Battle of Gaugamela
The Battle of Gaugamela called the Battle of Arbela, was the decisive battle of Alexander the Great's invasion of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. In 331 BC Alexander's army of the Hellenic League met the Persian army of Darius III near Gaugamela, close to the modern city of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Though outnumbered, Alexander emerged victorious due to his army's superior tactics and his deft employment of light infantry, it was led to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire. In November 333 BC Darius III had lost the Battle of Issus, resulting in the capture of his wife, his mother and his two daughters, Stateira II and Drypetis. Darius had retreated to Babylon; the victory at Issus had given Alexander control of southern Asia Minor. Following a victory at the Siege of Tyre, which lasted from January to July, Alexander controlled the Levant. After his victory at Gaza Persian troop counts were low and the Persian satrap of Egypt, peacefully surrendered to Alexander. Darius tried to dissuade Alexander from further attacks on his empire by diplomacy.
Ancient historians provide different accounts of his negotiations with Alexander, which can be separated into three negotiation attempts. Justin and Curtius Rufus write that Darius sent a letter to Alexander after the Battle of Issus, it demanded that he release his prisoners. According to Curtius and Justin he offered a ransom for his prisoners, but Arrian does not mention a ransom. Curtius describes the tone of the letter as offensive. Alexander refused his demands. A second negotiation attempt took place after the capture of Tyre. Darius offered Alexander a marriage with his daughter Stateira II and all the territory west of the Halys River. Justin is less specific, not mentioning a specific daughter and speaking of a portion of Darius' kingdom. Diodorus Siculus mentions the offer of all territory west of the Halys River, a treaty of friendship and a large ransom for the captives. Diodorus is the only ancient historian who mentions that Alexander concealed this letter and presented his friends with a forged one favorable to his own interests.
Again Alexander refused. Darius started to prepare for another battle after the failure of the second negotiation attempt. So, he made a third and final effort to negotiate after Alexander's departure from Egypt. Darius' third offer was much more generous, he praised Alexander for the treatment of his mother Sisygambis and offered him all territory west of the Euphrates, co-rulership of the Achaemenid Empire, the hand of one of his daughters and 30,000 talents of silver. In the account of Diodorus, Alexander deliberated this offer with his friends. Parmenion was the only one who spoke up, saying, "If I were Alexander, I should accept what was offered and make a treaty." Alexander replied, "So should I, if I were Parmenion." Alexander again refused the offer of Darius. He called on Darius to surrender to him or to meet him in battle to decide, to be the sole king of Asia; the descriptions given by other historians of the third negotiation attempt are similar to the account of Diodorus, but differ in details.
Diodorus and Arrian write that an embassy was sent instead of a letter, claimed by Justin and Plutarch. Plutarch and Arrian mention the ransom offered for the prisoners was 10,000 talents, but Diodorus and Justin give a figure of 30,000. Arrian writes that this third attempt took place during the Siege of Tyre, but the other historians place the second negotiation attempt at that time. With the failure of diplomacy, Darius decided to prepare for another battle with Alexander. After settling affairs in Egypt, Alexander returned to Tyre during the spring of 331 BC, he reached Thapsacus in August. Arrian relates that Darius had ordered Mazaeus to guard the crossing of the Euphrates near Thapsacus with a force of 3,000 cavalry, he fled. After crossing the Euphrates, Alexander followed a northern route instead of a direct southeastern route to Babylon. While doing so he had the mountains of Armenia on his left; the northern route made it easier to forage for supplies and his troops would not suffer the extreme heat of the direct route.
