Kandahar of the Arab Conquest Author(s): S. W. Helms Reviewed work(s): Source: World Archaeology, Vol. 14, No.

3, Islamic Archaeology (Feb., 1983), pp. 342-354 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124347 . Accessed: 15/12/2011 02:57
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comes from al-Baladhuri (futuh al-buldan) who died in AD 892. 3 Islamic archaeology $1. Volume 14 No. Similarly. Etymologically there is a problem here that is relevant throughout the city's most ancient history: that much can be read into a name. travelling eastwards from 'Kish' (cf.is shrouded in mystery and described in legends. Ziyad 'crossed the desert until he came to al-Kunduhar' (Murgotten 1924:212). cf. which must be Old Kandahar. after its conqueror (Rawlinson 1849:127. In Murgotten's translation. all that we can glean from this and other accounts of the Conquest is that the city did not then WorldArchaeology ?R. the Haetumant and so on). According to al-Baladhuri the general 'Abbad ibn Ziyad raided the frontier of al-Hind from Sijistan (Seistan) in the time of the Umayyad Caliph Mu'awiya' (AD 661-80) 'as far as the river Hindmand' (Murgotten 1924: 212) which probably refers to the Hilmand (the Erymandus of Pliny VI. in the Caliphat of Mocktader. al-Istakhri and ibn Hauqal below) across the semi-arid land between the Khash-rud and the Hilmand/Arghandab confluence about the region of Bost. 2nd ed. may be taken as an apocryphal reference to the fortunes of the Arab conquerors of Old Kandahar: In the year of the Hegira 304 (AD 916).P. Rescher 1917-23.50/1 1983 0043-8243/83/1403-342 . a subterranean cave was discovered. [In consequence of this] they are called 'abbadiyah. Helms Much of the early Islamic history of the eastern regions .Kandaharof the Arab conquest S. for example. in digging for the foundation of a tower at Kandahar. all attached to the same chain. 61. 92. quoted by Ferrier (1857). in which were a thousand Arab heads.K. An account. mentally deranged after drinking the juice of the anacardia (baladhur).). hence his name. This is quoted as an etiological legend (Enyclopaedia of Islam.' Yet the Arabic has been read in another way: that the city was renamed 'Abbadiya. the only certain account of the Arab conquest of al-Qunduhar. which had evidently remained in good preservation since the year Hegira 70 (AD 689) for a paper with this date upon it was found attached by a silken thread to the ears of the twenty-nine most important skulls. 'Abbad ibn Ziyad saw at al-Qunduhar 'the high turbans of the natives. Al-Qunduhar of Baladhurl is the earliest mentioned name that our city was to bear for most of its consequent Islamic history. Whether the city was renamed or merely continued as al-Qunduhar famed for its tall turbans. 1873:213. with their proper names. and nothing.as-Sind . W. at-Tabba 1959: 210). and had some made like them.

some of which was written specifically for those Seljuk rulers during the early 11th and late 12th centuries (Wallbrecht in Fischeret al. Still on the etymologicalside of the problem:how far back in the city's history can one take its name? The allegation that Kandahar(Pushtu) or Qandahar(Arabic and Farsi) comes for somehow from Alexander the Great (via Iskandarabad example) has been long rejected. Herat. 1976: 295ff. feature as an importantcentre. but at present. That somehow one can make Kandaharout of Favbicpopa (Helms 1982) may be possible.) variouslymeaningfortress or simply place. Avestan kanta.Mas'adi's(died AD 956) note on Kandahar the Indian is Kingdom of Gandhara perhapsstill the best origin for our city's long-livedIslamicname. or Old Iraniankan (to dig))kand(a).That name does not reappear until the Ghaznavidperiod and then only in poetry.Tashkent.the governorof Sind under the Abbasidal-Mansur. meaningperhaps'fortress'merely underlines this while addinglittle of real applicablehistoricalvalue (Vogelsang1981 and pers. The stem Kand or Kund. in Returningto early Islamic sources. . Its source in Avestanliterature (kang)ka7rha)'fortress'in Iranianepics. etc.according to al-Baladhuri(futth al-buldan:445) was taken by Hishamibn Hishamthrew down the 'Amr at-Taghlibi.). can in the first place add little more than typifying a durableand common practice. Bost. comm. Ghazniand Kabulamongothers still known today are listed.Kandahar the Arab conquest of 343 Figure 1 South-central Afghanistan. Sogdian kanth or Choresmiankdth from kdtha. but with the exception of Baladhuri. as in many CentralAsian city names rather far-fetched (Samarkand. on the banks of the Arghastan' Indian Kandahar. He that the name was carriedto the settlement of the Gandharians says 'it was from this Kandahar This which afterwards became famous as the modernKandahar.). never al-Qunduhar.

