Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Amidst Shrapnel in Afghanistan

A near miracle, I dare say, to see archaeologists at work in Afghanistan while the fighting between Taliban and the Western forces is still an ongoing business. An article from Reuters, meaning that we can consider the information as trustworthy, reports on 17 August 2010 about Buddhist remains that are being discovered south of Kabul.

Mohammad Nader Rasouli, head of the Afghan Archaeological Department, mentions that two statues were found, respectively seven and nine meters high, and some coins. They also uncovered a temple, some stupas, rooms decorated with colorful fresco’s and gold. Some of the finds have been dated to the 5th century, but there may be artifacts dating from the BC era.

The site is located in the Aynak region of the Logar province, close to the area where the Chinese have recently started mining copper ore. The mine exploitation is not harming the excavations but looters and smugglers are. They were there even before the government could start excavation work last year. Always a pity when those things happen.

The situation is grim, as can be expected for we all remember how the radical Talibans destroyed the giant Buddha statues at Bamyan at the end of last decade; many more antiquities and historical sites were destroyed or pillaged in the process.

Rasouli says that they don’t have the resources to move the relics to a safe place, but he hopes to build a museum there instead, adding "We need foreign assistance to preserve these and their expertise to help us with further excavations."

Safeguarding a country’s archeological heritage is never easy but in war zones it is always worse. Let’s hope that a reasonable solution can be found for in my eyes Afghanistan is part of the land conquered by Alexander the Great. There must be an enormous wealth in archeological treasures from his days and from Hellenistic times still hidden out there … somewhere…

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