Captured Persian scouts reported to the Macedonians that Darius had encamped past the Tigris River and wanted to prevent Alexander from crossing. Alexander found the Tigris succeeded in crossing it with great difficulty. In contrast, Diodorus mentions that Mazaeus was only supposed to prevent Alexander from crossing the Tigris, he would not have bothered to defend it because he considered it impassable due to the strong current and depth of the river. Furthermore and Curtius Rufus mention that Mazaeus employed scorched-earth tactics in the countryside through which Alexander's army had to pass. After the Macedonian army had crossed the Tigris a lunar eclipse occurred. Following the calculations, the date must have been October 1 in 331 BC. Alexander marched southward along the eastern bank of the Tigris. On the fourth day after the crossing of the Tigris his scouts reported that Persian cavalry had been spotted, numbering no more than 1000 men; when Alexander attacked them with his cavalry force ahead of the rest of his army, the Persian cavalry fled.
Most of them escaped. The prisoners told the Macedonians. Several researchers have criticized the Persians for their failure to harass Alexander's army and disrupt its long supply lines when it advanced through Mesopotamia. Peter Gree
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is one of the four administrative provinces of Pakistan, located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan. It was known as the North-West Frontier Province until 2010 when the name was changed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the 18th Amendment to Pakistan's Constitution, is known colloquially by various other names. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third-largest province of Pakistan by the size of both population and economy, though it is geographically the smallest of four. Within Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shares a border with Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, it is home to 17.9% of Pakistan's total population, with the majority of the province's inhabitants being Pashtuns. The province is the site of the ancient kingdom Gandhara, including the ruins of its capital Pushkalavati near modern-day Charsadda. A stronghold of Buddhism, the history of the region was characterized by frequent invasions under various Empires due to its geographical proximity to the Khyber Pass.
Since the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been a major theatre of militancy and terrorism which intensified when the Taliban began an unsuccessful attempt to seize the control of the province in 2004. With the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the Taliban insurgency, the casualty and crime rates in the country as a whole dropped by 40.0% as compared to 2011–13, with greater drops noted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. As of July 2014, about 929,859 people were reported to be internally displaced from North Waziristan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a result of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. On March 2, 2017, the Government of Pakistan considered a proposal to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to repeal the Frontier Crimes Regulations, which are applicable to the tribal areas. However, some political parties have opposed the merger, called for the tribal areas to instead become a separate province of Pakistan.
On 24 May 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan voted in favour of an amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly approved the historic FATA-KP merger bill on 28 May 2018 making FATA part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, signed by President Mamnoon Hussain, completing the process of this historic merger. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa means the "Khyber part of the land of the Pashtuns", while only the word Pakhtunkhwa means "Land of Pashtuns", according to some scholars, it means "Pashtun culture and society"; when the British established it as a province, they called it "North West Frontier Province" due to its relative location being in north west of their Indian Empire. After the creation of Pakistan, Pakistan continued with this name but a Pashtun nationalist party, Awami National Party demanded that the province name be changed to "Pakhtunkhwa", their logic behind that demand was that Punjabi people, Sindhi people and Balochi people have their provinces named after their ethnicities but, not the case for Pashtun people.
Pakistan Muslim League was against that name since it was too similar to Bacha Khan's demand of separate nation of Pashtunistan. PML-N wanted to name the province something other than which does not carry Pashtun identity in it as they argued that there were other minor ethnicities living in the province Hindkowans who spoke Hindko, thus the word Khyber was introduced with the name because it is the name of a major pass which connects Pakistan to Afghanistan. During the times of Indus Valley Civilization the modern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Khyber Pass, through Hindu Kush provided a route to other neighbouring regions and was used by merchants on trade excursions. From 1500 BCE, Indo-Aryan peoples started to enter in the region after having passed Khyber Pass; the Gandharan civilization, which reached its zenith between the sixth and first centuries BCE, which features prominently in the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharatha, had one of its cores over the modern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The modern day capital city of Peshawar was known in ancient times as Purushapura when the region was Hindu.
