A report on Balkh

Map showing Balkh (here indicated as Bactres), the capital of Bactria during the Hellenistic Age
Trapusa and Bahalika, two merchants from Balkh, offering food to the Buddha. Modern Burmese depiction.
A silver dirham of the Umayyad Caliphate, minted at Balkh al-Baida in AH 111 (=729/30 AD).
The Green Mosque of Balkh
A street in Balkh with several horse carts, c. 1970s
Remains of a Hellenistic capital found in Balkh
Ambassador from Balkh (白題國 Baitiguo) to the Tang dynasty, Wanghuitu (王會圖), circa 650 CE.

Town in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, about 20 km northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some 74 km south of the Amu Darya river and the Uzbekistan border.

- Balkh

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Afghanistan

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Landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia.

Landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia.

Tents of Afghan nomads in the northern Badghis province of Afghanistan. Early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan about 7,000 years ago.
The extent of the Indus Valley Civilization during its mature phase
A "Bactrian gold" Scythian belt depicting Dionysus, from Tillya Tepe in the ancient region of Bactria
Approximate maximum extent of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, formed by the fragmentation of Alexander the Great's Empire, circa 180 BCE
Saffarid rule at its greatest extent under Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar
Mongol invasions and conquests depopulated large areas of Afghanistan
Map of the Hotak Empire during the Reign of Mirwais Hotak, 1715.
Map of the Hotak Empire at its height in 1728. Disputed between Hussain Hotak (Centered in Kandahar) and Ashraf Hotak (centered in Isfahan)
Portrait of Ahmad Shah Durrani c. 1757.
Afghan tribesmen in 1841, painted by British officer James Rattray
Map of Afghanistan (Emirate) and surrounding nations in 1860, following the conquest of [[Principality of Qandahar|
Kandahar]], and before the conquest of Herat.
Emir Amanullah invaded British India in 1919 and proclaimed Afghanistan's full independence thereafter. He proclaimed himself King of Afghanistan in June 1926.
King Zahir, the last reigning monarch of Afghanistan, who reigned from 1933 until 1973.
Development of the civil war from 1992 to late 2001
U.S. troops and Chinooks in Afghanistan, 2008
A map of Afghanistan showing the 2021 Taliban offensive
Taliban fighters in Kabul on a captured Humvee following the 2021 fall of Kabul.
The mountainous topography of Afghanistan
Köppen climate map of Afghanistan
The snow leopard was the official national animal of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
A 2005 CIA map showing traditional Afghan tribal territories. Pashtun tribes form the world's largest tribal society.
Ethnolinguistic map of Afghanistan (2001)
Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif is the largest mosque in Afghanistan
UNESCO Institute of Statistics Afghanistan Literacy Rate population plus15 1980–2018
The Daoud Khan Military Hospital in Kabul is one of the largest hospitals in Afghanistan
The Arg (the Presidential palace) in Kabul
U.S. representative Zalmay Khalilzad (left) meeting with Taliban leaders, Abdul Ghani Baradar, Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, Suhail Shaheen, unidentified. Doha, Qatar on 21 November 2020.
Afghanistan is divided into 34 provinces, which are further divided into a number of districts
Workers processing pomegranates (anaar), which Afghanistan is famous for in Asia
Afghan rugs are one of Afghanistan's main exports
Afghan saffron has been recognized as the world's best
Lapis lazuli stones
Afghanistan electricity supply 1980–2019
Band-e Amir National Park
The Minaret of Jam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, currently under threat by erosion and flooding
The Salang Tunnel, once the highest tunnel in the world, provides a key connection between the north and south of the country
An Ariana Afghan Airlines Airbus A310 in 2006
An Afghan family near Kholm, 1939 – most Afghans are tribal
A house occupied by nomadic kochi people in Nangarhar Province
Kabul skyline, displaying both historical and contemporary buildings
A traditional Afghan embroidery pattern
The Afghan rubab
Non (bread) from a local baker, the most widely consumed bread in Afghanistan
Haft Mewa (Seven Fruit Syrup) is popularly consumed during Nowruz in Afghanistan
The ancient national sport of Afghanistan, Buzkashi

Throughout millennia several cities within the modern day Afghanistan served as capitals of various empires, namely, Bactra (Balkh), Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum), Kapisi, Sigal, Kabul, Kunduz, Zaranj, Firozkoh, Herat, Ghazna (Ghazni), Binban (Bamyan), and Kandahar.

