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 primarily 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 originally based on the campaigns of Genghis Khan in the Khwarazmian Empire in 1219–24 and was founded by Hulagu 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 comprise most of Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, western Afghanistan. Later Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan in 1295, would convert 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 il-Khan means subordinate khan and refers to their initial deference to Möngke Khan, 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, the Mongols overran the empire, occupying the major cities and population centers between 1219 and 1221. Persian Iraq was ravaged by the Mongol detachment under Jebe and Subedei, Transoxiana came under Mongol control after the invasion. The undivided area west of the Transoxiana was the inheritance of Genghis Khans Borjigin family, the families of the latters four sons appointed their officials under the Great Khans governors, Chin-Temür, and Korguz, in that region. Muhammads 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 fathers empire, quickly declared their allegiance to Jalal. He repulsed the first Mongol attempt to take Central Persia, Jalal ad-Din was overwhelmed and crushed by Chormaqans 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, 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 and they began to attack the western parts of Greater Armenia, which was under the Seljuks, the following year. In 1236 Ögedei was commanded to raise up Khorassan and proceeded to populate Herat, the Mongol military governors mostly made camp in the Mughan plain in what is now Azerbaijan. Realizing the danger posed by the Mongols, the rulers of Mosul, Chormaqan divided the Transcaucasia region into three districts based on the Mongol military hierarchy. In Georgia, the population was 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
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in an area known as Media and who spoke the Median language. This allowed new peoples to pass through and settle, in addition Elam, the dominant power in Iran, was suffering a period of severe weakness, as was Babylonia to the west. During the reign of Sinsharishkun the Assyrian empire, which had been in a state of constant civil war since 626 BC, subject peoples, such as the Medes, Chaldeans, Scythians, Cimmerians and Arameans quietly ceased to pay tribute to Assyria. The Median kingdom was conquered in 550 BC by Cyrus the Great. However, nowadays there is doubt whether a united Median empire ever existed. There is no evidence and the story of Herodotus is not supported by sources from the Neo-Assyrian Empire nor the Neo-Babylonian Empire. A few archaeological sites and textual sources provide a documentation of the history. Apart from a few 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.
Besides Ecbatana, the other existing in Media were Laodicea. The fourth city of Media was Apamea, near Ecbatana, whose location is now unknown. According to the Histories of Herodotus, there were six Median tribes, Thus Deioces collected the Medes into a nation, now these are the tribes of which they consist, the Busae, the Paretaceni, the Struchates, the Arizanti, the Budii, and the Magi. The six Median tribes resided in Media proper, the triangular shaped area between Ecbatana and Aspadana, in modern Iran, that is the area between Tehran and Hamadan. Of the Median tribes, the Magi resided in Rhaga, modern Tehran and it was a type of sacred caste, which ministered to the spiritual needs of the Medes. The Paretaceni tribe resided in and around Aspadana, modern Isfahan, the Arizanti lived in and around Kashan, the Struchates and the Budii lived in villages in the Median triangle. The original source for different words used to call the Median people, their language, the meaning of this word is not precisely established.
The Median people are mentioned by name in many ancient texts. According to the Histories of Herodotus, The Medes were called anciently by all people Aryans, but when Medea, such is the account which they themselves give
It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains. It is referred to as Greater Persia, while the Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term Iranian Cultural Continent. The term Iran is not limited to the state of Iran. The concept of Greater Iran has its source in the history of the Achaemenid Empire in Persis, the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 resulted in Iran ceding Dagestan and most of Azerbaijan to Russia. After the Russo-Persian War, the Turkmanchey Treaty of 1828 ended centuries of Iranian control of its Caucasian provinces, in 1935, the endonym Iran was adopted as the official international name of Persia by its ruler Reza Shah. The name “Irān“, meaning “land of the Aryans”, is the New Persian continuation of the old genitive plural aryānām, the Avestan evidence is confirmed by Greek sources, Arianē is spoken of as being between Persia and the Indian subcontinent. However, this is a Greek pronunciation of the name Haroyum/Haraiva, a land listed separately from the homeland of the Aryans.