finally. Kandaharwas the capital of Afghanistan until 1774. There were two other major sieges. the Kast rulerof Herat. is stated by Khwandamir have besieged Kandaharabout 1278.In about 1747 Ahmad Shah Durranihad laid out a typical 18th-century grid-iron town some kilometres to the north of Nadirabadwhich he called Ahmadshahi:'ashraf'ul-bilador 'the foremost of cities'. BaburdroveNun son Shah Beg Arghunout of the city in AD 1507 (Leyden 1921. Shamsad-Din II. as al-Qunduhar. The city remainedunderthe SafawiMonarchyuntil the rise of the Ghilzaitribe under MirWaiswhich resultedin the invasionof Persia. After the events of 1738 this 'circum-urbation' continued with the foundationof what was to become the modern Kandahar. was taken by 'Abd ur-Rahmanvia severalcities such as Bost (or Bust) which later became mints (underthe Saffarids). who bestowed it upon his grandson Pir Muhammad. but for a short Mughalintervalwhen Shah Jahan's army occupied the city in 1637.and his brother besieged with the aid of a Persianarmy and after its fall made it over to Humayan besieged Kandahar his allies. Beveridge1922). the Persiansinvested the city and took it from Jahangirin 1621 and.It was part of the Kingdom of Husain Baikharaof Herat and the name Kandaharfirst appearsas a mint on his coins.It was not until the destructionof Bust by the Ghorid'Ala ad-Din Jahanin AD 1150 that Kandahar again rose to importance.the Arghunchief Dhu '1-Nun of and his Beg obtained the governorship Zamindawar made Kandahar capital. was The subsequenthistory of the city is one of continual sieges and changesof government. typically. he re-took the city for himself.at least in name.344 S. or ar-Rukhkhaj(see below). Kamran had succeeded Babur in Kabul and Kandahar. W. suggestingthat by that time to Kandahar once againa capitalcity. Since that time Kandaharhas been the so-called second city of Afghanistanand the capital of the province . both unsuccessful and. Kandaharremained in Persianhands from 1648 onwards under Shah Abbas II. Early in Akbar'sreign Tahmasp Shah took Kandahar(1556) but Akbar re-took it in 1594.typical of Afghanconflicts and prodromicof the later Britishtroubles in 1842. The population of the conqueredcity was forced to move to Nadir Shah's to The final dispositionof settlements erstwhilesiege-camp the east which was called Nadirabad. So far as the Conquestis concerned .Old Kandahar not noted while other is places are. Thus the beggingbowl of Buddhain the Waisshrine of Kandaharcould be regardedas a relic of those times and the take on even more existence of a BuddhistStupa and Viharaat the summitabove Old Kandahar meaningfor this period. Then.Mahmud(Ghilzai)became Shahof Persiaand the city of Kandaharwas ruled by his brother Husain. repeatingperhapsan act that caused the Gandharians to flee westwards when the capital of Gandharawas capturedby the Hephtalites. when Timur Shah moved the centre of governmentto Kabul.In 1535 the Persians by unsuccessfully the city. Arachosia. is illustratedquite accuratelyin a contemporarymanuscriptpage (Arne 1947).It was conquered about AD 1383 by Timur (ChereffedinAli 1723). But then. UnderHusain. An inscription commemorating this victory can still be seen above the Chihil Zina at the northernend of the Qaitul Ridge at Old Kandahar remainedin Mughal hands althoughalways (Darmesteter1890).according to the ChinesepilgrimSung-yunwho visited the region about AD 520.to reiterate. but Beg's Shah Beg retook it only to lose it again to Babur in 1522. ThereafterKandahar regarded the Safawidsas properlybelongingto Khorasan. accordingto the records.the most ancient name known of the provincenow called Kandahar (and occasionally also Seistan).Helms 'Budd' and built a mosque in its place.who called it Husainabad until finally it was totally destroyed by the vengeance of the Persiansunder Nadir Shah in 1738 (Lockhart 1938).