Greater Khorasan

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Historical eastern region in the Iranian Plateau between Western and Central Asia.

Historical eastern region in the Iranian Plateau between Western and Central Asia.

Map of Khorasan and its surroundings in the 7th/8th centuries
An 1886 map of the 10th century Near East showing Khorasan east of the province of Jibal
Names of territories during the Caliphate in 750
A map of Persia by Emanuel Bowen showing the names of territories during the Persian Safavid dynasty and Mughal Empire of India (c. undefined 1500–1747)
An early turquoise mine in the Madan village of Khorasan during the early 20th century
The village of Madan in 1909
Timurid conqueror Babur exiles his treacherous relative Muḥammad Ḥusaym Mīrzā to Khorasan.

The province was often subdivided into four quarters, such that Nishapur (present-day Iran), Marv (present-day Turkmenistan), Herat and Balkh (present-day Afghanistan) were the centers, respectively, of the westernmost, northernmost, central, and easternmost quarters.

Sasanian Empire

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The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the.

The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
Initial coinage of founder Ardashir I, as King of Persis Artaxerxes (Ardaxsir) V. c. 205/6–223/4 CE. Obv: Bearded facing head, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "The divine Ardaxir, king" in Pahlavi. Rev: Bearded head of Papak, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara, legend "son of the divinity Papak, king" in Pahlavi.
The Sasanian Empire at its greatest extent c. 620, under Khosrow II
1840 illustration of a Sasanian relief at Firuzabad, showing Ardashir I's victory over Artabanus IV and his forces.
Rock relief of Ardashir I receiving the ring of kingship by the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rostam of Persian emperor Shapur I (on horseback) capturing Roman emperor Valerian (standing) and Philip the Arab (kneeling), suing for peace, following the victory at Edessa.
The Humiliation of Valerian by Shapur (Hans Holbein the Younger, 1521, pen and black ink on a chalk sketch, Kunstmuseum Basel)
The spread of Manichaeism (300–500)
Rome and satellite kingdom of Armenia around 300, after Narseh's defeat
Bust of Shapur II ((r. 309 – 379))
Early Alchon Huns coin based on the coin design of Shapur II, adding the Alchon Tamgha symbol Alchon_Tamga.png and "Alchono" (αλχοννο) in Bactrian script on the obverse. Dated 400–440.
Bahram V is a great favourite in Persian literature and poetry. "Bahram and the Indian princess in the black pavilion." Depiction of a Khamsa (Quintet) by the great Persian poet Nizami, mid-16th-century Safavid era.
A coin of Yazdegerd II
Plate of Peroz I hunting argali
Plate of a Sasanian king hunting rams, perhaps Kavad I ((r. 488 – 496)).
Plate depicting Khosrow I.
15th-century Shahnameh illustration of Hormizd IV seated on his throne.
Coin of Khosrow II.
The Siege of Constantinople in 626 by the combined Sassanid, Avar, and Slavic forces depicted on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania
Queen Boran, daughter of Khosrau II, the first woman and one of the last rulers on the throne of the Sasanian Empire, she reigned from 17 June 629 to 16 June 630
Extent of the Sasanian Empire in 632 with modern borders superimposed
Umayyad Caliphate coin imitating Khosrau II. Coin of the time of Mu'awiya I ibn Abi Sufyan. BCRA (Basra) mint; "Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, governor". Dated AH 56 = 675/6. Sasanian style bust imitating Khosrau II right; bismillah and three pellets in margin; c/m: winged creature right / Fire altar with ribbons and attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; date to left, mint name to right.
The Walls of Derbent, part of the Sasanian defense lines
Sasanian army helmet
A Sassanid king posing as an armored cavalryman, Taq-e Bostan, Iran
Sassanian silver plate showing lance combat between two nobles.
A fine cameo showing an equestrian combat of Shapur I and Roman emperor Valerian in which the Roman emperor is seized following the Battle of Edessa, according to Shapur's own statement, "with our own hand", in 260
Sassanian fortress in Derbent, Dagestan. Now inscribed on Russia's UNESCO world heritage list since 2003.
Egyptian woven pattern woolen curtain or trousers, which was a copy of a Sassanid silk import, which was in turn based on a fresco of King Khosrau II fighting Axum Ethiopian forces in Yemen, 5–6th century
Persian ambassador at the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 526-539 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
Coin of the Kushanshah Peroz II Kushanshah ((r. 303 – 330))
Foreign dignitary drinking wine, on ceiling of Cave 1, at Ajanta Caves, possibly depicting the Sasanian embassy to Indian king Pulakesin II (610–642), photograph and drawing.
Taq-i Kisra, the facade of the Sasanian palace in the capital Ctesiphon. The city developed into a rich commercial metropolis. It may have been the most populous city of the world in 570–622.
Plate of a Sasanian king, located in the Azerbaijan Museum in Iran.
A bowl with Khosrau I's image at the center
Horse head, gilded silver, 4th century, Sasanian art
A Sasanian silver plate featuring a simurgh. The mythical bird was used as the royal emblem in the Sasanian period.
A Sasanian silver plate depicting a royal lion hunt
The remains of the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sasanian silk twill textile of a simurgh in a beaded surround, 6th–7th century. Used in the reliquary of Saint Len, Paris
Sasanian sea trade routes
Seal of a Sassanian nobleman holding a flower, ca. 3rd–early 4th century AD.
Ruins of Adur Gushnasp, one of three main Zoroastrian temples in the Sassanian Empire
The Sasanians developed an accurate, phonetic alphabet to write down the sacred Avesta
Sasanian-era cornelian gem, depicting Abraham advancing towards Isaac with a knife in his hands. A ram is depicted to the right of Abraham. Middle Persian (Pahlavi) inscription ZNH mwdly l’styny. Created 4th-5th century AD
A Sasanian fortress in Derbent, Russia (the Caspian Gates)
"Parsees of Bombay" a wood engraving, c. 1873

Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sakastan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Marw (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh and Chorasmia.

Bactria

11 links

Ancient region in Central Asia.

Ancient region in Central Asia.

Bactria between the Hindu Kush (south), Pamirs (east), south branch of Tianshan (north).
Ferghana Valley to the north; western Tarim Basin to the east.
Xerxes I tomb, Bactrian soldier circa 470 BCE.
Pre-Seleucid Athenian owl imitation from Bactria, possibly from the time of Sophytes.
Gold stater of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides
Map of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom at its maximum extent, circa 180 BCE.
The founder of the Indo-Greek Kingdom Demetrius I (205–171 BCE), wearing the scalp of an elephant, symbol of his conquest of the Indus valley.
The treasure of the royal burial Tillia tepe is attributed to 1st century BCE Sakas in Bactria.
Zhang Qian taking leave from emperor Han Wudi, for his expedition to Central Asia from 138 to 126 BCE, Mogao Caves mural, 618–712 CE.
Kushan worshipper with Zeus/Serapis/Ohrmazd, Bactria, 3rd century CE.
Kushan worshipper with Pharro, Bactria, 3rd century CE.
Painted clay and alabaster head of a Zoroastrian priest wearing a distinctive Bactrian-style headdress, Takhti-Sangin, Tajikistan, Greco-Bactrian kingdom, 3rd-2nd century BC.

Bactria was the Greek name for Old Persian Bāxtriš (from native *Bāxçiš) (named for its capital Bactra, modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of which was Merv, in today's Turkmenistan.

Mazar-i-Sharif & surroundings from ISS, 2016

Mazar-i-Sharif

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Fourth-largest city of Afghanistan, with a population estimate of 594,551 people.

Fourth-largest city of Afghanistan, with a population estimate of 594,551 people.

Mazar-i-Sharif & surroundings from ISS, 2016
Camp Marmal, located south of the city next to Mazar-i-Sharif Airport
Thomas de Maizière, German Minister of Defense, with Balkh Governor Atta Muhammad Nur in 2010
U.S. Senator John Kerry at Balkh University in May 2011
A carpet seller in Mazar
Locals of Mazar-i-Sharif enjoying rides at a small family amusement park in 2012
Store in Mazar-i-Sharif with Russian name in Cyrillic
An American C-5 Galaxy at Mazar-i-Sharif Airport
The Blue Mosque is a destination for pilgrims.
Governor's Palace
Mazar-i-Sharif Gate under construction (July 2012)
Railway terminal

The ancient city of Balkh is also nearby.

Extent of the Samanid realm at the death of Nasr II in 943

Samanid Empire

14 links

Persianate Sunni Muslim empire, of Iranian dehqan origin.

