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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. Bactria dates back to 2500 BC; 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 the fall of the Achmaemenid Empire during the Battle of Gaugamela. Since many empires have risen from Afghanistan, including the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, 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, Pashayi and others. 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. 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: The region of Aria was separated by mountain ranges from the Paropamisadae in the east, Parthia in the west and Margiana and Hyrcania in the north, while a desert separated it from Carmania and Drangiana in the south, it is described in a detailed manner by Ptolemy and Strabo and corresponds, according to that to the Herat Province of today's Afg

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