While up until the end of the Parthian period in the 3rd century CE, the idea of “Irān“ had an ethnic, the idea of an “Iranian“ empire or kingdom in a political sense is a purely Sasanian one. It was the result of a convergence of interests between the new dynasty and the Zoroastrian clergy, as we can deduce from the available evidence and this convergence gave rise to the idea of an Ērān-šahr “Kingdom of the Iranians, ” which was “ēr“. Richard Nelson Frye defines Greater Iran as including much of the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Central Asia, with influences extending to China. According to Frye, Iran means all lands and peoples where Iranian languages were and are spoken, and this view, even though common among serious scholars, is almost certainly overstated. To the Ancient Greeks, Greater Iran ended at the Indus, according to J. P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams most of Western greater Iran spoke Southwestern Iranian languages in the Achaemenid era while the Eastern territory spoke Eastern Iranian languages related to Avestan.
In the words of Richard Nelson Frye, Only in modern times did western colonial intervention, as Patrick Clawson states, ethnic nationalism is largely a nineteenth century phenomenon, even if it is fashionable to retroactively extend it. Greater Iran however has more of a cultural super-state, rather than a political one to begin with. A detailed list of these follows in this article. Greater Iran is called Iranzamin which means The Land of Iran, Iranzamin was in the mythical times opposed to the Turanzamin the Land of Turan, which was located in the upper part of Central Asia. In the pre-Islamic period, Iranians distinguished two main regions in the territory they ruled, one Iran and the other Aniran, by Iran they meant all the regions inhabited by ancient Iranian peoples, this region was more extensive in the past
The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammads youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib and they ruled as caliphs, for most of their period from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after assuming authority over the Muslim empire from the Umayyads in 750 CE. The Abbasid caliphate first centered its government in Kufa, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, the political power of the caliphs largely ended with the rise of the Buyids and the Seljuq Turks. Although Abbasid leadership over the vast Islamic empire was reduced to a ceremonial religious function. The capital city of Baghdad became a center of science, culture and this period of cultural fruition ended in 1258 with the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The Abbasid line of rulers, and Muslim culture in general, though lacking in political power, the dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt.
The Abbasid caliphs were Arabs descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad, the Abbasids claimed to be the true successors of Prophet Muhammad in replacing the Umayyad descendants of Banu Umayya by virtue of their closer bloodline to Muhammad. The Abbasids distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their moral character, according to Ira Lapidus, The Abbasid revolt was supported largely by Arabs, mainly the aggrieved settlers of Marw with the addition of the Yemeni faction and their Mawali. The Abbasids appealed to non-Arab Muslims, known as mawali, Muhammad ibn Ali, a great-grandson of Abbas, began to campaign for the return of power to the family of Prophet Muhammad, the Hashimites, in Persia during the reign of Umar II. During the reign of Marwan II, this culminated in the rebellion of Ibrahim the Imam. On 9 June 747, Abu Muslim successfully initiated a revolt against Umayyad rule. Close to 10,000 soldiers were under Abu Muslims command when the hostilities began in Merv.
General Qahtaba followed the fleeing governor Nasr ibn Sayyar west defeating the Umayyads at the Battle of Nishapur, the Battle of Gorgan, after this loss, Marwan fled to Egypt, where he was subsequently assassinated. The remainder of his family, barring one male, were eliminated, immediately after their victory, As-Saffah sent his forces to Central Asia, where his forces fought against Tang expansion during the Battle of Talas. Barmakids, who were instrumental in building Baghdad, introduced the worlds first recorded paper mill in Baghdad, As-Saffah focused on putting down numerous rebellions in Syria and Mesopotamia. The Byzantines conducted raids during these early distractions, the first change the Abbasids, under Al-Mansur, made was to move the empires capital from Damascus, in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq. Baghdad was established on the Tigris River in 762, a new position, that of the vizier, was established to delegate central authority, and even greater authority was delegated to local emirs.