Persianate Sunni Muslim empire, of Iranian dehqan origin.

Extent of the Samanid realm at the death of Nasr II in 943
Map of Khorasan and Transoxiana.
Picture of the Samanid Mausoleum, the burial site of Ismail Samani.
Coin of Nasr II, minted in Nishapur (933/4).
Iran in the mid-10th century.
“Battle Between Abu’l-Qasim and the Samanid Muntasir”, 14th century illustration.
A Samanid coin minted in Bukhara bearing the name of Mansur I.
The Sasanian king Khosrow II and his courtiers in a garden'', page from a manuscript of the Shahnameh, late 15th-early 16th century. Brooklyn Museum.
Coinage of Malik ibn Shakartegin (Circa AH 312-344/ 924-955 CE), a Samanid ruler of Akhsikath. Ferghana mint, dated AH 382 (AD 992-3).
Example of figural earthenware ceramics from Samanid period. From Nishapur, Iran, 10th century CE.
Bowl with Arabic inscription "Planning before work protects you from regret; prosperity and peace", 10th century CE, Iran.

In the spring of 900, Amr clashed with Ismail near Balkh, but was defeated and taken into captivity.

Ruins of the city of Merv

Merv

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Major Iranian city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, near today's Mary, Turkmenistan.

Major Iranian city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, near today's Mary, Turkmenistan.

Ruins of the city of Merv
Ancient city of Merv, present days
Coin of the Sassanian king, Shapur III, minted in Merv
Mausoleums of Two Askhab brothers, ancient Merv
Mausoleum of the Seljuq sultan Ahmad Sanjar
Inside the Mausoleum of Ahmad Sanjar
Fresco depicting the Battle at Merv of 1510 between Shah Ismail I and the Uzbek Khan Muhammad Shaybani. Located at the Chehel Sotoun Palace in Isfahan, Iran
The oldest part of Merv, known as Erk Gala
7th century Great Ice House, Merv
Great Kyz Qala (fortress), Merv
Little Kyz Qala (fortress), Merv
Exterior of Kepderihana's south wall
Hormizd I Kushanshah, Merv mint
Merv oasis on a 1913 map
Photo-textured 3D laser scan image of {{lang|tk|Gäwürgala}} town walls
Interior of Kepderihana, with a 3D laser scanner positioned for work
Landmarks of ancient Merv on a 1993 Russian commemorative coin
Merv Mosque (end of the 19th century)
Ancient Merv (end of the 19th century)
Merv, 1899
Merv pottery
Great Kyz Kala
Interior of the Ice House
Kyz Bibi mausoleum complex
1981 photo of the tomb of the Eskhab brothers on the territory of ancient Merv
Ambassador of Merv (靺國 Moguo) to the Tang dynasty. Wanghuitu (王會圖), circa 650 CE.

The geography of the Zend-Avesta (commentaries on the Avesta) mentions Merv (under the name of Mouru) along with Balkh.

Kabul

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Capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country.

Capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country.

