Band-e Amir National Park
Band-e Amir National Park is Afghanistan's first national park, located in the Bamyan Province. It is a series of six deep blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine, a mineral deposit; the lakes are situated in the Hindu Kush mountains of central Afghanistan at 3000 m of elevation, west of the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. They were created by the carbon dioxide rich water oozing out of the faults and fractures to deposit calcium carbonate precipitate in the form of travertine walls that today store the water of these lakes. Band-e Amir is one of the few rare natural lakes in the world which are created by travertine systems; the site of Band-e Amir has been described as Afghanistan's Grand Canyon, draws thousands of tourists a year. The river is part of the system of the Balkh River; the name Band-e Amir means "Commander's Dam", believed by some to be a reference to Ali, the fourth Caliph of the Muslims. The area is dominated by ethnic Hazaras, who make up around 8-15% of Afghanistan's population and the most of them are followers of Shia Islam.
Band-e Amir was to become Afghanistan's first national park in the 1960s but this was delayed due to political crises and the decades of wars. Parts of the 1975 Bollywood film Dharmatma, with Feroz Khan and Hema Malini, were filmed at the Band-e Amir National Park. In 2004, Band-e Amir was submitted for recognition as a World Heritage site. In 2009, Band-e Amir was declared Afghanistan's first national park; as of 2013, about 6,000 local tourists visit the Band-e Amir National Park every year. The area is protected by a small number of park rangers. Band-e Amir is situated at 75 km to the north-west of the ancient city of Bamyan, close to the town of Yakawlang. Together with Bamyan Valley, they are the heart of Afghanistan's tourism, attracting thousands of tourists every year and from every corner of the world; the six constituent lakes of Band-e Amir are: Band-e Gholaman Band-e Qambar Band-e Haibat Band-e Panir Band-e Pudina Band-e Zulfiqar Band-e Haibat is the biggest and the deepest of the six, with an average depth of 150 metres, as estimated by the Provincial Reconstruction Team diving team from New Zealand.
The white travertine dams created by fault lines, which are prevalent in the Band-e Amir Valley, form the barriers between the lakes. Another comparable lake is Band-e Azhdahar, located a few kilometres southeast of the town of Bamyan, created as a result of carbon dioxide rich water oozing out of the faults underground and depositing calcium carbonate precipitate to form the travertine walls of Band-e Amir; the Band-e Amir lakes are a late spring and summertime tourism destination, as the high elevation central Hazarajat region of Afghanistan is cold in winter, with temperatures reaching as low as -20C. The local people in Band-e-Amir National Park rely on the park's natural resources for their livelihood. Grazing of livestock, collection of shrubs for fuel and winter fodder and rain-fed farming is still practiced within the park boundary. Although the illegal hunting of birds and a few mammals living in the park is formally prohibited by the park office, there is no current data to evaluate the status of wildlife and biodiversity.
After the formal establishment of the park in 2009, a park office with a park warden and a group of rangers was installed to manage the conservation and protection of park natural resources. Wildlife Conservation Society is the only non-government organization with an office in the park. WCS supports park staff and works with the local community to promote conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Ecotourism is expected to decrease local economic dependency on the park's natural resources. Tourists visit Band-e-Amir in the summer months when the weather is warm. A poor local economy and limited outside investment have hampered efforts to attract winter tourism. List of dams and reservoirs in Afghanistan Natural areas of Afghanistan Dupree, Nancy Hatch: An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. 1st Edition: 1970. 2nd Edition. Revised and Enlarged. Afghan Tourist Organization. Band-e Amir National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage
The Nezak Huns were one of the four groups of Huna people in the area of the Hindu Kush. The Nezak kings, with their characteristic gold bull's - head crown, ruled from Kapisa. While their history is obscured, the Nezak's left significant coinage documenting their polity's prosperity, they are called Nezak because of the inscriptions on their coins, which bear the mention "Nezak Shah". They were the last of the four major "Hunic" states known collectively as Xionites or "Hunas", their predecessors being, in chronological order, the Kidarites, the Hephthalites, the Alchon; the term'Hun' may cause confusion. The word has three basic meanings: 1) the Huns proper, that is, Attila's people. Here the word has the second meaning with elements of the third; the Nezaks enter the historical record in the late 5th century, with their minting of coins in Ghazni, controlled by the Sassanian Persians, the Indo-Sasanians. Their emergence may have been a consequence of the weakening of Persian influence in the region after the defeat of the Persian king Peroz by the Hephthalites, in Bactria in 484 CE.