During Al-Mansurs time control of Al-Andalus was lost, and the Shiites revolted and were defeated a year at the Battle of Bakhamra, the Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians in their overthrow of the Umayyads
The Afsharids were members of an Iranian dynasty which originated from the Turkic Afshar tribe in Irans north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Persia in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, after his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands, Durranis and the Caucasian khanates, while Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796, the dynasty was named after the Turcoman Afshar tribe from Khorasan in north-east Iran to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had originally migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan in the 13th century, Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars. Nader Shah was born into a humble family from the Afshar tribe of Khorasan. His path to power began when the Ghilzai Mir Mahmud Hotaki overthrew the weakened and disintegrated Safavid shah Sultan Husayn in 1722, at the same time and Russian forces seized Iranian land.
By the 1724 Constantinople Treaty, they agreed to divide the areas between themselves. Nader fought to regain the lands lost to the Ottomans and Russians, while he was away in the east fighting the Ghilzais, Tahmasp allowed the Ottomans to retake territory in the west. Nader, had Tahmasp deposed in favour of his baby son Abbas III in 1732. Four years later, after he had recaptured most of the lost Persian lands and he subsequently made the Russians cede the taken territories taken in 1722–23 through the Treaty of Resht of 1732 and the Treaty of Ganja of 1735. He agreed and thus became a figure of national importance, when Nader discovered that Fath Ali Khan was in treacherous correspondence with Malek Mahmud and revealed this to the shah, Tahmasp executed him and made Nader the chief of his army instead. Nader subsequently took on the title Tahmasp Qoli, in late 1726, Nader recaptured Mashhad. Nader chose not to directly on Isfahan. First, in May 1729, he defeated the Abdali Afghans near Herat, many of the Abdali Afghans subsequently joined his army.
Ashraf fled and Nader finally entered Isfahan, handing it over to Tahmasp in December, the citizens rejoicing was cut short when Nader plundered them to pay his army. Tahmasp made Nader governor over many eastern provinces, including his native Khorasan, Nader pursued and defeated Ashraf, who was murdered by his own followers. In 1738 Nader Shah besieged and destroyed the last Hotaki seat of power at Kandahar and he built a new city near Kandahar, which he named Naderabad. At the same time, the Abdali Afghans rebelled and besieged Mashhad, forcing Nader to suspend his campaign and save his brother and it took Nader fourteen months to crush this uprising
Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley Civilisation was a Bronze Age civilisation mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread, at its peak, the Indus Civilisation may have had a population of over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft, the Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings. The discovery of Harappa, and soon afterwards, Mohenjo-Daro, was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India in the British Raj, excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999. This Harappan civilisation is called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish it from the cultures immediately preceding and following it.
The early Harappan cultures were preceded by local Neolithic agricultural villages, as of 1999, over 1,056 cities and settlements had been found, of which 96 have been excavated, mainly in the general region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries. Among the settlements were the urban centres of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala in Cholistan. The Harappan language is not directly attested and its affiliation is uncertain since the Indus script is still undeciphered, a relationship with the Dravidian or Elamo-Dravidian language family is favoured by a section of scholars. Recently, Indus sites have been discovered in Pakistans northwestern Frontier Province as well, other IVC colonies can be found in Afghanistan while smaller isolated colonies can be found as far away as Turkmenistan and in Maharashtra. The largest number of colonies are in the Punjab, Rajasthan, Indus Valley sites have been found most often on rivers, but on the ancient seacoast, for example, and on islands, for example, Dholavira.