Kushan Empire
Buddha statue at the museum in Kabul, early 1st millennium
Map showing names of the regions during the 7th century.
Humayun with his father Babur, emperors of the Mughal Empire
Old painting showing the Great Wall of Kabul
Shujah Shah Durrani, the last Durrani King, sitting at his court inside the Bala Hissar
Chihil Sutun Palace (also known as "Hendaki"), one of numerous palaces built by the Emir in the 19th century
Etching of Kabul by an Italian artist, 1885
Dilkusha Palace, built in European style in the 1900s
The river bank in the center of Kabul in the 1960s
People and traffic in a part of Kabul, 1976
Center of Kabul in 1979; the Pul-e Khishti bridge crosses the Kabul River to the old city in the south bank
Taj Beg Palace in 1987, the Soviet Army headquarters during the Soviet–Afghan War
Kabul's Jada-e Maiwand in 1993, showing destruction caused by the civil war.
Modern high-rises built in the 2010s
Night scene in Kabul in 2016 looking northeast, with Koh-e 'Aliabad on the left and Koh-e Asamai on the right
Qargha dam and lake
A view of some of the mountains that surround Kabul
Location of Kabul Municipality within Kabul Province
Young Afghan men and women at a rock music festival inside the Gardens of Babur
Houses built on mountains
Afghan girls in Kabul in 2012
Ghazi Stadium
Arg, the Presidential Palace in Kabul
Marketplace in central Kabul
Inside an antiquity shop in Kabul's famous Chicken Street (Kochi Murgha)
Studio of Radio Kabul in the 1950s
The Kabul Bird Market (Ka Foroshi)
National Museum of Afghanistan
Afghanistan National Archives
Bibi Mahro Park
Italian baroque style of Shah Do Shamshira
Tomb of Timur Shah Durrani (early 19th century rebuilt)
Flightline at Hamid Karzai International Airport (Kabul International Airport), 2012
Traffic in Kabul city center in 2013
A Toyota Corolla (E100) at a security checkpoint in 2010
Kabul Medical University
Kabul Education University of Rabbani
Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital
16th-century mosque inside the Gardens of Babur
The Taq-e Zafar in Paghman
The Minaret of Knowledge and Ignorance,<ref>{{lang-prs|منار علم و جهل}}</ref> built in the 1920s on a hill in Deh Mazang, commemorating king Amanullah's victory over the Mullah-e Lang in the Khost rebellion
Mausoleum of emir Abdur Rahman Khan, Zarnegar Park
Minaret of the Unknown Corps, memorial of the 1880 Battle of Maiwand
Buddhist stupa of Guldara
Royal Mausoleum at Maranjan hill
The Tang-e Gharu canyon east of Kabul
Traditional hill dwellings
"Old Mikroyan", 1960s built
Ministry of Finance and Khyber Restaurant (1966)
Pamir Cinema building (Agricultural Development Bank)
thumb|Pashtany Bank and the brutalist Kabul Tower
Andarabi Road dwellings on the riverbank
Apartments built in the 2000s with contemporary Afghanese style
Kabul city announced open calls through the Kabul municipality’s HP and its Facebook page, to participate in town meeting and planning process
Kabul mayor Mohammad Daud Sultanzoy speaking with league management during the inauguration ceremony of first ever internet-based solid waste discussion league in 2021
A memorandum of understanding signed by Kabul City mayor Ahmad Zaki Sarfaraz and Nagoya Institute of Technology executive director in 2019

It acted as a military base for Shah Jahan's campaigns in Balkh and Badakhshan.

An important and unique seal

Hephthalites

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The Hephthalites, sometimes called the White Huns (also known as the White Hunas, in Iranian as the Spet Xyon and in Sanskrit as the Sveta-huna), were a people who lived in Central Asia during the 5th to 8th centuries CE.

The Hephthalites, sometimes called the White Huns (also known as the White Hunas, in Iranian as the Spet Xyon and in Sanskrit as the Sveta-huna), were a people who lived in Central Asia during the 5th to 8th centuries CE.