1982) when the history of Afghanistantook another. Excavation strategy demandedextensive exploration in depth as well as selective clearance around some of the major architecturalfeatures still visible on the surface.predictableturn. up to the Persian-Mughal -up to even very recent history when the interests of Russia and Americamet symbolically at Kandahar. Kandaharoften lay astride a boundary: from the earliest recorded history (Old Persian and period. where the Russianconcrete of the trunkroad changesto Americanasphalt.the second a series of unrelatedsondages. to the Indo-Scythian/ Harahuvatis/Arachosia India). which was also the name of the province. 1978. even the most . II Excavations at Old Kandaharunder the auspices of the Society for Afghan Studies began in 1974 and continued until 1978 (Whitehouse 1978.. Qa i t u 0:~ 0 ~? SW OLD 1974 KANDAHAR 1978 1~000 / 0 I -BBbl 4. 500 I---III-II 1000 / showingareasof excavation. McNicoll's sondages uncovered a large amount of later Islamicmaterial(Crowe 1978). 1979a. Figure 2 Old Kandahar. The first two seasons were limited to specific tasks: the first a cut throughthe easternfortifications. perhaps relatedto ethnic content. 1979b. or it bore a more generalname. Results from these two preliminaryassays complement the subsequent work of three seasons. was either named after its most recent conqueror and retained that name for as long as he or his dynasty held power. when it was important enough to be called thus. pre-Islamicmilitary architecture of the city. McNicoll 1978.Kandahar the Arab conquest 345 of bearingthe same name: a fact that may be relevantin terms of a patternfor reconstructing the long sequence of names back as far as the Achaemenidperiod. through the Greek-Mauryan Indo-Parthian-Kushan conflicts of the 17th century onwards times. Most of the information uncoveredpertainsto the earlyhistoricalstagesof the site: that is to say. the cut by Whitehousebeing the most useful for the earlier. The city. Helms in prep.

