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
For most of their history, the leading Gondopharid kings held Taxila as their residence, but during their last few years of existence the capital shifted between Kabul and Peshawar. Gondophares I originally seems to have been a ruler of Seistan in what is today eastern Iran, around 20–10 BCE, he made conquests in the former Indo-Scythian kingdom, perhaps after the death of the important ruler Azes. Gondophares became the ruler of areas comprising Arachosia, Sindh and the Kabul valley and these smaller dynasts included the Apracarajas themselves, and Indo-Scythian satraps such as Zeionises and Rajuvula, as well as anonymous Scythians who struck imitations of Azes coins. The Ksaharatas held sway in Gujarat, perhaps just outside Gondophares dominions, after the death of Gondophares I, the empire started to fragment. The name or title Gondophares was adapted by Sarpedones, who become Gondophares II and was son of the first Gondophares. Even though he claimed to be the ruler, Sarpedones’ rule was shaky and he issued a fragmented coinage in Sind, eastern Punjab.
The most important successor was Abdagases, Gondophares’ nephew, who ruled in Punjab, after a short reign, Sarpedones seems to have been succeeded by Orthagnes, who became Gondophares III Gadana. Orthagnes ruled mostly in Seistan and Arachosia, with Abdagases further east, during the first decades AD, after 20 AD, a king named Sases, a nephew of the Apracaraja ruler Aspavarma, took over Abdagases’ territories and became Gondophares IV Sases. According to Senior, this is the Gondophares referred to in the Takht-i-Bahi inscription, the last king Pacores only ruled in Seistan and Kandahar. The city of Taxila is thought to have been a capital of the Indo-Parthians, large strata were excavated by Sir John Marshall with a quantity of Parthian-style artifacts. The nearby temple of Jandial is usually interpreted as a Zoroastrian fire temple from the period of the Indo-Parthians, if the account is even historical, Saint Thomas may have encountered one of the kings who bore the same title. The Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana is related by Philostratus in Life of Apollonius Tyana to have visited India, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea is a surviving 1st century guide to the routes commonly being used for navigating the Arabian Sea.
Before it there lies a small island, and inland behind it is the metropolis of Scythia, Minnagara, it is subject to Parthian princes who are constantly driving each other out. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Chap 38 An inscription from Takht-i-Bahi bears two dates, one in the regnal year 26 of the Maharaja Guduvhara, and the year 103 of an unknown era and they are thought to have retained Zoroastrianism, being of Iranian extraction themselves. This Iranian mythological system was inherited from them by the Kushans who ruled from the Peshawar-Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, on their coins and in the art of Gandhara, Indo-Parthians are depicted with short crossover jackets and large baggy trousers, possibly supplemented by chap-like over-trousers. Their jackets are adorned with rows of decorative rings or medals and their hair is usually bushy and contained with a headband, a practise largely adopted by the Parthians from the 1st century CE. Individuals in Indo-Parthian attire are sometimes shown as actors in Buddhist devotional scenes and these archaeological researches provided a quantity of Hellenistic artifacts combined with elements of Buddhist worship.
Some other temples, such as nearby Jandial may have used as a Zoroastrian fire temple
The dynasty, though ethnically Turco-Mongol, was Persianate in terms of culture. The Mughal empire extended over parts of the Indian subcontinent. The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turco-Mongols belonging to the Timurid dynasty, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan and Timur. During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was briefly interrupted by the Sur Empire, the classic period of the Mughal Empire started in 1556 with the ascension of Akbar the Great to the throne. Under the rule of Akbar and his son Jahangir, the region enjoyed economic progress as well as harmony. Akbar was a warrior who forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, the reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, between 1628 and 1658 was the golden age of Mughal architecture.
He erected several monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies, during the following century Mughal power had become severely limited, and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. He issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and following the defeat was therefore tried by the British East India Company for treason and exiled to Rangoon. Contemporaries referred to the empire founded by Babur as the Timurid empire, which reflected the heritage of his dynasty, another name was Hindustan, which was documented in the Ain-i-Akbari, and which has been described as the closest to an official name for the empire. In the west, the term Mughal was used for the emperor, and by extension, the use of Mughal derived from the Arabic and Persian corruption of Mongol, and it emphasised the Mongol origins of the Timurid dynasty.
