Category:Former populated places in Afghanistan
Pages in category "Former populated places in Afghanistan"
The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
It is the location of monumental constructions made during the rule of the Kushans. Huge temples, statues of Kushan rulers and the Surkh Kotal inscription, the Rabatak inscription which gives remarkable clues on the genealogy of the Kushan dynasty was found in the Robatak village just outside the site. The site of Surkh Kotal, excavated between 1952 and 1966 by Prof. Schlumberger of the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan, is the site excavated of the Kushan Empire. Some of the sculptures were transferred to the National Museum of Afghanistan. The most famous artifacts of this site are the Surkh Kotal inscriptions, the statue of King Kanishka, the statue of the king was destroyed during the Taliban wave of iconoclasm in February–March 2001, but has been restored by French conservationists. The three artifacts are currently on display in the Afghan National Museum, here are translations of the inscriptions from Surkh Kotal by J. Harmatta. They were originally in the Bactrian language and written in Greek script, for possible interpretations of their meanings, see Harmattas article.
The unfinished inscription has been translated as, Era-year 299, on the 9th of Dios, King of Kings Ooëmo Takpiso, the majesty, the fragments of an inscription from the period of Kanishkas reign contain only about one fifth of the original inscription. They have been translated as, the lord, K, the mighty Kaneṣko. ]Then were built by him in four years, when the stld was comçade the stairs lere olly bu[tressed with stones so that p[ure water was ed al for the ab to. Then So-and-So inscribed this façade and the stairs leading there, the text of SK4 runs, This stronghold is the Kaneṣko Oanindo sanctuary which the lord king made the namebearer of Kaneṣko. At that time when the stronghold was first completed, its water to drink was missing. And when the water-flow disappeared from the canal, the gods wished themselves away from the abode, they were led to Lrafo, to Andēzo. Then he had a well dug, thus he provided water, thereafter he buttressed with stones so that the fine, pure water should not be missing for the stronghold.
And when for them the water-flow would disappear from the canal, even the gods, should not wish themselves away from their abode, thus the stronghold should not become abandoned for them. Moreover, he appointed an inspector over the well, he placed a helper there, so that a separate took good care of the well, this well and the façade were made by Xirgomano, the karalrango, by the order of the king. Moreover, Eiiomano inscribed together with Mihramano, the son of Bozomihro jointly, le Berre, and G. Fussman, Surkh Kotal en Bactriane I. Les temples, MDAFA25, Paris,1983. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol.18, Nancy Hatch, An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. For recent photographs please see http, //www. spach. info/ephotosbaghlan. htm
The hoard is often known as the Bactrian gold. The ornaments include necklaces set with stones, medallions. After its discovery, the hoard went missing during the wars in Afghanistan, until it was rediscovered, a new museum in Kabul is being planned where the Bactrian gold will eventually be kept. The heavily fortified town of Yemshi-tepe, just five kilometres to the northeast of modern Sheberghan on the road to Akcha, is half a kilometre from the now-famous necropolis of Tillia-tepe. Several coins dated up to the early 1st century CE, with none dated later, a silver coin was found in one of the tombs from the reigns of the Parthian king Mithridates II, who ruled c. The coin was found in tomb III, and was held in the hand of the defunct woman. An imitation gold coin of Parthian King Gotarzes I was found in the hand of the defunct woman in tomb 6. The fact that this coin is in gold, and not silver or bronze as is usually the case for Parthian coinage, the coin is counterstamped with the frontal depiction of what might have been a local chieftain.
The counterstamp was added so as to not damage the portrait of the Parthian king, a gold coin was found in tomb III showing the bust in profile of the wreath-crowned Roman Emperor Tiberius. On the reverse is an enthroned, sumptuously draped female figure holding a spray, coins of this type were minted in the city of Lugdunum in Gaul, between 16 and 21 CE. A Buddhist gold coin from India was found in tomb IV, on the reverse, it depicts a lion with a nandipada, with the Kharoshthi legend Sih vigatabhay. On the obverse, an almost naked man wearing an Hellenistic chlamys. The legend in Kharoshthi reads Dharmacakrapravata and it has been suggested that this may be an early representation of the Buddha. Finally, a worn coin has been identified as belonging to the Yuezhi chieftain Heraios. It is thought that the site belonged to Sakas, although some suggest the Yuezhi or eastern Parthians as an alternative, several of the artifacts are highly consistent with a Scythian origin, such as the royal crown or the polylobed decorated daggers discovered in the tombs.