lay in its geographical position: on the easiest road between (Mughal) India and (Safawid) Persia. the evidence that has been recovered is still largely undigested. the period of Ghaznavid rule. well before the advent of Islam.346 S. There was probably always a settlement of one kind or another at the site of the ruin field. For that reason I have limited myself to a survey of our evidence by setting its key discoveries against the necessarily cursory summary of known documentation. just as Jelallabad is the garden of the east. at the crossroads also of the route north past Ghazni to the western spur of the Hindu Kush (Kabul) and the network of roads to Bactria and the Central Asian Steppes (Transoxiana) and the Indus Valley past Jelallabad. a history that represents nearly half the time of Kandahar's existence. of which two are paramount. It is this position that can be discerned on the earliest map of the region. that its floruit came early on. In surveying the Islamic history of the city. Indeed it seems that after about the 3rd century (AD) Kandahar became a lesser city.with the exception of the Buddhist monument . the Mongols and finally the see-sawing politics following the conquest by Babur at the beginning of the 16th century.we are dealing with certain geographical and environmental constants: the situation of Old Kandahar surrounded by well-watered orchards and fields that made Kandahar the garden or oasis of Afghanistan's south.no longer at our ruin field . one of whom may have witnessed its splendour during the Mughal sieges of the middle of the 17th century (Tavernier 1676).as so often before . III The later history of Kandahar may be divided somewhat arbitrarily into five broad sections: the very nebulous period between the clearly stratified deposits in the city and the first definitely Islamic layers. the Tabula Peutingeriana of the greater later Roman world.as for those preceding . one must recognize some serious limitations.Helms monumental remains .which for the most part was Old Kandahar . quite confidently. the Conquest period from about AD 650 onward. The architecture of these periods dictated the shape of the city up to its final destruction in 1738. especially since 1738. W. something that in retrospect appears to be indicated in the documentary history cited above. The total destruction of much of the later levels at the site during the many sieges and subsequent reconstructions. . For the Islamic period . This preliminary account should therefore be regarded in this light. Only the very surface of some very interesting yet vexing questions can be presented at this time. its final form . cited as such by many European travellers. has left precious little evidence. and limit myself further to the period up to the Ghaznavid dynasty. Kandahar's history thereafter is less problematical.a vital possession and as often therefore a ruin field.belong to the pre-Achaemenid period through the Achaemenid/Greek era up to the Indo-Parthian domination of the region. At that time the city's importance . Kandahar revived a little during the later Islamic period. We can now say. Yet enough was done to indicate very broadly certain changes in the fortune of the city throughout its history. Second. from its first foundation well before the eastward campaigns of the Achaemenids (Cyrus and particularly Darius about 520 BC) up to the triumph of Nadir Shah and beyond.earning the somewhat undeserved name 'the foremost of cities'. Thus sadly very little of the area belonging to the later history of the city was examined. These constants made the region about Kandahar potentially prosperous and its capital .

we saw. called Alexandropolis'[or Alexandria .Kandahar the Arab conquest of 347 The first period concerns roughly eight hundred years in terms of stratigraphy there . then. A second indication of at least some continuity on the provinciallevel is a connection between Isidore's rro6Xt (?19) in Arachosiaand the Nestorian bishopric of Roukout duringthe 6th XopoXoa& century (Chabot 1902: 343. then. Yaqat) written some years after the events in in question: al-Baladhuri the 10th century and Yaqut in the 13th. Altogether this is not much more than reiteratingthat although life continued in the countryside. Isidore speaks of 'AXe~avbpo6roXc) (Isid. 2). among others]. Tarn 1951. Fischer 1967. lf7Tp07roXLc 'Apaxcoaiac e'ot be 'EXXrvi Kai rapapapetabTriv7roTatio 'ApaXcroT6 that is 'a city populated by Greeks.if al-Baladhuriwas indeed speakingof our Kandahar. even if we quote again the Islamicsources regarding Gandharians the 5th century. the capital of the province Arachosianear a river named Arachotos. that of ibn Ziyad . 