Vedic texts refer to the area as the Janapada of Pushkalavati. The area was once known to be a great center of learning. At around 516 BCE. Darius Hystaspes sent Scylax, a Greek seaman from Karyanda, to explore the course of the Indus river. Darius Hystaspes subsequently subdued north of Kabul. Gandhara was incorporated into the Persian Empire as one of its far easternmost satrapy system of government; the satrapy of Gandhara is recorded to have sent troops for Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 BCE. In the spring of 327 BCE Alexander the Great crossed the Indian Caucasus and advanced to Nicaea, where Omphis, king of Taxila and other chiefs joined him. Alexander dispatched part of his force through the valley of the Kabul River, while he himself advanced into modern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bajaur and Swat regions with his troops. Having defeated the Aspasians, from whom he took 40,000 prisoners and 230,000 oxen, Alexander crossed the Gouraios and entered into the territory of the Assakenoi – in modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Alexander made Embolima his base. The ancient region of Peukelaotis submitted to the Greek invasion, leading to Ni
The Indus River is one of the longest rivers in Asia. Originating in the Tibetan Plateau in the vicinity of Lake Manasarovar, the river runs a course through the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India towards the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and the Hindukush ranges, flows in a southerly direction along the entire length of Pakistan to merge into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh, it is the longest river and national river of Pakistan. The river has a total drainage area exceeding 1,165,000 km2, its estimated annual flow stands at around 243 km3, twice that of the Nile River and three times that of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers combined, making it one of the largest rivers in the world in terms of annual flow. The Zanskar is its left bank tributary in Ladakh. In the plains, its left bank tributary is the Panjnad which itself has five major tributaries, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, its principal right bank tributaries are the Shyok, the Gilgit, the Kabul, the Gomal, the Kurram.
Beginning in a mountain spring and fed with glaciers and rivers in the Himalayas, the river supports ecosystems of temperate forests and arid countryside. The northern part of the Indus Valley, with its tributaries, forms the Punjab region, while the lower course of the Indus is known as Sindh and ends in a large delta; the river has been important to many cultures of the region. The 3rd millennium BC saw the rise of a major urban civilization of the Bronze Age. During the 2nd millennium BC, the Punjab region was mentioned in the hymns of the Hindu Rigveda as Sapta Sindhu and the Zoroastrian Avesta as Hapta Hindu. Early historical kingdoms that arose in the Indus Valley include Gandhāra, the Ror dynasty of Sauvīra; the Indus River came into the knowledge of the West early in the Classical Period, when King Darius of Persia sent his Greek subject Scylax of Caryanda to explore the river, ca. 515 BC. This river was known to the ancient Indians in Sanskrit as Sindhu and the Persians as Hindu, regarded by both of them as "the border river".
The variation between the two names is explained by the Old Iranian sound change *s > h, which occurred between 850–600 BCE according to Asko Parpola. From the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the name passed to the Greeks as Indós, it was adopted by the Romans as Indus. The meaning of Sindhu as a "large body of water, sea, or ocean" is a meaning in Classical Sanskrit. A Persian name for the river was Darya, which has the connotations of large body of water and sea. Other variants of the name Sindhu include Assyrian Sinda, Persian Ab-e-sind, Pashto Abasind, Arab Al-Sind, Chinese Sintow, Javanese Santri. India is a Greek and Latin term for "the country of the River Indus"; the region through which the river drains into sea owes its name to the river. Megasthenes' book Indica derives its name from the river's Greek name, "Indós", describes Nearchus's contemporaneous account of how Alexander the Great crossed the river; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as "Indói" meaning "the people of the Indus".