Several of the defuncts exhibited ritual deformation of the skull, a practice which is documented among Central Asian nomads of the period. These pieces have much in common with the famous Scythian gold artifacts recovered thousands of kilometers west on the banks of the Bosphorus, a high cultural syncretism pervades the findings, however. The artifacts were intermixed with items coming from much farther and this seems to be a testimony to the richness of cultural influences in the area of Bactria at that time
Logar River is a river of Afghanistan. It gives the name to the Logar Valley and Logar Province, the Chaki Wardak Dam is built on the river in Chaki Wardak District, Maidan Wardak Province. The Logar River drains a wide tract of country, rising in Maidan Wardak Province in the slopes of the Sanglakh Range and receiving tributaries from the Kharwar hills. It joins the Kabul River a few kilometres below the city of Kabul, the fertile and well irrigated Logar Valley, which is watered by its southern tributaries, is about 64 km long by 19 km wide. Lying in the vicinity of the capital, the district contributes significantly to its food supply, a large ancient city was discovered in 2002, just south of Pul-i-Alam, dating back at least 1,700 years to Kushan times. It contains numerous multi-storied buildings and temple and covers an area of about 30 km2 and it has been extensively looted during the recent war with many antiquities being sold on the black market. More details on the underground city Land cover map This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Shortugai was an Indus civilization trading colony established around 2000 BC on the Oxus river near the lapis mines in northern Afghanistan. According to Sergent, not one of the characteristics of the Harappan cultural complex is missing from it. The town consists of two hills called A and B by the excavators, one of them was once the town proper, the other one the citadel. Each of them is about 2 hectares large, typical finds of the Indus Valley Civilization include one seal with a short inscription, clay models of cattle with carts and painted pottery. Pottery with Harappan design, beakers, bronze objects, gold pieces, lapis lazuli beads, other types of beads, drill heads, square seals with animal motiff and script confirms this as a site belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation. A ploughed field with flax seeds in this site indicate dry land farming, shortugai was a trading post of Harappan times and it seems to be connected with lapis lazuli mines located in the surrounding area. It might have connections with tin trade and camel trade, henri-Paul Francfort, Fouilles de Shortughai, Recherches sur LAsie Centrale Protohistorique Paris, Diffusion de Boccard,1989
Ai-Khanoum or Ay Khanum was one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. Previous scholars have argued that Ai Khanoum was founded in the late 4th century BC, recent analysis now strongly suggests that the city was founded c.280 BC by the Seleucid king Antiochus I. The city is located in Takhar Province, northern Afghanistan, at the confluence of the Oxus river and the Kokcha river, and at the doorstep of the Indian subcontinent. Ai-Khanoum was one of the points of Hellenism in the East for nearly two centuries, until its annihilation by nomadic invaders around 145 BC about the time of the death of Eucratides. The site was excavated through archaeological searches by a French DAFA mission under Paul Bernard between 1964 and 1978, as well as Russian scientists. The searches had to be abandoned with the onset of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, during which the site was looted and used as a battleground, the choice of this site for the foundation of a city was probably guided by several factors.
The region, irrigated by the Oxus, had a rich agricultural potential, mineral resources were abundant in the back country towards the Hindu Kush, especially the famous so-called rubies from Badakshan, and gold. Its location at the junction between Bactrian territory and nomad territories to the north, ultimately allowed access to commerce with the Chinese empire, lastly, Ai-Khanoum was located at the very doorstep of Ancient India, allowing it interact directly with the Indian subcontinent. Numerous artefacts and structures were found, pointing to a high Hellenistic culture and it has all the hallmarks of a Hellenistic city, with a Greek theatre and some Greek houses with colonnaded courtyards. Overall, Aï-Khanoum was an extremely important Greek city, characteristic of the Seleucid Empire and it seems the city was destroyed, never to be rebuilt, about the time of the death of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides around 145 BC. Ai-Khanoum may have been the city in which Eucratides was besieged by Demetrius and its size was considerable by Classical standards, larger than the theater at Babylon, but slightly smaller than the theater at Epidaurus.
