A vast Mizdahkan Settlement is situated on the hills along the western outskirts of the city of Khodjeyli, stretching on both sides of the road leading to Kunya-Urgench.
The ancient city of Mizdahkan was founded on the western hill in the IV–III centuries B.C. Today the Settlement’s ruins are known as Khodjeyli Gyaur-kala, which means “The Fortress of Infidels.” The city received its name after the Arab invasion in the VIII century, since its residents were mainly Zoroastrians (fire-worshippers). Thus, the term gyaur presumably referred to an area of fireworshippers (gyaurs). According to research, in ancient times a large trade and craft centre located not far from the northern branch of the Great Silk Road was constructed there.
During the Kushan period (I–IV centuries) the city was also located on the western hill covering earlier cultural layers. From the IX to XI century the city of Mizdahkan experienced a renaissance period when a fortified citadel was built. During these centuries burial customs altered, indicating the adoption of a new religion – Islam. At the beginning of the XIII century due to the Mongol invasion of the Khorezm oasis and the defeat by Djuchi troops in 1221, city life was temporarily suspended. At the beginning of the XV century the old citadel was neglected and a new one built next to it. The Juma mosque and Sulayman Khaddadi Musaviya Khanaka were also constructed.
A number of beautiful and magnificent landmarks, such as the Mazlumkhan-sulu mausoleum, the Khalifa-Yerejep mausoleum, the Shamun-nabi mausoleum and the Djumart-kassab mound, are situated on the eastern hill of Mizdahkan.
The ruins of the Khalifa-Yerejep mausoleum are situated 120 to 130 metres south of the Mazlumkhan-sulu mausoleum and date back to the X–XI centuries A.D. Formerly it was a square construction, 11 × 11 metres in size. Only three mausoleum walls as well as minor remnants of masonry domes and a front side setting made of burnt glazed bricks are extant today. Scientists assume that the monument has a Sufi origin that can be traced in its layout and name.
Another famous monument in the Mizdahkan Complex is the Shamun-nabi mausoleum located near Djumart-kassab mound. It is a rectangular-shaped construction whose principal front is reinforced by a portal and oriented to the east. An elongated rectangular room spanned by seven successive domes is located inside the mausoleum. Tleukhana adjoins its western side. It was found that these two facilities were constructed in the XIII–XIV centuries.
According to a well-known legend, Shamun-Gaziyn (Nabi) was a brilliant healer and a strong man. Moreover, he could work miracles. He came to this region to preach a new religion and started curing the sick, but he took no money. Shamun-nabi lived in a place where his grave is now situated.
According to another legend, during ancient times a rich man named Djumart lived in the city of Mizdahkan. Once, when the country had a bad harvest year, Djumart took a provision of free fresh meat to the neighbouring areas. Thus, Djumart was considered a patron of herdsmen. When the herdsmen began losing cattle, they took the herd to the hill and made it go around the mound seven times.
The origins of the name Djumart have been linked to the ancient mythical hero of Zoroastrian cosmogony, Gaumard, who had the head of a bull on the body of a man. He lived in Ayryanem Vedjo (Khorezm) on the bank of the sacred river Dayti (Amudarya).
The city of Mizdahkan was inhabited until the XIV century A.D.