The Rigveda describes several rivers, including one named "Sindhu". The Rigvedic "Sindhu" is thought to be the present-day Indus river, it is attested 176 times in its text, 94 times in the plural, most used in the generic sense of "river". In the Rigveda, notably in the hymns, the meaning of the word is narrowed to refer to the Indus river in particular, e.g. in the list of rivers mentioned in the hymn of Nadistuti sukta. The Rigvedic hymns apply a feminine gender to all the rivers mentioned therein, except the Bramhaputra and the "Sindhu" which carry the masculine gender; this gender usage could mean that the Sindhu river was believed to be a warrior, thus one of the greatest among all the rivers in the whole world. In other languages of the region, the river is known as सिन्धु in Hindi and Nepali, سنڌو in Sindhi, سندھ in Shahmukhi Punjabi, ਸਿੰਧ ਨਦੀ in Gurmukhī Punjabi, اباسين in Pashto, نهر السند in Arabic, སེང་གེ་གཙང་པོ། in Tibetan, 印度 in Chinese, Nilab in Turki; the Indus River provides key water resources for Pakistan's economy – the breadbasket of Punjab province, which accounts for most of the nation's agricultural production, Sindh.
The word Punjab means "land of five rivers" and the five rivers are Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej, all of which flow into the Indus. The Indus supports many heavy industries and provides the main supply of potable water in Pakistan; the ultimate source of the Indus is in Tibet. The Indus flows northwest through Ladakh and Baltistan into Gilgit, just south of the Karakoram range; the Shyok and Gilgit rivers carry glacial waters into the main river. It bends to the south and descends into the Punjab plains at Kalabagh, Pakistan; the Indus passes gigantic gorges 4,500–5,200 metres deep near the Nanga Parbat massif. It is dammed at the Tarbela Reservoir; the Kabul River joins it near Attock. The remainder of its route to the sea is in the plains of the Punjab and Sindh, where the flow of the river becomes slow and braided, it is joined by the Panjnad at Mithankot. Beyond this confluence, the river, at one tim
Battle of the Granicus
The Battle of the Granicus River in May 334 BC was the first of three major battles fought between Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire. Fought in Northwestern Asia Minor, near the site of Troy, it was here that Alexander defeated the forces of the Persian satraps of Asia Minor, including a large force of Greek mercenaries led by Memnon of Rhodes; the battle took place on the road from Abydos at the crossing of the Granicus River. After the death of Phillip of Macedon, many of his newly conquered territories desired to take advantage of the perceived weakness of the new young king; these nations included the Illyrians and some southern Greek city-states. Alexander had to prove the strength of his rule before leaving for his Persian expedition, crushed several nascent rebellions within Greece and the northern tribes. After extensive planning in Macedonia, Alexander started to prepare for his next major conquest: the invasion of Asia. Before leaving Macedon, Alexander appointed his father’s experienced general Antipater as regent in his absence, leaving him with 9,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry to maintain control over Macedonia's holdings in Europe.
In the spring of 334 BC, Alexander took 2,600 cavalry and went on a 20-day march from Macedon to Hellespont, to join Parmenion in Asia. Before Alexander and his army were able to cross at Hellespont, the Persian provincial governors, others in power at that time in Persia, assembled their forces of 10-20,000 cavalry and 5-20,000 infantry to the town of Zelea. Memnon was a high-ranking Greek mercenary employed by the Persians, he advised the Persians to lay waste to the land that Alexander would have to pass, depriving his army of food and supplies; this would make it harder for Alexander and his army to survive on their long journey before the battle. The satraps did not trust Memnon because of his nationality, did not ravage their territories; the Persians had two major objectives. The Persians advanced from Zelea to the Granicus River, which would be an obstacle for Alexander and his army; the Persians hoped that his army would not be able to hold formation, which would cripple its effectiveness, as maintaining the packed and mutually supportive formation employed by the Greeks was central to their strategy.
The Persians awaited the arrival of the Macedonians with all their cavalry in the front line. Alexander, after crossing into Asia at the Hellespont marched 100 km back to the north to meet the Persian armies. According to Alexander's biographer Arrian, Alexander's army met the Persians on the third day of May from Abydos. Alexander's second-in-command, Parmenion suggested crossing the river upstream and attacking at dawn the next day, but Alexander attacked immediately; this tactic caught the Persians off guard. The Macedonian line was arrayed with the heavy phalanxes in the middle, cavalry on either side. Alexander was with the Companions on the right flank; the Persians expected the main assault to come from Alexander's position and moved units from their center to that flank. The battle started with a cavalry and light infantry feint from the Macedonian left, from Parmenion's side of the battle line; the cavalry squadron was led by son of Philip. The Persians reinforced that side, the feint was driven back, but at that point, Alexander led the horse companions in their classic wedge-shaped charge, smashed into the center of the Persian line.
