In the environs of Bukhara, there are many towns and villages whose age exceeds a thousand years. The village of Afshonalocated at a distance of a few kilometers from Bukhara is no exception. It is known that in 980 in this village, in the family of a tax collector, there was born a boy named Abu Ali Ibn Sino. The boy soon became a great scholar famous in both Asia and Europe where he is most commonly known by his Latinized name Avicenna. Today Afshona features the museum dedicated to the great scholar and philosopher.
Like many famous personalities of the European Renaissance, Ibn Sino was known for his encyclopaedic knowledge. There seemed to be no field of science or arts which he did not make researches in, which he did not contribute to with his inventions. He wrote over 300 works, including the most famous The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine. The latter was extremely popular in both the East and the West. Suffice it to say that only in Latin it ran into 36 editions.
His large treatise The Book of Knowledge covered such topics as logic, rhetoric, mathematics, physics, astronomy, and metaphysics. Avicenna was also a famous poet and an expert in music. He developed the basics of music theory, defined musical tones and rhythms. Ibn Sino dealt not only with ‘pure science’ in its medieval understanding; he also engaged in practical application of his knowledge. For example, he invented a number of surgical instruments.
The exhibits of the Abu Ali ibn Sino Memorial Museum in Afshona will give you an insight into his life and activities, as well as the times he lived in, those of the reign of the Samanids. The museum displays a collection of archeological artifacts of the 10th and 11th centuries, home utensils, a number of medical instruments that were reconstructed after descriptions and drawings in Avicenna’s works, photocopies of his manuscripts. One of the rooms features natural-size figure scene of Ibn Sino healing the vizier Ibn Mansur.
The building of the museum is part of an architectural complex which also includes a Medical college, a conference hall and sports facility. In front of the museum there was laid out a garden, where many medicinal herbs the great doctor used in his practice are planted. The museum also has a video hall, a tea parlor and a souvenir shop.
Today, Ibn Sino’s works and activities invariably arouse interest of many people around the world.