A huge palace in Greco-Bactrian architecture, somehow reminiscent of formal Persian palatial architecture A gymnasium, a dedication in Greek to Hermes and Herakles was found engraved on one of the pillars. The dedication was made by two men with Greek names, various temples, in and outside the city. The largest temple in the city contained a monumental statue of a seated Zeus. Of special notice, a huge foot fragment in excellent Hellenistic style was recovered, since the sandal of the foot fragment bears the symbolic depiction of Zeus thunderbolt, the statue is thought to have been a smaller version of the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. He used to hold a stick in his left hand. In some cases, only the hands and feet would be made in marble, various inscriptions in Classical, non-barbarized, Greek have been found in Ai-Khanoum. Païs ôn kosmios ginou hèbôn enkratès, mesos dikaios presbutès euboulos teleutôn alupos, various Greek inscriptions were found in the Treasury of the palace, indicating the contents of various vases, and names of the administrators in charge of them
Mes Aynak is a site 40 km southeast of Kabul, located in a barren region of Logar Province. The site contains Afghanistans largest copper deposit, as well as the remains of an ancient settlement with over 400 Buddha statues, stupas and it is considered a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan. Archaeologists are only beginning to find remnants of an older 5, 000-year-old Bronze Age site beneath the Buddhist level, the site of Mes Aynak possesses a vast complex of Buddhist monasteries and market areas. The site contains artifacts recovered from the Bronze Age, and some of the artifacts recovered have dated back over three thousand years, the sites orientation on the Silk Road has yielded a mixture of elements from Iran and India. The wealth of Mes Aynak’s residents has been represented in the sites far-reaching size. Afghanistan’s eagerness to unearth the copper below the site is leading to the destruction rather than its preservation. Archaeologists have photographed the site and the relics excavated, the Buddhist ruins were scheduled to be destroyed at the end of July 2012, but for several reasons, including political instability, this has been delayed.
The word Mes Aynak literally means little source of copper, mes is copper, while aynak is a form of ayn. The earliest Buddhist remains date from the Kushan Gandhara era, although these gradually gave way to Tang Chinese, Mes Aynak was at the peak of its prosperity between the fifth and seventh century AD. A period of decline began in the eighth century. Allegations have persisted that the then-minister of mines obstructed the contracting process, the Afghan Mining Ministry estimates that the mine holds some six million tons of copper. The mine is expected to be tens of billions of dollars, and to generate jobs and economic activity for the country. The site is accessed via a 15 kilometers motorable track from the road between Kabul and Gardez. The mining lease holders propose to build a railway to serve the copper mine, other investments that have yet to be fulfilled include a railway, a 400-megawatt power plant and a coal mine. Archaeologists believe that Mes Aynak is a historical heritage site.
It has been called one of the most important points along the Silk Road by French archaeologist, historians are particularly excited by the prospect of learning more about the early science of metallurgy and mining by exploring this site. It is known to contain coins and the tools for making these, archaeologists have already unearthed manuscripts that may provide evidence regarding the presence of Alexander the Greats troops. All of this material is in imminent danger of destruction by the mining endeavor
Balkh was an ancient city and centre of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif. It was one of the cities of Khorasan, since the latters earliest history. Marco Polo described Balkh as a noble and great city, the ancient city of Balkh was known to the Ancient Greeks as Bactra, giving its name to Bactria. It was mostly known as the centre and capital of Bactria or Tokharistan, Balkh is now for the most part a mass of ruins, situated some 12 km from the right bank of the seasonally flowing Balkh River, at an elevation of about 365 m. Outside the town was a large Buddhist monastery known as Naubahar, french Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel associated Shambhala with Balkh, offering the Persian Sham-i-Bala, elevated candle as an etymology of its name. In a similar vein, the Gurdjieffian J. G. Bennett published speculation that Shambalha was Shams-i-Balkh, the name of the province or country appears in Old Persian inscriptions as Bāxtri, i. e.
Bakhtri. It is written in the Avesta as Bāxδi, from this came the intermediate form Bāxli, Sanskrit Bahlīka for Bactrian, and by transposition the modern Persian Balx, i. e. Balkh, and Armenian Bahl. Balkh is considered to be the first city to which the Indo-Iranian tribes moved from the North of Amu Darya, the Arabs called it Umm Al-Belaad or Mother of Cities due to its antiquity. The city was traditionally a center of Zoroastrianism, the name Zariaspa, which is either an alternate name for Balkh or a term for part of the city, may derive from the important Zoroastrian fire temple Azar-i-Asp. Balkh was regarded as the place where Zoroaster first preached his religion, the changing climate has led to desertification since antiquity, when the region was very fertile. For a long time the city and country was the seat of the dualistic Zoroastrian religion. Armenian sources state that the Arsacid Dynasty of the Parthian Empire established its capital in Balkh, there is a long-standing tradition that an ancient shrine of Anahita was to be found here, a temple so rich it invited plunder.