The term gained currency during the 19th century, but remains disputed by Indologists, similar terms had been used to refer to the empire, including Mogul and Moghul. Nevertheless, Baburs ancestors were sharply distinguished from the classical Mongols insofar as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turco-Mongol culture, ousted from his ancestral domains in Central Asia, Babur turned to India to satisfy his ambitions. He established himself in Kabul and pushed steadily southward into India from Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass, Baburs forces occupied much of northern India after his victory at Panipat in 1526. The preoccupation with wars and military campaigns, did not allow the new emperor to consolidate the gains he had made in India, the instability of the empire became evident under his son, who was driven out of India and into Persia by rebels. Humayuns exile in Persia established diplomatic ties between the Safavid and Mughal Courts, and led to increasing Persian cultural influence in the Mughal Empire, the restoration of Mughal rule began after Humayuns triumphant return from Persia in 1555, but he died from a fatal accident shortly afterwards.
Humayuns son, succeeded to the throne under a regent, Bairam Khan, through warfare and diplomacy, Akbar was able to extend the empire in all directions and controlled almost the entire Indian subcontinent north of the Godavari River
The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani, in many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilization. Persia influenced Roman culture considerably during the Sasanian period, the Sasanians cultural influence extended far beyond the empires territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa and India. It played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art, much of what became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world. Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire, the Sassanid Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I. Papak was originally the ruler of a region called Khir, however, by the year 200, he managed to overthrow Gochihr, and appoint himself as the new ruler of the Bazrangids.
His mother, was the daughter of the governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power all of Pars. The subsequent events are unclear, due to the nature of the sources. It is certain, that following the death of Papak, sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, over the protests of his brothers who were put to death. Once Ardashir was appointed shahanshah, he moved his capital further to the south of Pars, the city, well supported by high mountains and easily defendable through narrow passes, became the center of Ardashirs efforts to gain more power. The city was surrounded by a high, circular wall, probably copied from that of Darabgird, in a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus V himself met Ardashir in battle at Hormozgan, where Artabanus V met his death. Following the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir I went on to invade the provinces of the now defunct Parthian Empire.
Ardashir was aided by the geography of the province of Fars, in the next few years, local rebellions would form around the empire. Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Khorasan, Balkh and he added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanids possessions. In the west, assaults against Hatra and Adiabene met with less success, in 230, he raided deep into Roman territory, and a Roman counter-offensive two years ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome. Ardashir Is son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria, invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories
At its peak, the Hotak dynasty ruled very briefly over an area which is now Afghanistan, western Pakistan, and large parts of Iran. In 1715, Mirwais died of a cause and his brother Abdul Aziz succeeded the monarchy. He was quickly followed by Mahmud who ruled the empire at its largest extent for a three years. Following the 1729 Battle of Damghan, where Ashraf Hotak was roundly defeated by Nader Shah, Hussain Hotak became the last ruler until he was defeated in 1738. Immediately to the east began the Sunni Mughul Empire, who occasionally fought wars with the powerful Safavids over the territory of southern Afghanistan, the area to the north, was controlled by the Khanate of Bukhara at the same time. By the late 17th century, the Iranian Safavids, like their arch rival the Ottoman Turks, had been starting to decline due to misrule, sectarian strife. His first task was to quell the uprisings in the region, Gurgin began imprisoning and executing Afghans, especially those suspected of organizing rebellions, successfully crushing the rebellions.
One of those arrested and imprisoned was Mirwais who belonged to an influential Hotak family in Kandahar. Mirwais was sent as a prisoner to the Persian court in Isfahan but the charges against him were dismissed by Shah Husayn, in April 1709, protected by the Ghaznavid Nasher Khans, and along with his followers revolted against the Safavid rule at Kandahar. The uprising began when Gurgīn Khān and his escort were killed during a feast that was organized by Mirwais at his farmhouse outside the city and it is reported that drinking of wine was involved. Next, Mirwais ordered the killings of the remaining Persian military officials in the region, the Afghans defeated a twice as large Persian army that had been dispatched from Isfahan, one which included Qizilbash and Georgian/Circassian troops. Two years later, in A. D.1713, another Persian army commanded by Rustam Khán was defeated by the rebels, refusing the title of king, Mirwais was called Prince of Qandahár and General of the national troops by his Afghan countrymen.