The Persians countercharged with a squadron of nobles on horse, accounts show that in the melee, several high-ranking Persian nobles were killed by Alexander himself or his bodyguards, although Alexander was stunned by an axe-blow from a Persian nobleman named Rhoisakes. A second Persian nobleman named Spithridates attempted to attack Alexander from behind while he was still reeling. Alexander recovered; the Macedonian horse were able to gain the advantage over their Persian counterpart, owing to the superiority of their lance over the Persian javelin for melee fighting, as well as the close support of the light infantry interspersed among their squadrons. The Greek cavalry turned left and started rolling up the Persian cavalry, engaged with the left side of the Macedonian line after a general advance. A hole opened in the vacated place in the battle line, the Macedonian infantry charged through to engage the poor-quality Persian infantry in the rear; the Macedonian phalanx attacked the Greek mercenaries.
With many of their leaders dead, their infantry routed, both flanks of the Persian cavalry retreated, seeing the collapse of the center. The infantry routed too, many being cut down as they fled. Total casualties for the Greeks were between 300 and 400; the Persians had 1,000 cavalry and 3,000 infantry killed in the rout. The Greek mercenaries, under the command of Memnon of Rhodes, who fought for the Persians, were abandoned after the cavalry retreat, they attempted to broker a peace to no avail. As a result, after the battle Alexander ordered the mercenaries to be enslaved. Out of the 18,000 Greek mercenaries, half were killed and 8,000 enslaved and sent back to Macedon, it is believed. Alexander sent 300 Persian armours to the Parthenon of Athens as an oblation to Athena, with this epigram: "Alexa
Taxila is an important archaeological site of the ancient Indian subcontinent, located in the city of Taxila in Punjab, Pakistan. It lies about 32 km north-west of Rawalpindi, just off the famous Grand Trunk Road. Ancient Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of Central Asia; the origin of Taxila as a city goes back to c. 1000 BCE. Some ruins at Taxila date to the time of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, followed successively by Mauryan Empire, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Kushan Empire periods. Owing to its strategic location, Taxila has changed hands many times over the centuries, with many empires vying for its control; when the great ancient trade routes connecting these regions ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was destroyed by the nomadic Hunas in the 5th century. The renowned archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila in the mid-19th century. In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2006 it was ranked as the top tourist destination in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper.
By some accounts, the University of Ancient Taxila was considered to be one of the earliest universities in the world. Others do not consider it a university in the modern sense, in that the teachers living there may not have had official membership of particular colleges, there did not seem to have existed purpose-built lecture halls and residential quarters in Taxila, in contrast to the Nalanda university in eastern India. In a 2010 report, Global Heritage Fund identified Taxila as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and damage, citing insufficient management, development pressure and war and conflict as primary threats. However, significant preservation efforts have been carried out since by the government which have resulted in the site being declared as "well-preserved" by different international publications; because of the extensive preservation efforts and upkeep, the site is a popular tourist spot, attracting up to one million tourists every year. Taxila was known in Pali as Takkasilā, in Sanskrit as तक्षशिला.