An important and unique seal
Another painting of the Tokharistan school, from Tavka Kurgan. It is closely related to Balalyk tepe, "especially in the treatment of the face". Termez Archaeological Museum.
The Hephthalites used the Bactrian script (top), an adaptation of the Greek script (bottom). Here, their endonym Ebodalo, "Hephthalites".
Early Hephthalite coinage: a close imitation of a coin type of the Sasanian Emperor Peroz I (third period coinage of Peroz I, after 474 CE). Late 5th century CE. This coinage is typically distinguished from Sasanian issues by dots around the border and the abbreviation Ebodalo (Bactrian cursive, abbreviation Eb).jpg (ηβ "ēb") in front of the crown of Peroz I, abbreviation of ηβοδαλο "ĒBODALO", for "Hepthalites".
A rare Hephthalite coin. Obverse: Hephthalite prince wearing a belted caftan with single right lapel, and holding a drinking cup. Probable Bactrian legend ηβοδαλο "ĒBODALO" to the right. Reverse: Sasanian-style bust imitating Khavadh I, whom the Hephthalites had helped to the Sasanian throne. Hephthalite tamgha Hephthalite tamgha.jpg before the face of Khavad. First half of the 6th century CE.
a letter
a tax receipt
Local coinage of Samarkand, Sogdia, with the Hepthalite tamgha on the reverse.
Hephthalite (滑, Hua) ambassador at the Chinese court of the Southern Liang in the capital Jingzhou in 516–526 CE, with explanatory text. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, painted by Pei Ziye or the future Emperor Yuan of Liang while he was a Governor of the Province of Jingzhou as a young man between 526 and 539 CE. 11th century Song copy.
One of the personages
royal couples
crowned individuals
richly dressed women
Hephthalite coin of the Principality of Chaghaniyan, after the fall of the Hephthalite Empire, with crowned King and Queen, in [[:File:Solidus Heraclius Constantine Obverse.jpg|Byzantine fashion]], circa 550–650 CE.
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Ambassador from Chaganian visiting king Varkhuman of Samarkand 648–651 CE. Afrasiyab murals, Samarkand. Chaganian was an "Hephthalite buffer principality" between Denov and Termez.
Hephthalite copy of a Sasano-Arab coin of Abd Allah ibn Khazim with AH 69 (688 CE) date. In the margin: a Hephthalite countermark with crowned facing head and a late tamgha Hephtalites(An-mu-lu-chjen).gif. Circa 700 CE.
Detail of sword guards with typical "Hunnish" rectangle and oval shapes with cloisonné designs, Kizil Caves, 5th century CE.
the Anahita coinage
Sasanian sword and scabbard derived from "Hunnic" two-straps suspension designs, Sasanian Empire, 7th century CE.
The Buddhist "Hunter King" from Kakrak, a valley next to Bamiyan is often presented as a result of Hephthalite influence, especially in reference to the "triple-crescent crown". Wall paintings from the 7th–8th century, Kabul Museum.
The triple-crescent crown in this Penjikent mural (top left corner), is considered as a Hephthalite marker. 7th-early 8th century.
Stamp seal with a bearded figure in Sasanian dress, wearing the kulāf denoting nobility and officials; and a figure with radiate crown, both with royal ribbons. Attributed to the Hephthalites, and recently dated to the 5th–6th century CE. According to earlier sources, Bivar (1969) and Livshits (1969), repeated by the British Museum, the seal was dated to the 300–350 CE. Stamp seal (BM 119999), British Museum.
Coin of Tegin Shah, self-described as "Iltäbar (sub-King) of the Khalaj", dated to the year 728 CE, on the Hephthalite model, imitating Sasanian king Peroz I (438-457).
Kabadiyan ambassador to the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 516–520 CE. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy. He accompanied the Hephthalite ambassador to China.
Kumedh ambassador to the Chinese court of Emperor Yuan of Liang in his capital Jingzhou in 516–520 CE. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
upright=1.3|Ambassador from Kucha (龜茲國 Qiuci-guo), one of the main Tocharian cities in the Tarim Basin, visiting the Chinese Southern Liang court in Jingzhou circa 516–520 CE. Portraits of Periodical Offering of Liang, 11th century Song copy.
upright=1.3|Ambassadors from Kabadiyan (阿跋檀), Balkh (白題國) and Kumedh (胡密丹), visiting the court of the Tang Dynasty. The Gathering of Kings (王会图), circa 650 CE

Around 466 they probably took Transoxianan lands from the Kidarites with Persian help but soon took from Persia the area of Balkh and eastern Kushanshahr.

Approximate maximum extent of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom circa 170 BC, under the reign of Eucratides the Great, including the regions of Tapuria and Traxiane to the West, Sogdiana and Ferghana to the north, Bactria and Arachosia to the south.

Greco-Bactrian Kingdom

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Hellenistic-era Greek state, and along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent from its founding in 256 BC by Diodotus I Soter to its fall c. 120–100 BC under the reign of Heliocles II.

Hellenistic-era Greek state, and along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent from its founding in 256 BC by Diodotus I Soter to its fall c. 120–100 BC under the reign of Heliocles II.