He died peacefully in November 1715 from natural causes and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Aziz, in 1720, Mahmuds Afghan forces crossed the deserts of Sistan and captured Kerman. His plan was to conquer the Persian capital, after defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Gulnabad on March 8,1722, he proceeded to and besieged Isfahan for 6 months, after which it fell. On October 23,1722, Sultan Husayn abdicated and acknowledged Mahmud as the new Shah of Persia, the majority of the Persian people, rejected the Afghan regime as usurpers from the start. For the next seven years until 1729, the Hotaks were the de facto rulers of most of Persia, the Hotak dynasty was a troubled and violent one from the very start as internecine conflict made it difficult to establish permanent control. On the other hand, the Afghans had suppressed by the Iranian Safavid government represented by its governor Gurgin Khan before their uprising in 1709. Nader Shah had driven out and banished the remaining Ghilji forces from Persia and began enlisting some the Abdali Afghans of Farah, Nader Shahs forces conquered Kandahar in 1738
The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. Emperor Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism, however, as Kushans expanded southward. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, the Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram, the Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, Aksumite Empire and Han China. The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, in the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north.
Historian H. G. Rawlinson states that the Kushana Period is a prelude to the age of Guptas. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i. e, as the historian John E. Hill has put it, For well over a century. There have been arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Da Yuezhi and the Tochari. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush, some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Bactria and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, and in the palace of Khalchayan, various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire.
On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses, the earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a tyrant on his coins, and exhibits skull deformation and he may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises, Ban Gus Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. He invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region and he defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin
The Shahada, is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as Gods prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads, لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadur-rasūlu-llāh There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. Audio audio The noun šahāda, from the verbal root šahida meaning to observe, testify, the Islamic creed is called, in the dual form, šahādatān. The expression al-šahāda is used in Quran as one of the titles of God, in Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts, la ilaha illallah, and Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl, in the Quran, the first shahadah takes the form la ilaha illallah twice, and allahu la ilaha illa hu much more often. It appears in the form la ilaha illa Hu in many places. It appears in these forms about 30 times in the Quran, islams monotheistic nature is reflected in the first shahada, which declares belief in the oneness of God and that he is the only entity truly worthy of worship.
The second shahada indicates the means by which God has offered guidance to human beings, the verse reminds Muslims that they accept not only the prophecy of Muhammad but the long line of prophets who preceded him. While the first part is seen as a truth, the second is specific to Islam. Shahada is a statement of both ritual and worship, recitation of the shahādah is the most common statement of faith for Muslims. In Sunni Islam, it is counted as the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, while the Shii Twelvers and it is whispered by the father into the ear of a newborn child, and it is whispered into the ear of a dying person. The five canonical daily prayers include a recitation of the shahada. Recitation of the shahada in front of witnesses is the first and this occasion often attracts more than the two required witnesses and sometimes includes a party-like celebration to welcome the convert into their new faith. In accordance with the importance played by the notion of intention in Islamic doctrine.
Intention is what acts of devotion from mundane acts and a simple reading of the shahada from invoking it as a ritual activity. Though the two phrases of the shahada are both present in the Quran, they are not found there side by side as in the shahada formula. An inscription in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem reads There is no god but God alone, He has no partner with him, Muhammad is the messenger of God. Another variant appears in coins minted after the reign of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, although it is not clear when the shahada first came into common use among Muslims, it is clear that the sentiments it expresses were part of the Quran and Islamic doctrine from the earliest period
The Kidarite were a dynasty of the Ki clan named after their ruler Kidara. They were part of the complex of Iranian-speaking tribes known collectively as Xionites or Hunas, during the 4th-5th century they established the Kidarite kingdom. The Kidarites, a clan, are supposed to have originated in China. When Shi Le established the Later Zhao state, it is thought many of the Uar fled from the area around Pingyang. This put pressure on the Xionites, who increasingly encroached upon Khorasan, the Kidarite king Grumbat mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus was a cause of much concern to the Persians. Between 353 AD and 358 AD, the Xionites under Grumbat attacked in the frontiers of Shapur IIs empire along with other nomad tribes. After a prolonged struggle they were forced to conclude a peace, the southern or Red Kidarite vassals to the Kushans in the North-Western Indus valley became known as Kermikhiones. A Kidarite dynasty, south of the Oxus, was at war with the Sassanids in the fifth century, peroz I fought Kidara and his son Kungas, forcing Kungas to leave Bactria.