From that point, the Nezaks consolidated their power in Zabulistan and in the 6th century expanded into Kabulistan, deposing the Alchon Huns from Kapisa. Nezak coins with the bull's crown appear well into the 8th century, at which time it appears that a confederacy emerges between the Nezaks and the Alchons against Turkic invaders. Around the middle of the 6th century CE, the Alchons, after having extensively invaded the heartland of India, had withdrawn from Kashmir and Gandhara, going back west across the Khyber pass they resettled in Kabulistan. There, their coinage suggests; the Nezak-Alchons were replaced by the Turk shahi dynasty, first in Zabulistan and in Kabulistan. The last Nezak king known by name was Ghar-ilchi, confirmed by the Chinese emperor. Between 661 and 665, Chinese and Arab sources indicate. Having lost Ghazni and Kabul, the Nezak dynasty declined as indicated by the progressive elimination of Nezak symbols from the historical coin record. Napki Malka. Shri Shahi, circa 560-620 CE.
Ghar-ilchi, 653-665 Xionites Kidarites Hephthalites Alchon Huns Iranian Huns http://pro.geo.univie.ac.at/projects/khm/showcases/showcase11?language=en http://grifterrec.rasmir.com/huns/huns2.html
History of Afghanistan
The history of Afghanistan, as a state began in 1747 with its establishment by Ahmad Shah Durrani. The written recorded history of the land presently constituting Afghanistan can be traced back to around 500 BCE when the area was under the Achaemenid Empire, although evidence indicates that an advanced degree of urbanized culture has existed in the land since between 3000 and 2000 BCE; the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up to large parts of Afghanistan in the north. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived at what is now Afghanistan in 330 BCE after conquering Persia. Since many empires have risen from Afghanistan, including the, Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Hindu Shahi, Samanids, Ghurids, Timurids, Mughals and Durranis. Afghanistan has been a strategically important location throughout history; the land served as "a gateway to India, impinging on the ancient Silk Road, which carried trade from the Mediterranean to China". Sitting on many trade and migration routes, Afghanistan may be called the'Central Asian roundabout' since routes converge from the Middle East, from the Indus Valley through the passes over the Hindu Kush, from the Far East via the Tarim Basin, from the adjacent Eurasian Steppe.
The Iranian languages were developed by one branch of these people. Elena E. Kuz'mina argues that the tents of Iranian-speaking nomads of Afghanistan developed from the light surface houses of the Eurasian steppe belt in the Bronze Age; the Arab invasions influenced the culture of Afghanistan, its pre-Islamic period of Zoroastrian, Macedonian and Hindu past has long vanished. Mirwais Hotak followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Afghan tribes and founded the last Afghan Empire in the early 18th century CE. Afghanistan is inhabited by many and diverse peoples: the Pashtuns, Hazaras, Turkmen, Aimak and others; the Pashtuns, with 55% form the largest group, second are the Tajiks with 25%. Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others at Darra-e Kur in 1966 where 800 stone implements were recovered along with a fragment of Neanderthal right temporal bone, suggest that early humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 52,000 years ago. A cave called. Farming communities in Afghanistan were among the earliest in the world.
Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Afghanistan from as far back as 50,000 BC. The artifacts indicate that the indigenous people were small farmers and herdsmen probably grouped into tribes, with small local kingdoms rising and falling through the ages. Urbanization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE. Zoroastrianism predominated as the religion in the area. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism flourished leaving a major mark in the region. Gandhara is the name of an ancient kingdom from the Vedic period and its capital city located between the Hindukush and Sulaiman Mountains, although Kandahar in modern times and the ancient Gandhara are not geographically identical. Early inhabitants, around 3000 BCE were to have been connected through culture and trade to neighboring civilizations like Jiroft and Tappeh Sialk and the Indus Valley Civilization. Urban civilization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE and it is possible that the early city of Mundigak was a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization.