Approximate maximum extent of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom circa 170 BC, under the reign of Eucratides the Great, including the regions of Tapuria and Traxiane to the West, Sogdiana and Ferghana to the north, Bactria and Arachosia to the south.
Gold coin of Diodotus c. 245 BC. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΙΟΔΟΤΟΥ – "(of) King Diodotus".
Remains of a Hellenistic capital found in Balkh, ancient Bactra.
Asia in 200 BC, showing the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and its neighbors.
Coin depicting the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus 230–200 BC. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΥΘΥΔΗΜΟΥ – "(of) King Euthydemus".
Silver tetradrachm of King Eucratides I 171–145 BC. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΕΥΚΡΑΤΙΔΟΥ – "(of) King Great Eucratides".
Bilingual coin of Eucratides in the Indian standard, on the obverse Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΕΥΚΡΑΤΙΔΟΥ – "(of) King Great Eucratides", Pali in the Kharoshthi script on the reverse.
Gold 20 stater of Eucratides, the largest gold coin of Antiquity. The coin weighs 169.2 grams, and has a diameter of 58 millimeters.
The migrations of the Yuezhi through Central Asia, from around 176 BC to AD 30
Gold artefacts of the Scythians in Bactria, at the site of Tillia tepe
Silver coin of Heliocles (r. 150–125 BC), the last Greco-Bactrian king. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΗΛΙΟΚΛΕΟΥΣ – "(of) King Heliocles the Just".
Coin of Eucratides I as a warrior holding a spear, obverse.
Corinthian capital, found at Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BC
Stone block with the inscriptions of Kineas in Greek. Ai Khanoum.
Probable statuette of a Greek soldier, wearing a version of the Greek Phrygian helmet, from a 3rd century BC burial site north of the Tian Shan, Xinjiang Region Museum, Ürümqi.
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription of Ashoka (in Greek and Aramaic), found in Kandahar. c. 250 BC, Kabul Museum.
One of the Hellenistic-inspired "flame palmettes" and lotus designs, which may have been transmitted through Ai-Khanoum. Rampurva bull capital, India, circa 250 BC.
Coin of Greco-Bactrian king Agathocles with Indian deities.
Indian coinage of Agathocles, with Buddhist lion and dancing woman holding lotus, possible Indian goddess Lakshmi.
Silver drachm of Menander I, dated circa 160–145 BC. Obverse: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ ('of King Menander the Saviour'), heroic bust of Menander, viewed from behind, head turned to left; Reverse: Athena standing right, brandishing thunderbolt and holding aegis, Karosthi legend around, monogram in field to left.
Bronze Herakles statuette. Ai Khanoum. 2nd century BC.
Sculpture of an old man, possibly a philosopher. Ai Khanoum, 2nd century BC.
Close-up of the same statue.
Frieze of a naked man wearing a chlamys. Ai Khanoum, 2nd century BC.
Gargoyle in the form of a Greek comic mask. Ai Khanoum, 2nd century BC.
Plate depicting Cybele pulled by lions. Ai Khanoum.
Ionic pillar, cella of the Temple of the Oxus, Takht-i Sangin, late 4th - early 3rd century BCE.<ref name=Litvin-Pichik-1994>{{cite journal |last1=Litvinskii |first1=B.A. |last2=Pichikian |first2=I.R. |title=The Hellenistic architecture and art of the Temple of the Oxus |journal=Bulletin of the Asia Institute |year=1994 |volume=8 |pages=47–66 |url=https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/24048765.pdf |issn=0890-4464}}</ref>
Head of a Greco-Bactrian ruler with diadem, Temple of the Oxus, Takht-i Sangin, 3rd–2nd century BCE. This could also be a portrait of Seleucus I.<ref name="OB27">{{cite journal |last1=Bopearachchi |first1=Osmund |title=A faience head of a Graeco-Bactrian king from Ai Khanum |journal=Bulletin of the Asia Institute |date=1998 |volume=12 |page=27 |url=https://www.jstor.org/stable/24049090 |issn=0890-4464}}</ref>
thumb|Hellenistic silenus Marsyas from Takhti Sangin, with dedication in Greek to the god of the Oxus, by "Atrosokes" (a Bactrian name). Temple of the Oxus, Takht-i Sangin, 200–150 BCE. Tajikistan National Museum.<ref name=Litvin-Pichik-1994/><ref name="RW2011">{{cite book |last1=Wood |first1=Rachel |title=Cultural convergence in Bactria: the votives from the Temple of the Oxus at Takht-i Sangin, in "From Pella to Gandhara" |date=2011 |publisher=Archaeopress |location=Oxford |pages=141-151 |url=https://www.academia.edu/3850105/Cultural_convergence_in_Bactria_the_votives_from_the_Temple_of_the_Oxus_at_Takht_i_Sangin}}</ref>
thumb|Alexander-Herakles head, Takht-i Sangin, Temple of the Oxus, 3rd century BCE.<ref name=Litvin-Pichik-1994/>

The capitals of Ai-Khanum and Bactra were among the largest and richest of antiquity - Bactria itself was known as the ‘land of a thousand golden cities’.