They entered Kabul and replaced the last of the Kushan Empire rulers, the Kidarites in turn were soon overwhelmed by the Hephthalites. According to the Chinese sources Kidarites appeared in Kazakhstan and Bactria in 4th century and were branch of the Little Yuezhi, some of them inherited the Kushan Empire and were called little Kushans. Kidarites were called Red Huns, they practiced artificial cranial deformation and were displayed on Sogdian coins as archers riding on the reverse, the Kidarite kingdom was created either in the second half of the 4th century, or in the twenties of the 5th century. The only 4th century evidence are gold coins discovered in Balkh dating from c,380, where Kidara is usually interpreted in a legend in the Bactrian language. Most numismatic specialists favor this idea, all the other data we currently have on the Kidarite kingdom are from Chinese and Byzantine sources from the middle of the 5th century. Many small Kidarite kingdoms seems to have survived in northwest India up to the conquest by the Hephthalites during the last quarter of the 5th century are known through their coinage.
The Kidarites are the last dynasty to regard themselves as the inheritors of the Kushan empire, the Kidarites were the first Hunas to bother India. « On the Date of the Kidarites », Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko,27,1969, p. 1–26. « Regional Interaction in Central Asia and North-West India in the Kidarite and Hephtalite Period », in SIMS-WILLIAMS, N. Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples, London,2002, p. 203–224
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
Xionites, Chionites, or Chionitae, or Hunni, Yun or Xūn, were probably an Iranian-speaking people who were prominent in Transoxania and Bactria. The Xionites are first mentioned with Kushans by Ammianus Marcellinus who spent the winter of 356-57 CE in their Balkh territory and they arrived with the wave of immigration from Central Asia into Iran in late antiquity. They were influenced by the Kushan and Bactrian cultures, while patronizing the Eastern Iranian languages and it is difficult to determine the ethnic composition of the Xionites. They followed their versions of Buddhism and Shaivism mixed with animism, the Xionites were a Hunnic people who by the early 4th century had mixed with north Iranian elements in Transoxiana, adopted the Kushan-Bactrian language, and threatened Persia. Xionite campaigns are better documented in connection with the history of Central Asia and they organised themselves into Northern Black, Kidarites or Southern Red, Eastern Blue, and Western Hephthalites or White hordes.
Artefacts found from the area they inhabited dating from their period indicate their totem animal seems to have been the deer, an inscription on the walls of the royal palace in Persepolis about Dariuss empire calls them Hunae. It appears that a combination of both the Battle of Ikh Bayan and Ban Chaos efforts are responsible for their first appearance in the West, according to the Armenian sources their capital was at Balkh. Their most famous rulers were called the Kidarites, at the end of the 4th century AD, a new wave of Hunnic tribes invaded Bactria, pushing the Kidarites into Gandhara. Alchon or Alχon became the new name of the Xionites in 460 when Khingila I united the Uar with the Xionites under his Hephthalite ruling élite, at the end of the 5th century the Alchon invaded northern India where they became known as the Huna. In India the Alchon were not distinguished from their immediate Hephthalite predecessors, perhaps complimenting this term, Procopius wrote that they were white skinned, had an organized kingship, and that their life was not wild/nomadic but that they lived in cities.
The Alchon were called Varkhon or Varkunites by Menander Protector literally referring to the Uar, around 630, Theophylact Simocatta wrote that the European Avars were initially composed of two nations, the Uar and the Hunnoi tribes. He wrote that. the Barsilt, the Unogurs and the Sabirs were struck with horror, and honoured the newcomers with brilliant gifts. When the Avars first arrived in their lands in 555AD, Alchon Huns refers to a tribe which minted coins in Bactria in the 5th and 6th centuries. They imitated the style of their Hephthalite predecessors, the Kidarite Hun successors to the Kushans. In particular the Alchon style imitates the coins of Kidarite Varhran I, in the Avestan tradition the Xiiaona were characterized as enemies of Vishtaspa, the patron of Zoroaster. In the Pahlavi tradition, the Red Huns and White Huns are mentioned, the Red Huns of the Pahlavi tradition have been identified by Harold Walter Bailey as the Kermichiones or Ermechiones. According to Bailey the Hara Huna of Indian sources are to be identified with the Karmir Xyon of the Avesta, similarly he identifies the Sveta Huna of Indian sources with the Spet Xyon of the Avesta.