800-year 'gap'to hand so far comes from several graves excavated by McNicoll (1978) which produced silver drachmsof Kobad I currentin the 6th century (MacDowall1978: 51). The far end of the 'gap'may be representedby the various accounts of the Conquest (al-Baladhuri. Yet al-Qunduhar specifically and ar-rukhkhaj generally do feature in the accounts of the Islamic Conquest of Afghanistan from about AD 650 onwards: and as a not insignificant obstacle to progress east and north.in the strictest sense . The apocryphal story quoted in the beginning of this essay aside. There is also the striking phenomenon of toponymy. 681). appearsonly once in the records.is another matter. the earliestdated Islamic ones to the Ghaznavidperiod. In appears to be a 'gap' varioustrenches the latest pre-Islamic layersbelong to the beginningof the Sasaniandominance in the region (coins of Ardeshirand Shapurand ShapurI: up to ca. to close the 'gap'. Ceramicfinds from a deep sounding on the Citadel (area C) appearto narrowthe 'gap'. written towardsthe end of the 1st century (AD).at least throughoutthe preIslamichistory of Kandahar (Fig. Bernard1974. At this stage. At the very least. at the ruin field very little has remainedto give us a history. as the best-knowngeographical sourcemarkingthe (near-)end of the pre-Islamicoccupation as excavated so far. The only admissibleevidence . ? 19).concerningthe ca. The beginningis about the same as elsewhere at the site. but the end may be as early as the 9th century. AD 250). This is reflected in the apparentlack of a name FavUcpopa a as definite name for the settlement.500 years. This is the barestevidence and in the strictest 'archaeological' historical senses: and yet there is more. representedby a coin of Maudud(1041-8).or even occupied . Alas Qunduhar. Two additionaland very tentative items of evidence might be noted.notes a number of Muslimcasualtiesand goes on to quote ibn Mufarrigh (Murgotten 1924: 213): .which is likely . for variousreasons.cf.and about the same amount in terms of documentary evidence. that being the earliest date one might give to lustre wares of which one small example was found. all that can be said is that the evidence points to a drastic reduction in both the political importanceand the population of the city sometime after the beginningof the Sasanianperiod. even if one accepts the Indo-Parthian the about potential identity. the region about Kandaharretainedits name throughout: over 1. These graveslay in area S which. On the documentaryside we might cite Isidore of Charax'ParthianStations. we now regardas an extra-mural area. In the Conquest stories we read variouslyof ar-rukhkhaj/-rukhkhadh (Ibn Rusta: 105) and ruhwadh(Muqaddasi:50. Whether the ruin field was a city . 292) = Arachosia= (amongother spellings)Harahuvatis.

For example 'Abd 'ur-Rahman'ibn Samurah. the best documented of which are the Shahis. went next to Khushshak. presumably along the road as it still runs today. probably long after Babur's conquest. But can our excavations add anything substantial to this history. The Arabic text (cf. whose inhabitants had broken a treaty. Murgotten translates this section as 'He met with opposition. if it did we would have a definite name for our ruin field in the time of Uthman (ca. 'Abd 'ur-Rahman then advances to Dhabulistan (or Zabulistan). none brought back the news. The Buddhist monument became a gun-position then. having admitted to an embarrassing 'gap' in occupation on the urban sector of the site? We were very fortunate in discovering a large hoard of coins sealed into the plaster of a miniature stupa.Helms Figure 3 7th-century Conquest of Persia. dominates the heights south of Old Kandahar. This structure was the devotional focus of the main shrine room in the Vihara which.e. which is probably Kushk-i-Nakhud on the river of the same name. Ratbil) give us a lively historical background of the region between Bost and Kabul. but overcame it and conquered the city' (my italics). and thence to Kabul. at-Tabba 1959) unfortunately does not mention a 'city' as such. This and other stories (i. with its still impressive Stupa. He goes on to ar-Rukhkhaj. Yea. after conquering Bust. whose people capitulated. W.348 S. of these whose scroll was sealed In Qunduhar. 644-56). And tunics of the unburied slain In Qunduhar. This area was ultimately incorporated into the city. . From other campaigns of the 7th century we often read about the hard progress of the Islamic forces under the leadership of various governors of Seistan against local semi-autonomous enclaves. How many a footprint in the jungles and the land of India. which was then called tariq ar-rukhkhaj (the road of 'Arachosia') for at least its middle section about our ruin field.

