Afrasiab, said to be king of all Turan, and thus perhaps an emblem of Turkic peoples generally speaking, is mentioned in Persia's classic epic, Firdoussi's Shahnameh ('Book of Kings'), where the legendary hero-king battles a legendary Iranian king, Kai Khosro. Al Biruni tells us that the Khwarezmian calendar starts with the arrival of Sijavus around 1300 BC, and it is thought that the two may be the same person. One view is that Khwar-Ezem is derived from Afr-Asiab.
According to Firdoussi, Afrasiab is the ancestor of the Hephthalites (q.v.), and the name apparently has also appeared as an Uighur dynasty as well as being claimed as ancestor by the Kara-Khanids.
The city of Afrasiab traditionally founded in the 8th-7th Century BCE, has archeologically confirmed sites from ca. 500 BCE to the 13 Century CE. The archeology of the site is interpreted in the Afrasiab Museum on the site. The museum contains the oldest surviving chessmen. The mural paintings of Afrasiab are famous. Afrasiab lay on the Silk Road, on the borders of Achaemenian Persia, when Alexander the Great conquered the city in 329 BCE.