Ancient Tashkent or Chach came into being in the 3rd-2nd centuries B.C. as a trading and craft center at the crossroads of the caravan routes. From the end of the 1st millennium Chach was a part of the Kanghuy Confederation of Princedoms. The city was ruled by a dynasty of governors who started to coin money with the name of “Chach” and a very characteristic tamga in the 3rd-4th centuries. In the late 6th and early 7th centuries the local dynasties lost their power and Chach became a Turkic city. Areas in the middle reaches of the Syr-Darya including Ilak, where silver, gold, copper and iron mines were developed, submitted to Turks. As the Turks grew weaker Chach became a dependency of the Chinese Tang emperors, and in the 7th -8th centuries new conquerors, the Arabs, came. When a Chinese expedition invaded Chach in the middle of the 8th century, the townspeople applied for help to the Muslims and the town became a part of Arabic Caliphate.
The Arabic name for the town was ash-Shash. Caliphs taxed Shash heavily; 2/3 of the taxes they received came from the richest silver mines in Ilak. Under the Samanids the city was named Binket, and in the 11th century under the Qarakhanids it was given the name Tashkent. The town was almost completely destroyed by Khorezm-shah Muhammad in 1210 and it had to be rebuilt. The defensive walls with 12 gates were reconstructed under Amir Temur. The medieval image of Tashkent was mainly completed under the Temurids and Sheybanids when the most important mosques, madrasah and mausoleums were erected. In the 19th century there were more than 20 thousands mud brick houses with small courtyards inside the city wall. The whole town was divided into 4 large districts (daha). Their names have been preserved even until today. The eastern district, Shayhantaur, the western, Kukcha, the northern, Sibzar, and the southern, Beshagach.