that is to the period of the Islamic Conquest of Persia and Afghanistan. who in turn were the (Lesser) Yueh Chih from the north-eastern Central Asian steppes.). whose coinage copied later Sasaniantypes both in the style of the ruler'sportrait and the depiction of the fire altar on the obverseside. A little before this. in turn. A similarcurrencyis now known from the Italianexcavationsat Tepe Sardar (Ghazni) (MacDowallpers. Moreover. They were Buddhistswho also veneratedHindugods. Historically these rulers in conflict with the advanceof Islam have been the Hindu Shahis who.which includes the mysterious Napki Malik represents one of the semi-autonomousenclaves probably centred somewherebetween Kabul and Bost. but severalsignal aspectscan already be presented as definitive evidence regardingprecisely the nebulous period of the so-called 'gap'. Moreoverthey appearto be part of the almost timeless demographicpattern of CentralAsia since accordingto al-Biruni they were Turks of Tibetan origin descendantover sixty generationsfrom Kanik. We might now be able to add more. therefore. presumably the Dhabulistan/Zabulistan quoted above.which may have begun with Zarathustra. One coin of the UmayyadCaliphswas found stratifiedwith the hoard. however.Kanishkaof the Kushan dynasty.Kandahar the Arab conquest of 349 The hoard is still being studied (MacDowallin prep. Subsequent history of central/southern Afghanistan is represented in the Turki Shahis alreadynoted above. Might this not be a foundation the . for example. the Greek pantheon (Fraser 1979). Here we may be able to link this albeit vague chain of events and its series of political entities more directly to Kandahar. It is. These latter numbered among their kings individualswhose names carry a common root: Vrahitiginand Tigin Shah. Strong Islamic rulers established themselves at Ghazni after one Alptegin took the fort there in 962. A second Umayyadcoin appearedbeneatha collapsedroof (with Buddhistpaintings) in an annexe of the Vihara. central/southern Afghanistan became dependent on Zabul. He was succeeded by his general Sebuktegin (977-97) in a domain that was to become the Ghaznavid Empire.this evidence is remarkablypicturesqueand poignant from a strictly political historical view. The same pattern repeated itself some centuries after the Islamic Conquest in the Mongolconquest beginningwith GengisKhan. the Turki Shahis. the Buddha. were competing with Turkic entities.The major currency . our preliminarysupposition that the hoard from Kandahar's Buddhist monument might belong to these very rulersof Zabulistanand that the settlement below the shrinesurvived.perhapsas a lesser town than before.In addition to this most useful evidence a Chinese coin fragment appeared in the hoard. Over a hundred coins in the hoard represent what until now have been called 'hunnish rulers' of the 7th and 8th centuries (Goebl 1968).Yaqub took Kabul in 870 and more or less marked the beginning of at least general religious stability.). com. for the time being. It is also apposite in roundingout the long confrontationand partialfusion of some of the world's great religionsat Old Kandahar. about the beginning of the 8th century. This has been tentatively ascribed to the range of the Sui dynasty (580-612) to the T'ang dynasty (618-906). who were succeeded by the Hindu Shahisrulingfrom Kabul. the Nestorian Church and finally the confrontationand for a time coexistence of Gautamaand Muhammad. He was a Turkishslave and by name at least related to the Turki Shahis.Maps of WesternAsia retain the name of an Islamic city enticingly close to Kandaharup to the 18th century (Fischer 1967:191) and that city name is Tecniabad/Tiginabad/Takin-abad: city of Tigin or Takin. Altogether this numismatic evidence gives us a date about the late 7th to early 8th century.