The Greeks pared the city's name down to Taxila which became the name that the Europeans were familiar with since the time of Alexander the Great. Takshashila can alternately be translated to "Rock of Taksha" in reference to the Ramayana which states that the city was named in honour of Bharata's son and first ruler, Taksha. According to another derivation, Takshashila is related to Takshaka and is an alternate name for the Nāga, a non-Indo-Iranian people of ancient India. Faxian who had visited the city had given its name's meaning as "Cut off Head". With the help of a Jataka, he had interperted it to be the place where Buddha in his previous birth as Pusa or Chandaprabha cut off his head to feed a hungry lion; this tradition still persists with the area in front of Sirkap was known in the 19th century as Babur Khana, which alludes to the place where Buddha offered his head. In addition, a hill range to south of Taxila Valley is called Margala. In Vedic texts such as the Shatapatha Brahmana, it is mentioned that the Vedic philosopher Uddalaka Aruni had travelled to the region of Gandhara.
In Buddhist texts, the Jatakas, it is specified that Taxila was the city where Aruni and his son Setaketu each had received their education. One of the earliest mentions of Taxila is in Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī, a Sanskrit grammar treatise dated to the 5th century BCE. Much of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, is a conversation between Vaishampayana and King Janamejaya, it is traditionally believed that the story was first recited by Vaishampayana at the behest of Vyasa during the snake sacrifice performed by Janamejaya at Takshashila. The audience included Ugrashravas, an itinerant bard, who would recite the story to a group of priests at an ashram in the Naimisha Forest from where the story was further disseminated; the Kuru Kingdom's heir, Parikshit is said to have been enthroned at Takshashila. The Ramayana describes Takshashila as a magnificent city famed for its wealth, founded by Bharata, the younger brother of Rama. Bharata, who founded nearby Pushkalavati, installed his two sons and Pushkala, as the rulers of the two cities.
In the Buddhist Jatakas, Taxila is described as the capital of the kingdom of Gandhara and a great centre of learning with world-famous teachers. The Takkasila Jataka, more known as the Telapatta Jataka, tells the tale of a prince of Benares, told that he would become the king of Takkasila if he could reach the city within seven days without falling prey to the yakkhinis who waylaid travellers in the forest. According to the Dipavamsa, one of Taxila's early kings was a Kshatriya named Dipankara, succeeded by twelve sons and grandsons. Kuñjakarṇa, mentioned in the Avadanakalpalata, is another king associated with the city. In the Jain tradition, it is said that Rishabha, the first of the Tirthankaras, visited Taxila millions of years ago, his footprints were subsequently consecrated by Bahubali who erected a throne and a dharmachakra over them several miles in height and circumference. The region around Taxila was settled by the neolithic era, with some ruins at Taxila dating to 3360 BCE. Ruins dating from the Early Harappan period around 2900 BCE have been discovered in the Taxila area, though the area was abandoned after the collapse of the Ind
Sir Marc Aurel Stein, was a Hungarian-born British archaeologist known for his explorations and archaeological discoveries in Central Asia. He was a professor at Indian universities. Stein was an ethnographer, geographer and surveyor, his collection of books and manuscripts taken from Dunhuang caves is important for the study of the history of Central Asia and the art and literature of Buddhism. He wrote several volumes on his expeditions and discoveries which include Ancient Khotan and Innermost Asia. Stein was born to Nathan Stein and Anna Hirschler, a Jewish couple residing in Budapest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, his parents and his sister retained their Jewish faith but Stein and his brother, Ernst Eduard, were baptised as Lutherans to free them from the anti-semitism which would have denied them access to education and advancement. At home the family spoke German and Hungarian, the language of Hungarian nationalist revival in the 19th century, Stein was proud of this heritage for the rest of his life.
He attended Catholic and Lutheran gymnasiums in Budapest, where he mastered Greek, Latin and English before going on for advanced study at Universities of Vienna, Leipzig and Tübingen. He graduated in Sanskrit and Persian and received his Ph. D. from Tübingen in 1883. In 1884 he went to England to study oriental languages and archaeology, he made his famous expeditions with British sponsorship. In 1887, Stein went to India. Between 1888 and 1899, he was the Principal of Oriental College, Lahore. Stein was influenced by Sven Hedin's 1898 work Through Asia. Realizing the importance of Central Asian history and archaeology he sent a proposal to the government to explore and study the people of Central Asia. In May 1900 he received the approval to lead an expedition to Chinese Turkestan, strategically located in High Asia where the Russians and Germans were taking interest. Stein made four major expeditions to Central Asia—in 1900–1901, 1906–1908, 1913–1916 and 1930, he brought to light the hidden treasure of a great civilization which by was lost to the world.