Alexander the Great married Roxana of Bactria after killing the king of Balkh, the city was the capital of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and was besieged for three years by the Seleucid Empire. Balkh town is well-known to Buddhist countries because of two great Buddhist monks of Afghanistan – Trapusa and Bahalika, there are two stupas over their relics. According to a legend, Buddhism was introduced in Balkh by Bhallika, disciple of Buddha. He was a merchant of the region and had come from Bodhgaya, in literature, Balkh has been described as Balhika, Valhika or Bahlika. First Vihara at Balkh was built for Bhallika when he returned home after becoming a Buddhist monk, Xuanzang visited Balkh in 630 when it was a flourishing centre of Hinayana Buddhism
Haḍḍa is a Greco-Buddhist archeological site located in the ancient region of Gandhara, near the Khyber Pass, ten kilometers south of the city of Jalalabad in todays eastern Afghanistan. Some 23,000 Greco-Buddhist sculptures, both clay and plaster, were excavated in Haḍḍa during the 1930s and the 1970s, the findings combine elements of Buddhism and Hellenism in an almost perfect Hellenistic style. Although the style of the artifacts is typical of the late Hellenistic 2nd or 1st century BCE and this discrepancy might be explained by a preservation of late Hellenistic styles for a few centuries in this part of the world. However it is possible that the artifacts actually were produced in the late Hellenistic period, the style of many of the works at Haḍḍa is highly Hellenistic, and can be compared to sculptures found at the Temple of Apollo in Bassae, Greece. The toponym Haḍḍa has its origins in Sanskrit haḍḍa n. m. a bone, or, the former - if not a fossilized form - would have given rise to a Haḍḍ in the subsequent vernaculars of northern India.
The latter would have given rise to the form Haḍḍa naturally, the term haḍḍa is found as a loan in Pashto haḍḍ, n. id. and may reflect the linguistic influence of the original pre-Islamic population of the area. A sculptural group excavated at the Haḍḍa site of Tapa-i-Shotor represents Buddha surrounded by perfectly Hellenistic Herakles, the only adaptation of the Greek iconography is that Herakles holds the thunderbolt of Vajrapani rather than his usual club. Other attendants to the Buddha have been excavated which display manifest Hellenistic styles, such as the Genie au Fleur and it is believed the oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts-indeed the oldest surviving Indian manuscripts of any kind-were recovered around Haḍḍa. They are part of the long-lost canon of the Sarvastivadin Sect that dominated Gandhara and was instrumental in Buddhisms spread into central, the manuscripts are now in the possession of the British Library. Haḍḍa is said to have been almost entirely destroyed in the fighting during the Civil war in Afghanistan, there were many works of art lost as a result of the civil war.
One of the worst of the casualties was the loss of two statues, the Red Mountain range in Bamiyan that once housed two giant statues of the Buddha, on cliff faces, besides smaller structures of archaeological significance. The two big statues, dating back to the 5th or 6th century CE, were the largest of all Buddhist statues so far attested in the world, only remnants of these statues were left behind. Vandalised Afghanistan Oldest Buddhist bark texts Photographs from Tepe Shotur/Haḍḍa
Alexandria in Arachosia was a city in ancient times that is now called Kandahar in Afghanistan. It was one of more than seventy cities founded or renamed by Alexander the Great, Arachosia is the Greek name of an ancient province of the Achaemenid and Parthian empires. The province of Arachosia corresponds to todays southeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, as far as this place the land is under the rule of the Parthians. The remains of Alexandria in Arachosia are today found in the tell of Old Kandahar citadel in the portion of the modern city. The citadel tell was excavated by the British Society for South Asian Studies through the 1970s and these excavations indicate that the Islamic walls were based on those from classical times indicating what might be a square shaped town, but one highly modified by the unusual topography. A triangular shaped portion of the adjoining the Greek town is from the Buddhist era. Alexander appears to have founded his town on the site of 6th century BC Persian garrison point, the pass and junction of three long distance trade routes made the location of strategic importance.
To date, no Greek buildings have found, but numerous coins, inscriptions. Further discoveries are anticipated as excavation reaches deeper strata of the tell, the citadel walls have been shown to have contained circular towers similar to those at Farah and Nadi Ali Sorkh Gdagh, although these could be Islamic in age. Kandahar Old Kandahar Alexander the Great, his towns Arachosia Alexandria in Arachosia ARACHOSIA, province 2012 Encyclopædia Iranica
Alexandria in the Caucasus was a colony of Alexander the Great. He founded the colony at an important junction of communications in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. Note, In Classical times, the Hindu Kush were designated as the Caucasus in parallel to their Western equivalent, the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Asia. He had built forts in what is nowadays Bagram in Afghanistan, at the foot of the Hindu Kush, the divinity of the city seems to have been Zeus, as suggested by coins of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides. Alexandria of the Caucasus was one of the capitals of the Indo-Greek kings, during the reign of Menander I the city was recorded as having a thriving Buddhist community, headed by Greek monks. Some archaeological evidence concerning Alexandria of the Caucasus was gathered by Charles Masson and his findings include coins, rings and other small objects. In the 1930s Roman Ghirshman, while conducting excavations near Bagram, found Egyptian and Syrian glassware, bronze statuettes and this is an indication that Alexanders conquests have opened India to imports from the west.
Today the cities remains feature a rectangular tell 500 by 200 metres in area and a nearby circular citadel about 3km northeast of Bagram Airforce base