Furthermore. .jr fl--t I ^ T azna ^asfanjay Figure 4 Islam Atlas . which is very close indeed to our ruin field.and now no mention of Banj(a)way. can one really make a definite identification? Probably not: although our coin hoard has made the idea of Takin-abad/Tiginabad as an important southern Turkic city close to our ruin field more than likely. Sarasvati = Arghandab just as the name Panjab denotes such a system further east). as close to the time under discussion as we can get. a striking thematic continuity.surat Sijistan. four days and then one more day to Takin-abad. based on various itineraries (cf.that is. But given such basically inaccurate measurements. L^ ~suratsijista5n ^ har|? ana z2aran1 . the capital of ar-Rukhkhaj (my italics). I kish kishsh lh sh The earliest geographical compilation referring to the landscape during the 9th and 10th centuries . or rather.is an atlas of the Islamic world. 4).350 S. Takin-abad/Tiginabad lies one march beyond. W.specifically 'region' or 'district' of 'Arachosia' . gives the route from Ghazna to Herat: Ghazna to Tiginabad ten days. Tiginabad to Bost four days . The 10th-century writer al-Istakhri (died 951) describes the route from Bost to Ghazna in al-masalik wa'l-mamalik as follows: Bost to Banjaway. Miller 1926). perhaps no more than 10 kilometres further east. I have taken roughly equal distances per day and this is not necessarily a hard rule since slightly longer marches can be derived from other itineraries.as well as the unequivocal identification of Bust-Banj(a)way-G(h)azna on a map of Seistan (surat Sijistan) (Fig. Fischer 1967: Vasaseneyi Samhita 44. If Banj(a)way is identified with the modern place Panjway (cf. there is a remarkable conservatism in the various place-names of the immediate region about Old Kandahar. Thus Baihaqi. a^~ IN. perhaps including those of Zabulistan? Islamic sources might provide further localization. as I noted earlier. There the name ar-rukhkhaj appears together with iqlim rukhkhaj . Al-Qunduhar is not mentioned. 11 'pafica nadya1i Sarasvatim (?Old Iranian HaraxVaiti) apiyanti' = 'five rivers flow to Sarasvati'. Figure 5 illustrates how Old Kandahar is very nicely 'bracketed' by the two itineraries. writing in the 11th century.Helms or rather re-naming of a city controlled by the Turki Shahis? or a little before that by Turkic rulers. some 20 kilometres west of Old Kandhar.

Banj(a)wayand Takin-abad/Tiginabad On twin cities or even twin capitals of the province or district of ar-Rukhkhaj. 2. pt 2. And.Kandahar of the Arab conquest 351 and itinerariesof al-Istakhri Baihaqi. T. 1947. us take let and De Groot (1915) suggesteda relation this question of toponymy a step further. 1913. 1982 Institute of Archaeology London References Arne.the names transmittedless throughpolitical motivation than simply folk memory. Abi 'l-Fadhl Muhammad b. . Babur. Marquart in between Banj(a)wayand Takin-Abadin the dual ar-rukhkhajain a verse by Abu'l-'Udafir could have been (cf.vii. AD 1154) = Asfijai or Asfanjay (Atlas of Islam: surat Sijistan) and even the Chinese Chih-p'an(AD 1267-71: cf. all of which sharethe root 'white': Isidore's'IvSt&K AevKr] the 18th-century'white city' (Arne 1947). Husain. See Leyden. one could advancethe argumentthat this abundanceof related names may all have applied to our ruin field at one time or another and when conditions changed have been transferredto lesser settlements nearby. Herrmann 1922). Ibn Hurdadhbahand al-Mas'uidi). To conclude this preliminarysurvey of the early Islamicperiod at Old Kandahar. Ta'rikh-i Baihaqi. I. Ispingajor 'white place' of al-Idrisi (ca. (1967) lists of names. Imago Mundi. Baihaqi. the other hand they could representcities on either side of a boundary:Zabulistanto the east and Seistanto the west. 592. In this way one might repeat another of Fischer's 'white India'. finally. With Pottinger's (1817) Ispeentigh we might tighten the and 'toponymicalcircle' about Old Kandahar equate tigh with tigin. Figure5 Kandahar region(tariq ar-rukhkhaj). In Encyclopaedia of Islam. p. A plan of Qandahar. 4: 73f. vol. J.