One of his significant finds during his first journey during 1900–1901 was the Taklamakan Desert oasis of Dandan Oilik where he was able to uncover a number of relics. During his third expedition in 1913–1916, he excavated at Khara-Khoto; the British Library's Stein collection of Chinese and Tangut manuscripts, Prakrit wooden tablets, documents in Khotanese, Uyghur and Eastern Turkic is the result of his travels through central Asia during the 1920s and 1930s. Stein discovered manuscripts in the lost Tocharian languages of the Tarim Basin at Miran and other oasis towns, recorded numerous archaeological sites in Iran and Balochistan; when Stein visited Khotan he was able to render in Persian a portion of the Shahnama after he came across a local reading the Shahnama in Turki. During 1901 Stein was responsible for exposing forgeries of Islam Akhun. Stein's greatest discovery was made at the Mogao Caves known as "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas", near Dunhuang in 1907, it was there that he discovered a printed copy of the Diamond Sutra, the world's oldest printed text, dating to AD 868, along with 40,000 other scrolls.
He took 4 cases of paintings and relics. He was knighted for his efforts, but Chinese nationalists dubbed him a burglar and staged protests against him, his discovery inspired other French, Russian and Chinese treasure hunters and explorers who took their toll on the collection. During his expedition of 1906–1908 while surveying in the Kunlun Mountains of western China, Stein suffered frostbite and lost several toes on his right foot; when he was resting from his extended journeys into Central Asia, he spent most of his time living in a tent in the spectacularly beautiful alpine meadow called Mohanmarg which lies at the mouth atop the Sind Valley where from he translated Rajatarangini from Sanskrit to English. Stein was a lifelong bachelor, but was always accompanied by a dog named "Dash"; the fourth expedition to Central Asia, ended in failure. Stein did not publish any account, but others have written of the frustrations and rivalries between British and American interests in China, between Harvard's Fogg Museum and the British Museum, between Paul J. Sachs and Langdon Warner, the two Harvard sponsors of the expedition.
Stein is buried in Kabul's British Cemetery. Stein, as well as his rivals Sven Hedin, Sir Francis Younghusband and Nikolai Przhevalsky, were active players in the British-Russian struggle for influence in Central Asia, the so-called Great Game, their explorations were supported by the British and Russian Empires as they filled in the remaining "blank spots" on the maps, providing valuable information and creating "spheres of influence" for archaeological exploration as they did for political influence. The art objects he collected are divided between the British Museum, the British Library, the Srinagar Museum, the National Museum, New Delhi. Stein received a number of honours during his career. In 1909, he was awarded the Founder's Medal by the Royal Geographical Society'for his extensive explorations in Central Asia, in particular his archaeological work'. In 1909, he was awarded the first Campbell Memorial Gold Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay, he was awarded a number of other Gold Medals: the Gold Medal of the Société de Géographie in 1923.
The Hindu Kush known in Ancient Greek as the Caucasus Indicus or Paropamisadae, is an 800-kilometre-long mountain range that stretches near the Afghan-Pakistan border, from central Afghanistan to northern Pakistan. It forms the western section of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region, it divides the valley of the Amu Darya to the north from the Indus River valley to the south. The Hindu Kush range has numerous high snow-capped peaks, with the highest point in the Hindu Kush being Tirich Mir or Terichmir at 7,708 metres in the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. To the north, near its northeastern end, the Hindu Kush buttresses the Pamir Mountains near the point where the borders of China and Afghanistan meet, after which it runs southwest through Pakistan and into Afghanistan near their border; the eastern end of the Hindu Kush in the north merges with the Karakoram Range. Towards its southern end, it connects with the Spin Ghar Range near the Kabul River; the Hindu Kush range region was a significant centre of Buddhism with sites such as the Bamiyan Buddhas.