There is evidence of dry river beds overlapping with the Hakra channel in Pakistan, many Indus Valley sites have been discovered along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. Among them are, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Harappan Civilisation remains the correct one, according to the common archaeological usage of naming a civilisation after its first findspot. John wrote, I was much exercised in my mind how we were to get ballast for the line of the railway and they were told of an ancient ruined city near the lines, called Brahminabad. Visiting the city, he found it full of hard well-burnt bricks, convinced there was a grand quarry for the ballast I wanted. These bricks now provided ballast along 93 miles of the track running from Karachi to Lahore. In 1872–75, Alexander Cunningham published the first Harappan seal and it was half a century later, in 1912, that more Harappan seals were discovered by J. J. H. MacKay, and Marshall. By 1931, much of Mohenjo-Daro had been excavated, but excavations continued, such as that led by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, director of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1944.
Among other archaeologists who worked on IVC sites before the independence in 1947 were Ahmad Hasan Dani, Brij Basi Lal, Nani Gopal Majumdar, and Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Bactria or Bactriana was the name of a historical region in Central Asia. Bactria was located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Amu Darya river, covering the region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek, Βακτριανή, analogous names include the Pashto and Persian, باختر, translit. Bākhtar, Uzbek, Балх, Tajik, Бохтар, Chinese, 大夏, pinyin, Dàxià and this region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the frame of the Bactrian plain. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia. 2200–1700 BC, located in present-day eastern Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya and its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. The early Greek historian Ctesias, c.400 BC, alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca.2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War.
Since the decipherment of cuneiform in the 19th century, according to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranian tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into north-western India around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the province of the Persian Empire in Central Asia. It was in these regions, where the soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, Bessus attempted to organise a resistance but was captured by other warlords. He was tortured and killed, however, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and an insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria. After Alexanders death, Diodorus Siculus tells us that Philip received dominion over Bactria, at the Treaty of Triparadisus, both Diodorus Siculus and Arrian agree that the satrap Stasanor gained control over Bactria. Eventually, Alexanders empire was divided up among the generals in Alexanders army, Bactria became a part of the Seleucid Empire, named after its founder, Seleucus I.
The Macedonians, especially Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, established the Seleucid Empire, the Greek language became dominant for some time there. The paradox that Greek presence was more prominent in Bactria than in areas far closer to Greece can possibly be explained by past deportations of Greeks to Bactria
The empire was founded by Timur, a warlord of Turco-Mongol lineage who established the empire between 1370 and his death in 1405. He envisioned himself as the restorer of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid prince from Ferghana, invaded Kabulistan and established a kingdom there. Timur conquered large parts of Central Asia, primarily Transoxiana and Khorasan, from 1363 onwards with various alliances, acting officially in the name of Suurgatmish, the Chagatai khan, he subjugated Transoxania and Khwarazm in the years that followed. The western Chagatai khans were continually dominated by Timurid princes in the 15th and 16th centuries, Timur began a campaign westwards in 1380, invading the various successor states of the Ilkhanate. By 1389, he had removed the Kartids from Herat and advanced into mainland Persia where he enjoyed many successes and this included the capture of Isfahan in 1387, the removal of the Muzaffarids from Shiraz in 1393, and the expulsion of the Jalayirids from Baghdad.
In 1394–95, he triumphed over the Golden Horde, following his campaign in Georgia. Tokhtamysh, the khan of the Golden Horde, was a rival to Timur in the region. He subjugated Multan and Dipalpur in modern-day Pakistan in 1398, Timur gave the north Indian territories to a non-family member, Khizr Khan, whose Sayyid dynasty replaced the defeated Tughlaq dynasty of the Sultanate of Delhi. Delhi became a vassal of the Timurids but obtained independence in the following the death of Timur. In 1400–1401 he conquered Aleppo and eastern Anatolia, in 1401 he destroyed Baghdad and this made Timur the most preeminent Muslim ruler of the time, as the Ottoman Empire plunged into civil war. Meanwhile, he transformed Samarkand into a capital and seat of his realm. Timur appointed his sons and grandsons to the governorships of the different parts of his empire. After his death in 1405, the family fell into disputes and civil wars. Due to the fact that the Persian cities were desolated by wars, the cost of Timurs conquests amount to the deaths of possibly 17 million people.