The first known people were Indo-Iranians, but their date of arrival has been estimated from as early as about 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization extending from present-day northwest Pakistan to present-day northwest India and present-day northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. Apart from Shortughai, Mundigak is another known site. There are several other smaller IVC sites to be found in Afghanistan as well; the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex became prominent in the southwest region between 2200 and 1700 BCE. The city of Balkh was founded about this time, it is possible that the BMAC may have been an Indo-European culture the Proto-Indo-Aryans. But the standard model holds the arrival of Indo-Aryans to have been in the Late Harappan which gave rise to the Vedic civilization of the Early Iron Age. There have been many different opinions about the extent of the Median kingdom.
For instance, according to Ernst Herzfeld, it was a powerful empire, which stretched from central Anatolia to Bactria, to around the borders of nowadays India. On the other side, Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg insists that there is no real evidence about the existence of the Median empire and that it was an unstable state formation; the region of nowadays Afghanistan came under Median rule for a short time. Afghanistan fell to the Achaemenid Empire; the area was divided into several provinces called satrapies, which were each ruled by a governor, or satrap. These ancient satrapies included: Aria. Alexander the Great arrived in the area of Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year ear
The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE. At their peak of expansion in the mid-1st millennium BCE, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east, to the Iranian Plateau in the south; the Western Iranian empires of the south came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BCE, leaving an important cultural legacy. The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, Dahae, Massagetae, Parthians, Sagartians, Sarmatians, Scythians and Cimmerians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Steppe. In the 1st millennium CE, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions, many were subjected to Slavicisation and Turkification.
Modern Iranian-speaking peoples include the Baloch, Kurds, Mazanderanis, Pamiris, Persians, the Talysh and Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from eastern Turkey in the west to western Xinjiang in the east—a region, sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airiia- and Proto-Iranian *arya-. There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-; the following are according to 1957 and linguists: Emmanuel Laroche: ara- "to fit". Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning " assembler".
Georges Dumézil: ar- "to share". Harold Walter Bailey: ar- "to beget". Émil Benveniste: ar- "to fit". Unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, Iron.< In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BCE; the inscription of Bistun describes itself to have been composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but Iranian. In royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts: As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription; as the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa and the ethnic background of Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis.
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as "an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language; the trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm"; the Avesta uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which means "expanse of the Iranians".
The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat and the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau. The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian Medes that "Medes were called anciently by all people Arians". In Armenian sources, the Parthians and Persians are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian lineage". Diodorus Siculus considers Zoroaster as one of the Arianoi. Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions of the Medes, Persians and Sogdians of the Iranian Plateau and Transoxiana of antiquity: The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as to the Bactrians and Sogd
Bamyan is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. With an altitude of about 2,550 m and a population of about 100,000, Bamyan is the largest town in the central Afghanistan region of Hazarajat, lies 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. In 2008, Bamyan was found to be the home of the world's oldest oil paintings; the city of Bamyan has a population of 100,000. It has a total land area of 3,539 hectares; the total number of dwellings in this city are 4,435. The Bamiyan valley marked the most westerly point of Buddhist expansion and was a crucial hub of trade for much of the second millennium CE, it was a place where East met West and its archaeology reveals a blend of Greek, Persian and Indian influence. The valley is one of Afghanistan's most touristic places. Bamyan City joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a Crafts and Folk Art city in 2017. Situated on the ancient Silk Route, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China and the Middle East passed through it.