The range and communities settled in it hosted ancient monasteries, important trade networks, travelers between Central Asia and South Asia. The Hindu Kush range has been the passageway during the invasions of the Indian subcontinent, continues to be important during modern-era warfare in Afghanistan. Geologically, the range is rooted in the formation of a subcontinent from a region of Gondwana that drifted away from East Africa about 160 million years ago, around the Middle Jurassic period; the Indian subcontinent and islands of the Indian Ocean rifted further, drifting northeastwards, with the Indian subcontinent colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Palaeocene. This collision created the Himalayas, including the Hindu Kush; the Hindu Kush range is still rising. It is prone to earthquakes; the origins of the name Hindu Kush are uncertain, with various theories being propounded by different scholars and writers. According to Hobson-Jobson, the name might be a possible corruption of Indicus Caucasus, with another explanation mentioned first by Ibn Batuta remaining popular despite doubts upon it, the modification of the name by some writers into Hindu Koh is factitious and throws no light on the name's origin.
In the time of Alexander the Great, the Hindu Kush range was referred to as the Caucasus Indicus or the "Caucasus of the Indus River", in the time of Islam in India, the regular invasions derived Hind Kash as Hindu Kush Hindū Kūh and Kūh-e Hind applied to the entire range separating the basins of the Kabul and Helmand Rivers from that of the Amu Darya, or, more to that part of the range lying northwest of Kabul. Sanskrit documents refer to the Hindu Kush as Hind kshetra in short Hind Kash as frontier lands of India. "Kash as in Kashmir" word synonym of frontier part of a "Kusha" grass. Hind Kash all around from Amu Darya to Kashmir was Kshetra for meditation and teaching by founders of Hinduism; the mountain range was called "Paropamisadae" by Hellenic Greeks in the late first millennium BC. The word Koh or Kuh means "mountain" in Khowar. According to Nigel Allan, Hindu Kush meant both "mountains of India" and "sparkling snows of India", as he notes, from a Central Asian perspective. A Persian-English dictionary indicates that the suffix'koš' is the present stem of the verb "to kill".
According to Francis Joseph Steingass, the word and suffix "-kush" means "a male. A Practical Dictionary of the Persian Language gives the meaning of the word kush as "hotbed". According to one interpretation, the name Hindu Kush means "kills the Hindu" or "Hindu killer" and is a reminder of the days when slaves from the Indian subcontinent died in the harsh weather typical of the Afghan mountains while being taken to Central Asia; the World Book Encyclopedia states that the word kush means death, was given to the mountains because of their dangerous passes. In his travel memoirs about India, the 14th century Moroccan traveller Muhammad Ibn Battuta mentioned crossing into India via the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush. In his Rihla, he mentions the history of the range in slave trading. Alexander von Humboldt stated that it can be learned from his work that the name only referred to a single mountain pass upon which many Indian slaves died of the cold weather. Battuta wrote, After this I proceeded to the city of Barwan, in the road to, a high mountain, covered with snow and exceedingly cold.
The name Hindu Kush is young, states Ervin Grötzbach, it is "missing from the accounts of the early Arab geographers and occurs for the first time in Ibn Baṭṭuṭa". Ibn Baṭṭuṭa, states Grötzbach, saw the "origin of the name Hindu Kush in the fact that numerous Hindu slaves died crossing the pass on their way from India to Turkestan". In contrast, state Fosco Maraini and Nigel Allan, the earliest known usage occurs on a map published about 1000 CE. According to Allan, the term Hindu Kush has been seen to mean "Hindu killer", but two other meaning