see Schoff. S.W. Fischer. ibn Hauqal (Muhammad). J. Trans. vol. Leiden. Sasanidische Numismatik. 1978. Geog. Fischer. 3-4: Iff. Afghan Studies. Arabic text). J. The British Excavations at Old Kandhar: Preliminary Report of the Work of 1978. Abu 'l-Qasim an-Nasibi. Fraser. Kitdb futuh al-buldan. al-Istakhri. Helms. 1938-9. 1979a. M. J. Goebl. 1967. The British Excavations at Old Kandahar: Preliminary Report of the Work of 1977. The Origins of the Islamic State. Kabul. Leyden. S. Helms. 8. 1968. L. Graeci Min. Journal Asiatique. Herrmann. Helms. Studia Iranica. W.. Hitti. Leiden. The son of Aristonax at Kandahar. C. 1961. ibn Hurdadhbah. 1938. tr. s6r. M. Istakhri's Geography. Society for Afghan Studies. Leiden. P. 2 vols. 1979b. French. 3: 171 f. Afghan Studies. 1870. the foremost Place in all of Asia'. 1982. Bonner Jahrbiicher.) 1921. Afghan Studies. Cairo. 'Abd al-Al al-Hini. 1723. Kabul. of al-Baladhuri. 1922. Kitdb surat al-ardh (ed. Leipzig. 1889. R. (tr. I (masalik al-mamalik) (ed. de Goeje. de Goeje). M. The History of Timur-Bec . de Goeje. 'AXecavbaporoXtsp7p0rporoMXt 'Apaxwciao: Zur Lage von Kandahar an Landesverbindungen zwischen Iran und Indien. (tr. Rescher. 1855. M. S. For English trans. New York. Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum. in prep.. Beveridge.J. 2 vols. see Hitti. 1890. Memoirs of Jehlr-ed-Din Muhammad Bdbur . 1. Chabot. Cf. .-B. La grande inscription de Qandahar. 1979. Paris. Chereffedin Ali. Excavations at Old Kandahar 1976-8.) The Bdbur-ndma. Liber expugnationis regionum auctore . (rev. C. . (tr. . Muller). 1927). 1902. J. Report submitted to the Afghan Institute of Archaeology.. 1917-23. Morgenstern. Al-masdlik wa'l-mamdlik. King). and Thewalt V. CaravanJourneys. Futuh al-buldan. A. 1978. M. 2 vols. Paris. 1863-6. Lockhart. al-Idrisi. ed. (ed. K. Darmesteter. Ceramic finds dating to the Islamic period. 1857.W. Tabula X: Isidori Mansiones Parthiae. S.352 S. London. Nimruz. 2: If. Helms. Die Westldnder in der chinesischen Kartographie.. Afghan Studies. See Miller 1926. S.W.W. Old Kandaharexcavations 1976: Preliminary Report. London. Bonn. Un probl&me du toponymie antique dans l'Asie Centrale: les noms anciens de Qandahar.Helms al-Baladhuri. Nadir Shah. 1922. 1976. Ahmad ibn Yahya ibn Jabir. P. Arabic text). Y. D. Parthian Stations. into German by 0. Ferrier. Ibrdhim ibn Muhammad (Abu Ishaq) al-Farisi. P. . English). 15: 195f. W. Report submitted to the Afghan Institute of Archaeology. London. Crowe. A.. A trans. 167: 129f. Isidore of Charax. Helms. For text and trans. repr. L. 6. 2: 9ff. Synodikon Orientale ou Recueil des synodes nestoriens. Brunswick. P. K. J. 2 vols. Leiden. Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum. See Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum. 1916.J. E1-Beladori's 'Kitab futuh el-buldan' (Buch der Eroberung der Ldnder). S. K. London. (ed. 1974. Bernard. London. al-Belddsori (ed. Excavations at 'The City and the famous fortress of Kandahar. I:49ff.

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For the Islamic period the excavations on behalf of the Society for Afghan Studies have revealed some striking new evidence. W. referring to the conquest of Alexander the Great. It has been identified with an Alexandria/Alexandropolis. W. particularly for the period of the Arab Conquest during the later 7th and early 8th century. For years the site has been central to many arguments about the most ancient geography and history of the region. . impressive ruin field near Afghanistan's modern 'second' city. bearing the same name. This paper outlines some of these emerging new arguments and suggests some tentative additions to the long story of the toponymy of Central Asian cities. Helms Abstract Helms. Kandahar of the Arab conquest Old Kandahar is a large.354 S. S.

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