The Hunas made it their capital in the 5th century. Because of the cliff of the Buddhas, the ruins of the Monk's caves, Shahr-e Gholghola, its local scenery, it is one of the most visited places in Afghanistan; the Shahr-e Zuhak mound ten miles south of the valley is the site of a citadel that guarded the city, the ruins of an acropolis could be found there as as the 1990s. The town is the cultural center of the Hazara ethnic group of Afghanistan. Most of the population lives in downtown Bamyan; the valley is cradled between the parallel mountain ranges of the Koh-i-Baba. Bamyan is a small town with a bazaar at its center, it has no infrastructure of gas, or water supplies. According to Sister Cities International, Bamyan has established a sister city relationship with Gering, United States, it has an airport with a gravel runway. Mountains cover ninety percent of the province, the cold, long winter, lasting for six months, brings temperatures of three to twenty degrees Celsius below zero. Daizangi Hazara people live in the area.
Transportation facilities are increasing, but sparse. Notably Bamyan is now connected by road through Maidan Wardak; the connection between Maidan Shar and Bamyan – 136 km long – makes it possible to reach Kabul in a 2-hour drive. The connection is completed missing just 15 km of paving The main crops are wheat, barley and baquli, grown in spring; when crops are damaged by unusually harsh weather, residents herd their livestock down to Ghazni and Maidan provinces to exchange for food. The city and the province are served by Bamyan Airport. A new airport has been completed in 2015 with an asphalt runway; the project was funded by the Japanese Government and carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services. Bamyan's climate is transitional between cold arid and semi-arid, with cold winters and warm, dry summers. Precipitation falls in late winter and spring; the city of Bamyan was part of the Buddhist Kushan Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. After the Kushan Empire fell to the Sassanids, Bamyan became part of the Kushansha, vassals to the Sassanids.
The Hephthalites conquered Bamyan in the 5th century. After their Khanate was destroyed by the Sassanids and Turks in 565, Bamyan became the capital of the small Kushano-Hephthalite kingdom until 870, when it was conquered by the Saffarids; the area was conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. In 1221 the city and its population were wiped out by Genghis Khan; the Qarlughids established their capital in the city soon thereafter. The first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft about 1824. During 1998–2001, Bamyan has been the center of combat between Taliban forces and the anti-Taliban alliance. Bamyan is known as the capital of Daizangi. On the cliff face of a mountain nearby, three colossal statues were carved 4,000 feet apart. One of them was 175 feet high standing statue of the world's tallest; the ancient statue was carved during the Kushan period in the fifth century. The statues were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam though they were left intact by Muslim rulers for 1200 years.
Limited efforts have been made to rebuild them, with negligible success. At one time, two thousand monks meditated in caves among the sandstone cliffs; the caves were a big tourist attraction before the long series of wars in Afghanistan. The world's earliest oil paintings have been discovered in caves behind the destroyed statues. Scientists from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility have confirmed that the oil paintings of either walnut or poppy seed oil, are present in 12 of the 50 caves dating from the 5th to 9th century; the murals have a white base layer of a lead compound, followed by an upper layer of natural or artificial pigments mixed with either resins or walnut or poppy seed drying oils. The paintings may be the work of artists who travelled on the Silk Road; the caves at the base of these statues were used by Taliban for storing weapons. After the Taliban were driven from the region, civilians made their homes in the caves. Afghan refugees escaped the persecution of the Taliban regime by hiding in caves in the Bamiyan valley.
These refugees discovered a f
The Ilkhanate spelled Il-khanate, was established as a khanate that formed the southwestern sector of the Mongol Empire, ruled by the Mongol House of Hulagu. It was founded in the 13th century and was based in Iran as well as neighboring territories, such as present-day Azerbaijan and the central and eastern parts of present-day Turkey; the Ilkhanate was based on the campaigns of Genghis Khan in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–24 and was founded by Hulagu Khan, son of Tolui and grandson of Genghis Khan. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. At its greatest extent, the state expanded into territories that today comprise most of Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, western Afghanistan, the Northwestern edge of the Indian sub-continent. Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, converted to Islam. According to the historian Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, Kublai Khan granted Hulagu the title of Ilkhan after his defeat of Ariq Böke; the term ilkhan here means " khan of the tribe, khan of the'ulus'" and this inferior "khanship" refers to the initial deference to Möngke Khan and his successor Great Khans of the Mongol empire.
