By Shaista Wahab, Barry Youngerman
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Extra resources for A Brief History of Afghanistan, 2nd Edition
It can be played by individuals or by two opposing teams. Buzkashi demands extraordinary communication between horse and rider and between players on a team. The size of the field varies and can be as large as several miles across; in the autumn, plowed fields are turned up and fertilized by the action of the horses. The horses are trained for at least five years before they can participate. Today’s polo was developed by British colonial soldiers in imitation of Afghan buzkashi. Buzkashi was outlawed by the Taliban, but a large public match was arranged in Kabul as early as December 2001.
Providing a source of commercial profit to Afghan intermediaries that continued (with ups and downs and some major interruptions) for 1,700 years. From its early days, the Silk Road became a cultural channel as well, as Indian religious ideas, modified by Hellenistic intermediaries, began to trickle into China and, eventually, the rest of East Asia. Excavations between 1964 and 1978 by French scientists at the northern Afghan site of Ai-Khanoum on the Amu Darya revealed an impressive Hellenistic city, with a theater, gymnasium, a temple to Zeus, Greek-style homes with Corinthian columns and marble statues, and numerous Greek inscriptions.
He reorganized his realms into 20 provinces, governed by Persian satraps watched over by military governors and royal inspectors. The armies were reorganized on rational principles. Communication lines were secured to enable the steady collection of taxes levied at every locality. The Persian language was put to writing for the first time (in a cuneiform syllabic and later alphabetic script), 40 Early History but Aramaic, already the lingua franca of the Middle East, became the official government language.
A Brief History of Afghanistan, 2nd Edition by Shaista Wahab, Barry Youngerman