicolumnar minaret of baked brick constructed in 1108–­1109 at Jarkurgan, Uzbekistan, still stands, as does the now extensively restored tomb of the Seljuk sultan Sanjar, designed in 1157. Both were designed by architects from Sarakhs on the Turkmenistan-­Iran border, Ali of Sarakhs and The Center of the World • 15 Muhammad Ibn Atsiz al-Sarakhsi.

1079 Sultan Malikshah and his vizier, Nizam al-­Mulk, introduce Khayyam’s new solar calendar. 1092 Nizam al-­Mulk is murdered by an Ismaili assassin on October 14. 1093 Birth of Sufi Ahmad Yasawi at Isfijab (Sayram) on the southern border of modern Kazakhstan east of Chimkent. 1095 Ghazali, at the peak of his popularity, falls severely ill. 1118 Ahmad Sanjar assumes power in Merv after the death of Sultan Malikshah. 1127 The Kalyan minaret, also known as the Minaret of Death, is built in Bukhara.

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