The title "Ilkhan", borne by the descendants of Hulagu and other Borjigin princes in Persia, does not materialize in the sources until after 1260. When Muhammad II of Khwarezm executed a contingent of merchants dispatched by the Mongols, Genghis Khan declared war on the Khwārazm-Shāh dynasty in 1219; the Mongols overran the empire, occupying the major cities and population centers between 1219 and 1221. Persian Iran was ravaged by the Mongol detachment under Subedei, who left the area in ruin. Transoxiana came under Mongol control after the invasion; the undivided area west of the Transoxiana was the inheritance of Genghis Khan's Borjigin family. Thus, the families of the latter's four sons appointed their officials under the Great Khan's governors, Chin-Temür, Korguz, in that region. Muhammad's son Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu returned to Iran in c. 1224 after his exile in India. The rival Turkic states, which were all that remained of his father's empire declared their allegiance to Jalal, he repulsed the first Mongol attempt to take Central Persia.
However, Jalal ad-Din was overwhelmed and crushed by Chormaqan's army sent by the Great Khan Ögedei in 1231. During the Mongol expedition and the southern Persian dynasties in Fars and Kerman voluntarily submitted to the Mongols and agreed to pay tribute. To the west and the rest of Persia was secured by Chormaqan; the Mongols invaded Armenia and Georgia in 1234 or 1236, completing the conquest of the Kingdom of Georgia in 1238. They began to attack the western parts of Greater Armenia, under the Seljuks, the following year. In 1236 Ögedei proceeded to populate Herat; the Mongol military governors made camp in the Mughan plain in what is now Azerbaijan. Realizing the danger posed by the Mongols, the rulers of Mosul and Cilician Armenia submitted to the Great Khan. Chormaqan divided the Transcaucasia region into three districts based on the Mongol military hierarchy. In Georgia, the population was temporarily divided into eight tumens. By 1237 the Mongol Empire had subjugated most of Persia, Georgia, as well as all of Afghanistan and Kashmir.
After the battle of Köse Dağ in 1243, the Mongols under Baiju occupied Anatolia, while the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm and the Empire of Trebizond became vassals of the Mongols. Güyük Khan abolished decrees issued by the Mongol princes that had ordered the raising of revenue from districts in Persia as well as offering tax exemptions to others in c. 1244. In accordance with a complaint by the governor Arghun the Elder, Möngke Khan prohibited ortog-merchants and nobles from abusing relay stations and civilians in 1251, he ordered a new census and decreed that each man in the Mongol-ruled Middle East must pay in proportion to his property. Persia was divided between four districts under Arghun. Möngke Khan granted the Kartids authority over Herat, Pushang, Khaysar, Firuz-Kuh, Farah, Kabul and Afghanistan; the founder of the Ilkhanate dynasty was Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan and brother of both Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan. Möngke dispatched Hulagu to establish a firm Toluid control over the Middle East and ordered him return to Mongolia when his task was accomplished.
Taking over from Baiju in 1255 or 1256, Hulagu had been charged with subduing the Muslim kingdoms to the west "as far as the borders of Egypt". This occupation led the Turkmens to move west into Anatolia to escape from the Mongolian rule, he established his dynasty over the southwestern part of the Mongol Empire that stretched from Transoxiana to Syria. He destroyed the Ismaili Nizari Hashshashins and the Abbasid Caliphate in 1256 and 1258 respectively. After that he advanced as far as Gaza conquering Ayyubid Syria; the death of Möngke forced Hulagu to return from the Persian heartland for the preparation of Khurultai. He left a small force behind to continue the Mongol advance, but it was halted in Palestine in 1260 by a major defeat at the battle of Ain Jalut at the hands of the Mamluks of Egypt. Due to geo-political and religious issues and deaths of three Jochid princes in Hulagu's service, Berke declared open war on Hulagu in 1262 and called his troops back to Iran. According to Mamluk historians, Hulagu might have massacred Berke's troops and refused to share his war booty with Berke.
