Archaeologists back in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, the land of confluence of Greek, Persian, Buddhist and Islamic cultures is a goldmine for Archaeologists. Years of war have destroyed many of the symbols of its cultural heritage, but now efforts are on to discover things which are underground.

Afghanistan was a crossroads for the major powers of the ancient and modern world. Cyrus the Great of Persia founded Bagram. Alexander the Great founded a town in his own honor near the edge of the Registan Desert, now called Kandahar. Alexander lived in Bagram (Cyrus’ Kapissa) for two years and married Roxanne, a young woman from the area west of modern Mazar-I Sharif. Ghengis Khan would later ravage the country, purposefully destroying the elaborate waterworks which lined the Helmand River. Those waterworks have still not been rebuilt more than a millennium later, but their remains are extant.

Afghanistan’s past is part of the world’s cultural treasure. This land was the limit of Alexander’s Hellenistic empire. These mountains and valleys are where London and Moscow played “the great game” for control of central and south Asia. Here Babur built lavish gardens, splendid shrines and magnificent Islamic schools and mosques, some of which still sparkle in the brilliant sunshine.[Afghan Archaeology on Road to Recovery]