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Early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan about 7, years ago. Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others at Darra-e Kur in where stone implements were recovered along with a fragment of Neanderthal right temporal bonesuggest that early humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 52, years ago.
The artifacts indicate that the indigenous people were small farmers and herdsmen, very probably grouped into tribes, with small local kingdoms rising and falling through the ages.
Urbanization may have begun as early as BCE. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism flourished later, 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 mountains of Solomon although Kandahar in modern times and the ancient Gandhara are not geographically identical.
Urban civilization may have begun as early as BCE and it is possible that the early city of Mundigak near Kandahar was a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. Indus Valley Civilization[ edit ] Main article: The city of Balkh Bactra was founded about this time c.
Medes There have been many different opinions about the extent of the Median kingdom. For instance, according to Ernst Herzfeldit was a powerful empire, which stretched from central Anatolia to Bactriato around the borders of nowadays India. On the other side, Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg insists that there is no real evidence about the very existence of the Median empire and that it was an unstable state formation.
Nevertheless, the region of nowadays Afghanistan came under Median rule for a short time. The area was divided into several provinces called satrapieswhich were each ruled by a governor, or satrap.
These ancient satrapies included: Several great cities were built in the region named "Alexandria," including: After Alexander's death, his loosely connected empire was divided.
Seleucusa Macedonian officer during Alexander's campaign, declared himself ruler of his own Seleucid Empireencompassing Persia and Afghanistan. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
June Main article: Greco-Bactria continued until c. After Menander's death, the Indo-Greeks steadily declined and the last Indo-Greek king was defeated in c. The Mauryas introduced Hinduism and Buddhism to the region, and were planning to capture more territory of Central Asia until they faced local Greco-Bactrian forces.
Seleucus is said to have reached a peace treaty with Chandragupta by giving control of the territory south of the Hindu Kush to the Mauryas upon intermarriage and elephants. Similar stupas have been discovered in neighboring Ghazni Provinceincluding in the northern Samangan Province.
Alexander took these away from the Indo-Aryans and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus Chandraguptaupon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange elephants. Sandrocottus, having thus acquired a throne, was in possession of India, when Seleucus was laying the foundations of his future greatness; who, after making a league with him, and settling his affairs in the east, proceeded to join in the war against Antigonus.
As soon as the forces, therefore, of all the confederates were united, a battle was fought, in which Antigonus was slain, and his son Demetrius put to flight. Afghanistan's significant ancient tangible and intangible Buddhist heritage is recorded through wide-ranging archeological finds, including religious and artistic remnants.
In this context a legend recorded by Husang Tsang refers to the first two lay disciples of Buddha, Trapusa and Bhallika responsible for introducing Buddhism in that country.
Originally these two were merchants of the kingdom of Balhika, as the name Bhalluka or Bhallika probably suggests the association of one with that country.
They had gone to India for trade and had happened to be at Bodhgaya when the Buddha had just attained enlightenment. They displaced the Indo-Greeks and ruled a kingdom that stretched from Gandhara to Mathura.
The power of the Saka rulers started to decline in the 2nd century CE after the Scythians were defeated by the south Indian Emperor Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana dynasty. The Indo-Parthian Kingdom was ruled by the Gondopharid dynasty, named after its eponymous first ruler Gondophares.The Institute of East Asian Studies organizes and sponsors research and public service programs related to the history, cultures and contemporary affairs of East Asia, at the University of California, Berkeley.
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