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A group of Mesolithic era (12th-7th millennium BC) archeological sites were discovered at Sazag'on-1, Zamichatosh and Okhalik (suburbs of the city).The Syob and Darg'om canals, supplying the city and its suburbs with water, appeared around the 7th to 5th centuries BC (early Iron Age).
This Greek legacy continued as the city became part of the various Greek successor states that emerged following Alexander's death: it would become part of the Seleucid Empire, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, and Kushan Empire, successively.
Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia.
The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic rulers until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220.
During this time the city became a protectorate and paid tribute to the ruling Tang.
The armies of the Umayyad Caliphate under Qutayba ibn Muslim captured the city in around 710 from Turks.
There is no direct evidence when Samarkand was founded.