Hulagu's descendants r
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran. Under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, late 9th to early 7th centuries BC, the region of Media was bounded by the Zagros Mountains to its west, to its south by the Garrin Mountain in Lorestan Province, to its northwest by the Qaflankuh Mountains in Zanjan Province, to its east by the Dasht-e Kavir desert, its neighbors were the kingdoms of Gizilbunda and Mannea in the northwest, Ellipi and Elam in the south. In the 7th century BC, Media's tribes came together to form the Median Kingdom, which remained a Neo-Assyrian vassal. Between 616 and 609 BC, King Cyaxares, allied with King Nabopolassar of the Neo-Babylonian Empire against the Neo-Assyrian Empire, after which the Median Empire stretched across the Iranian Plateau as far as Anatolia, its precise geographical extent remains unknown. A few archaeological sites and textual sources provide a brief documentation of the history and culture of the Median state.
Apart from a few personal names, the language of the Medes is unknown. The Medes had an ancient Iranian religion with a priesthood named as "Magi". During the reigns of the last Median kings, the reforms of Zoroaster spread into western Iran. According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes: The six Median tribes resided in Media proper, the triangular area between Rhagae and Ecbatana. In present-day Iran, the area between Tehran and Hamadan, respectively. Of the Median tribes, the Magi resided in Rhaga, modern Tehran, they were of a sacred caste. The Paretaceni tribe resided in and around Aspadana, modern Isfahan, the Arizanti lived in and around Kashan, the Busae tribe lived in and around the future Median capital of Ecbatana, near modern Hamadan; the Struchates and the Budii lived in villages in the Median triangle. The original source for their name and homeland is a directly transmitted Old Iranian geographical name, attested as the Old Persian "Māda-"; the meaning of this word is not known.
However, the linguist W. Skalmowski proposes a relation with the proto-Indo European word "med-", meaning "central, suited in the middle", by referring to the Old Indic "madhya-" and Old Iranian "maidiia-" which both carry the same meaning; the Latin medium, Greek méso and German mittel are derived from it. Greek scholars during antiquity would base ethnological conclusions on Greek legends and the similarity of names. According to the Histories of Herodotus: In the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Medea is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis and a paternal granddaughter of the sun-god Helios. Following her failed marriage to Jason while in Corinth, for one of several reasons depending on the version, she marries King Aegeus of Athens and bears a son Medus. After failing to make Aegeus kill his older son Theseus and her son fled to Aria, where the Medes take their name from her, according to several Greek and Roman accounts, including in Pausanias' Description of Greece. According to other versions, such as in Strabo's Geographica and Justin's Epitoma Historiarum Philippicarum, she returned home to conquer neighboring lands with her husband Jason, one of, named after her.
The discoveries of Median sites in Iran happened only after the 1960s. For 1960 the search for Median archeological sources has focused in an area known as the “Median triangle,” defined as the region bounded by Hamadān and Malāyer and Kangāvar. Three major sites from central western Iran in the Iron Age III period are: Tepe Nush-i Jan,The site is located 14 km west of Malāyer in Hamadan province; the excavations started in 1967 with D. Stronach as the director; the remains of four main buildings in the site are "the central temple, the western temple, the fort, the columned hall" which according to Stronach were to have been built in the order named and predate the latter occupation of the first half of the 6th century BC. According to Stronach, the central temple, with its stark design, "provides a notable, if mute, expression of religious belief and practice". A number of ceramics from the Median levels at Tepe Nush-i Jan have been found which are associated with a period of power consolidation in the Hamadān areas.
These findings show four different wares known as “common ware” including jars in various size the largest of, a form of ribbed pithoi. Smaller and more elaborate vessels were in “grey ware”; the “cooking ware” and “crumbly ware” are recognized each in single handmade products. Godin Tepe,The site is located 13 km east of Kangāvar city on the left bank of the river Gamas Āb"; the excavations, started in 1965, were led by T. C. Young, Jr. which according to David Stronach, evidently shows an important Bronze Age construction th