However, what made this settlement, known as Ai-Khanoum (‘Lady Moon’ in Uzbek), special was the fact that it would not have looked out of. The Spatial Organization of Ai Khanoum, a Greek. City in Afghanistan. LAuriAnne MArTinez-Sève. ArTiCLe. Abstract. The excavations of the Greek settlement of. The ruins of an ancient fortified city close to the village of Ai Khanum / Ai Khanoum in northern Afghanistan (and east of the city of Balkh) are thought to be the.

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Interestingly, settlements inhabited by Macedonians were generally established further to the west, while those inhabited by Greeks appear more in the eastern provinces of the empire. Ai Khanum is situated on the confluence of the mighty Amudar’ya the ancient Oxus and the Kokcha rivers. Instead, it is more likely that the establishment jhanoum new settlements was in response to the enormous administrative challenges that came with an empire of such massive size.

Among the Greek settlers in Ai Khanum were Thessalian cavalrymen, which appears to be confirmed by the following inscription:. Authors have speculated that this image represents the Greek sun knanoum Helios.

Excavated foundation walls and the Amu Darya river flowing to the left of the image.


As a child, be orderly, As a youth, be self-controlled, As an adult, be just, As an old man, be of good counsel, When dying, be without sorrow. Retrieved from ” https: Unsurprisingly, these eastern provinces would prove troublesome for the Seleucids. An almost life-sized dark green glass phallus with a small owl on the back side and other treasures are said to have been discovered at Ai-Khanoum, possibly along with a stone with an inscription, which was not recovered.


In some cases, only the hands and feet would be made in marble. Seleucid Coins of Bactriap.

However, Persepolis fell about 80 years before the first Buddhist stone architecture appeared, which leaves the question whether knowledge was preserved over the generations between Persepolis to the west of Ai-Khanoum and the Mauryans to its east. Its location at the junction between Bactrian territory and nomad territories to the north, ultimately allowed access to commerce with the Chinese empire.

It was during this expedition that he stumbled across the remains of an ancient settlement. Media Babylon Persia Rawlinson: I think the people in the region probably thought they were modern and more interesting than their ancient cities — much like modern people are always interested in new city architecture — our cities are constantly changing, and so it was back then.

Cambridge University Press, This second coming was to prove the dawn of a golden age for the Kingdom, which khnoum to prosper as it expanded in all directions, reaching its territorial peak in BCE. Perhaps, this city was identical to Ai Khanum in Afghanistan.

This suggests important trade contacts with the Mediterranean, through long and expensive land routes.

Ai Khanum – Livius

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ai-Khanoum. One of the more entertaining anecdotes highlighting the influence of Hellenistic culture is provided by ancient historian Plutarch: The Greeks in the East: Winged antefixa type only known from Ai-Khanoum. They are Indian-standard square coins bearing the representations of Indian deities, which have been variously interpreted as VishnuShivaVasudevaBuddha or Balarama.

In the 13th Edict, Ashoka accurately names all of the rulers in the Hellenistic world at the time of the inscription: Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BC. Example of Poor Quality Pseudo-Scholarship. Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Location of the Dashly Sites. Ancient ruins are not hard to come by in Central and Western Asia. Numerous Greco-Bactrian coins were found, down to Eucratidesbut none of them later. Examples of the Bactrian Gold Ornaments.


The Seleucid Empire was arguably the greatest of the Successor states, at its height encompassing almost all of the former Persian empire, with the notable exception of Egypt.

However, modern historians have largely dismissed this argument. Atash Bahram Modern Temples: The motivation for Hellenisation has long been debated. Excavation of the ruins have unearthed several artefacts, and one of particular note is a plate that appears to depict Zoroastrian and Mithraic imagery in a Greek manner.

Several Indian artefacts were found among the archaeological remains of Ai-Khanoum, especially a narrative plate made of shell inlaid with various materials and colors, thought to represent the Indian myth of Kuntala.

After all, Alexander famously began adopting Persian dress and elements of Persian court culture in the years before his death, much to the resentment of his followers. A few years after the foundation of the city, around BC, the Indian Emperor Ashoka was carving a rock inscription in Greek and Aramaic addressed to the Greeks in the region, the Kandahar Edict of Ashokain the nearby city of Kandahar.

Plate from Ai Khanum Alexandria on Oxus.

The Spatial Organization of Ai Khanoum, a Greek City in Afghanistan

Antefix from the administrative palace. The plate shows what appear to be a combination of Greek and Zoroastrian elements: Numerous artefacts and structures were found, pointing to a high Hellenistic culture, combined with Eastern influences.

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.