Bailey argues that the name Xyon was transferred to the Huna owing to similarity of sound, the Armenian Patriarch John mentions an ancient town of Hunors foundation in the Utik region, suggesting a connection to the Utigur
They are split into two eras the Buddhist-Shahis and the Hindu-Shahis with the change-over occurring around 870. These Hindu kings of Kabul and Gandhara may have had links to some ruling families in neighboring Kashmir, the last Shahi emperors Jayapala and Tirlochanpala fought the Muslim Turk Ghaznavids of Ghazna and were gradually defeated. Their remaining army were eventually exiled into northern India, Xuanzang describes the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as a devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya. Thus the folklore accounts recorded by Alberuni connect the earlier Shahis of Kabul/Kapisa to Turkish extraction, at the same time it is claimed that their first king Barahatigin had originally come from Tibet and concealed in a narrow cave in Kabul area. One can easily see the account of Shahi origin as totally fanciful. The allegation that the first dynasty of Kabul was Turki is plainly based on the vulgar tradition, which Alberuni himself remarked was clearly absurd. The historian V. A.
Smith speculates – based on Alberuni – that the earlier Shahis were a branch of the Kushanas who ruled both over Kabul and Gandhara until the rise of the Saffarids. H. M. Elliot relates the early Kabul Shahis to the Kators, charles Frederick Oldham traces the Kabul Shahi lineage to the Kators—whom he identifies with the Kathas or Takkhas—Naga worshipping collective groups of Hinduism lineage. He further speaks of the Urasas, Daradas, Kambojas, pandey traces the affinities of the early Kabul Shahis to the Hunas. Other accounts suggest Punjabi Kshatriya origins for the Shahi dynasty, Xuanzang clearly describes the ruler of Kapisa/Kabul, whom he had personally met, as a devout Buddhist and a Kshatriya and not a Tu-kiue/Tu-kue. Neither the Kushanas, the Hunas/Hephthalites nor the Turks have ever been designated or classified as Kshatriyas in any ancient Indian tradition, the identification of the first line of Shahi kings of Kapisa/Kabul with the Kushanas, Hunas, or Turks obviously seems to be in gross error.
It is very interesting that Alberuni calls the early Shahi rulers Turks, the Shahi rulers of Kapisa/Kabul who ruled Afghanistan from the early 4th century till AD870 were Hindu Kamboj Kshatriyas. The Shahis of Afghanistan were discovered in 1874 to be connected to the Kamboja race by E. Vesey Westmacott, E. Vesey Westmacott, Bishan Singh, K. S. Dardi, et al. connect the Kabul Shahis to the ancient Indian Kshatriya clans of the Kambojas/Gandharas. George Scott Robertson writes that the Kators/Katirs of Kafiristan belong to the well known Siyaposh tribal group of the Kams, but numerous scholars now agree that the Siyaposh tribes of Hindukush are the modern representatives of the ancient Iranian cis-Hindukush Kambojas. The name of the last king of the so-called first Shahi line of Kabul/Kapisa simply reveals a trace of Tukhara cultural influence in the Kamboja region, as hinted in the above discussion. Thus, the first ruling dynasty of Kapisa and Kabul, designated as a Kshatriya dynasty by Xuanzang had been a Kamboja dynasty from India, the Kambojas and the Tukharas are mentioned as immediate neighbors in north-west as late as the 8th century AD as Rajatarangini of Kalhana demonstrates.
Evidence exists that some medieval Muslim writers have confused the Kamboja clans of Pamirs/Hindukush with the Turks, for example, 10th-century Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi, refers to the Kumiji tribesmen of Buttaman mountains, on upper Oxus, and calls them of Turkic race. Song Yun, the Chinese Ambassador to the Huna kingdom of Gandhara, the Yetha ruler was extremely cruel and anti-Buddhist and had engaged in a three years border war with the king of Ki-pin, disputing the boundaries of that country