Shahrukh Mirza, fourth ruler of the Timurids, dealt with Kara Koyunlu, Jahan Shah drove the Timurids to eastern Iran after 1447 and briefly occupied Herat in 1458. After the death of Jahan Shah, Uzun Hasan, bey of the Ak Koyunlu, by 1500, the divided and wartorn Timurid Empire had lost control of most of its territory, and in the following years was effectively pushed back on all fronts. Persia, the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia fell quickly to the Shiite Safavid dynasty, secured by Shah Ismail I in the following decade
The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history. The Safavid shahs ruled over one of the so-called gunpowder empires, the Safavid dynasty had its origin in the Safaviyya Sufi order, which was established in the city of Ardabil in the Azerbaijan region. The Safavids have left their mark down to the present era by spreading Shia Islam in Iran, as well as parts of the Caucasus, Anatolia. The Safavid Kings themselves claimed to be Seyyeds, family descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, There seems now to be a consensus among scholars that the Safavid family hailed from Persian Kurdistan, and moved to Azerbaijan, finally settling in the 11th century CE at Ardabil. Traditional pre-1501 Safavid manuscripts trace the lineage of the Safavids to the Kurdish dignitary, a massive migration of Oghuz Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries not only Turkified Azerbaijan but Anatolia. The Azeri Turks are Shiʿites and were founders of the Safavid dynasty, by the time of the establishment of the Safavid empire, the members of the family were native Turkish-speaking and Turkicized, and some of the Shahs composed poems in their native Turkish language.
Furthermore, the dynasty was from the very start thoroughly intermarried with both Pontic Greek as well as Georgian lines, Safavid history begins with the establishment of the Safaviyya by its eponymous founder Safi-ad-din Ardabili. In 700/1301, Safi al-Din assumed the leadership of the Zahediyeh, due to the great spiritual charisma of Safi al-Din, the order was known as the Safaviyya. The Safavid order soon gained great influence in the city of Ardabil, after Safī al-Dīn, the leadership of the Safaviyya passed to Sadr al-Dīn Mūsā. The leadership of the order passed from Sadr ud-Dīn Mūsā to his son Khwādja Ali, when Shaykh Junayd, the son of Ibrāhim, assumed the leadership of the Safaviyya in 1447, the history of the Safavid movement was radically changed. Savory, Sheikh Junayd was not content with spiritual authority and he sought material power, Junayd sought refuge with the rival of Kara Koyunlu Jahan Shah, the Aq Qoyunlu Khan Uzun Hassan, and cemented his relationship by marrying Uzun Hassans sister, Khadija Begum.
Junayd was killed during an incursion into the territories of the Shirvanshah and was succeeded by his son Haydar Safavi, Haydar married Martha Alamshah Begom, Uzun Hassans daughter, who gave birth to Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty. Marthas mother Theodora—better known as Despina Khatun—was a Pontic Greek princess and she had been married to Uzun Hassan in exchange for protection of the Grand Komnenos from the Ottomans. After Uzun Hassans death, his son Yaqub felt threatened by the growing Safavid religious influence, Yaqub allied himself with the Shirvanshah and killed Haydar in 1488. By this time, the bulk of the Safaviyya were nomadic Oghuz Turkic-speaking clans from Asia Minor, the Qizilbash were warriors, spiritual followers of Haydar, and a source of the Safavid military and political power. After the death of Haydar, the Safaviyya gathered around his son Ali Mirza Safavi, according to official Safavid history, before passing away, Ali had designated his young brother Ismail as the spiritual leader of the Safaviyya.
After the decline of the Timurid Empire, Persia was politically splintered, the demise of Tamerlanes political authority created a space in which several religious communities, particularly Shi’i ones, could come to the fore and gain prominence. Among these were a number of Sufi brotherhoods, the Hurufis, Nuqtawis, of these various movements, the Safavid Qizilbash was the most politically resilient, and due to its success Shah Isma’il I gained political prominence in 1501
History of Afghanistan
The Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up to large parts of Afghanistan in the north, with several sites being known. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived at what is now Afghanistan in 330 BCE after conquering Persia during the Battle of Gaugamela, Afghanistan has been a strategically important location throughout history. The land served as a gateway to India, impinging on the ancient Silk Road, the archaeological manifestation of the Indo-Iranians before their split into separate language groups is generally seen as the Andronovo culture to the north of present-day Afghanistan. The Iranian languages were developed by one branch of these people, elena E. Kuzmina 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, and its period of Zoroastrian, Buddhist. Turkic empire-builders such as the Ghaznavids and Timurids made the now called Afghanistan of major importance.
Mirwais Hotak followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Afghan tribes and founded the last Afghan Empire in the early 18th century CE, a cave called Kara Kamar contained Upper Paleolithic blades Carbon-14 dated at 34,000 years old. 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 people were small farmers and herdsmen, very probably grouped into tribes. Urbanization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE, Zoroastrianism predominated as the religion in the area, even the modern Afghan solar calendar shows the influence of Zoroastrianism in the names of the months. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism flourished later, leaving a mark in the region. Early inhabitants, around 3000 BCE were likely 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 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 widely from as early as about 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization extending from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. Apart from Shortughai is Mundigak another notable site, there are several other smaller IVC colonies 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, 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
The Samanid Empire, known as the Samanid dynasty, Samanid Emirate, or simply Samanids, was a Sunni Iranian empire, ruling from 819 to 999. The Samanid state was founded by four brothers, Ahmad, Yahya, in 892, Ismail ibn Ahmad united the Samanid state under one ruler, thus effectively putting an end to the feudal system used by the Samanids. It was under him that the Samanids became independent of Abbasid authority, the Samanid Empire is part of the Iranian Intermezzo, which saw the creation of a Persianate culture and identity that brought Iranian speech and traditions into the fold of the Islamic world. This would lead to the formation of the Turko-Persian culture, the Samanids promoted the arts, giving rise to the advancement of science and literature, and thus attracted scholars such as Rudaki and Avicenna. While under Samanid control, Bukhara was a rival to Baghdad in its glory, scholars note that the Samanids revived Persian more than the Buyids and the Saffarids, while continuing to patronize Arabic to a smaller degree.
In a famous edict, Samanid authorities declared that here, in region, the language is Persian. The eponymous ancestor of the Samanid dynasty was Saman Khuda, a Persian noble who belonged to a dehqan family, the latter is more probable since the earliest appearance of the Samanid family appears to be in Khorasan rather than Transoxiana. Originally a Zoroastrian, Saman Khuda converted to Islam during the governorship of Asad ibn Abdallah al-Qasri in Khorasan and this marked the beginning of the Samanid dynasty. He was defeated at a battle near Pushang in 857, and fled to Nishapur, the Tahirids thereafter assumed direct control over Herat. In 839/40, Nuh seized Isfijab from the nomadic pagan Turks living in the steppe and he thereafter had a wall constructed around the city to protect it from their attacks. He died in 841/2—his two brothers Yahya and Ahmad, were appointed as the joint rulers of the city by the Tahirid governor of Khorasan. After Yahyas death in 855, Ahmad took control over Shash and he died in 864/5, his son Nasr I received Farghana and Samarkand, while his other son Yaqub received Shash.
Nasr I used this opportunity to strengthen his authority by sending his brother Ismail to Bukhara, when Ismail reached the city, he was warmly received by its inhabitants, who saw him as one who could restore order. Although the Bukhar Khudahs continued to rule in Bukhara for a few more years. After not so long, disagreement over where tax money should be distributed, started a conflict between the brothers, Ismail was eventually victorious in the dynastic struggle, and took control of the Samanid state. However, Nasr had been the one who had invested with Transoxiana. Because of this, Ismail continued to recognize his brother as well, but Nasr was completely powerless and he thereafter forced the Abbasid caliph to recognize him as the ruler of those territories, which they did. In the spring of 900, he clashed with Ismail near Balkh, Ismail thereafter sent him Baghdad, where he was executed