Monday, February 4, 2013

The Great Ancient Cities of Central Asia (5000 BC)

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BALKH...(Bactra)...(67E..36N)..."Mother of Cities'. A beautiful city in northeastern Persia. Four leagues to the mountains called Jabal Ku. Had 7 gates. Destroyed by the Turks in 1155 AD. Rebuilt. Destroyed by Mongols in 1220. Great Fire Temple. Shrine to rival the Ka'abah in Mecca. Castle was called Kal'ah Hinduwan. (Castle of the Hindus). Balkh was an important town in Afghanistan." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 423)..."Balkh is a large and magnificent city. It was here that Alexander married the daughter of Darius." (Marco Polo in Waugh: 1984..pg 42).."the Saka rulers left India and returned to Balkh"..(Soucek..pg 19)..Balkh (Shamis en Balkh, Shams-i-Bala) in Bactria was a legendary city for the ancient Chinese and Tibetans....“All roads lead to Balkh,” uttered Gurdjieff, referring to the Sufic origin of all systems. Balkh (Sham-i-bala) is the ancient city associated with Alexander, Roxanne, Padmasambhava, Zarathustra, Rabia, Mani, Garab Dorje, Sufism, and Rumi. ....Balkh was referred to as the “Mother of Cities” and the “Elevated Candle” (Sham-i-Bala) and it was in Balkh that the great Prophet Zoroaster was born. It is said he is also interred there, according to the Persian poet Firdousi. For many years, Balkh was the central hub of the Zoroastrian religion....Balkh has an incredibly long and rich history, its name is also from "Bakht" meaning "fortunate" in Persian.

Click on the map to enlarge

"GHOR....Remains of the oldest settlements discovered by Lithuanian archaeologists in 2007 and 2008 in Ghor date back to 5000 BC.Ruins of a few castles and other defense fortifications were also discovered in the environs of Chaghcharan. A Buddhist monastery hand-carved in the bluff of the river Harirud existed in the first centuries during the prevalence of Buddhism."... Lithuanian archeologists make discovery in Afghanistan, The Baltic Times,

KAPISA...."The earliest references to Kapisa appear in the writings of fifth century BCE Indian scholar Pāṇini. Pāṇini refers to the city of Kapiśi, a city of the Kapisa kingdom, modern Bagram. Pāṇini also refers to Kapiśayana, a famous wine from Kapisa. The city of Kapiśi also appeared as Kaviśiye on Graeco-Indian coins of Apollodotus I and Eucratides.....references to Kapisa appear in the writings of 5th century BCE Indian scholar Achariya Pāṇini.

Alexandria-Kapisa has been identified and partly excavated on a hill near Begram -or to be more precise, near Charikar-, 65 km north of modern Kabul. Not many finds date back to the age of Alexander, but the identification is uncontested....Ai-Khanoum or Ay Khanum (lit. “Lady Moon” in Uzbek, possibly the historical Alexandria on the Oxus, also possibly later named اروکرتیه or Eucratidia), was founded in the 4th century BC, following the conquests of Alexander the Great and was one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. The city is located in Kunduz Province northern Afghanistan, at the confluence of the Oxus river (today's Amu Darya) and the Kokcha river, and at the doorstep of the Indian subcontinent. Ai Khanoum was one of the focal points of Hellenism in the East for nearly two centuries, until its annihilation by nomadic invaders around 145 BC about the time of the death of Eucratides."...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai-Khanoum

Alexandria of the Caucasus was one of the capitals of the Indo-Greek kings (180 BC-AD 10). During the reign of Menander I the city was recorded as having a thriving Buddhist community, headed by Greek monks.

CRESIPHON...(33N...44E)..."Yasdgard left the ruined royal city on the Tigris with the advance of the Arabs and fled to Hulwan, not far from Jalula (present day Khanaqin). The victory of Nihavand in 622 AD marked the beginning of the dissolution of the Sasanian empire.".....In Iran, the great Sassanian dynasty collapsed in the 7th century under the Arab onslaught. Yazdgard fled the royal city of Cresiphon and the Arab victory of Nihavand in 622 AD marked the beginning of the dissolution of the Sassanian empire......"the Moslems called Ctesiphon by the name Madain. On the Tigres, the chief city of the province and winter capital of the Sassanian kings. Ctesiphon and Seleucia were founded in 300 BC. Great Sassanian plalace ruins still exist." (LeStrange: 1966)

BARIKOY...In Swat, Pakistan...the ancient castle of Bir

BORSIPPA....(modern Birs-Nimrud) was a building in 7 platforms coloured similarly to Ecbatana (Rawlings: Heordotus)...

BUKHARA....(64E..39N)..."the most beautiful city in Persia. (Waugh: 1984..pg 11)...

ECBATANA.(Hamadan)..(48E..35N)...(Herodotus: 800 BC)...Capital of rich province in northern Persia. Surrounded by mountain ranges. Near the Tarum River. Eastward was the Great Desert of Persia. Capital was Hamadan (Ecbatana)..."Ecbatana, a circular city. Strong walls one within the other, seven in all and within the final circle the royal palace (kal'ah). The highest and innermost wall was lined with gold. The next outer wall was lined with silver. The next wall was painted orange. The next blue. The next red. The next black. And the outermost and lowest wall was painted white. The king in the inner circle was seen by no one and all business was transacted by messengers." (Grene: "Herodotus History"..1987..pg 81)...Hamadan was rebuilt after the Moslem invasion but was again destroyed during the Mongol invasion of 1220 AD. Twenty four subdistricts. In the middle of the city stood the ancient castle (Kal'ah). Twenty four subdistricts in the 12th century. The city was 6 miles across. Southwest of Hamadan rose the great mountain of Alvand, or Arvand, summit always covered in snow." (LeStrange: 1966..pg 194)...."There may have been another Ecbatana in Media Atropatene (Azerbijan) at a place called Takht-i-Suleiman (Ganzaca), where extensive ruins are still visible. (Bunbury: 1959...pg 258)..."The royal palace of Agbatana is said by Polybius to be 4/5ths of a mile in circumference." (Rawlins: Herodotus)

FIRUZABAD...(Gur)(28N..52E)...Photo of ruins in Frye: 1963..."Circular city in the heart of Persis. A gate at each of the four directions. Residence of the Sassanian dynasty. Aerial photo of the ruins." (Sacral Kingship: 1959..pg 482)..."Ancient Persians called it Jur. Built by King Ardashir (the first Sasanian King) around an artificial mound. In the 10th century was as large as Istakhr. Beautiful gardens. Jur was beseiged by Alexander the Great. Celebrated fire temple." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 255)..."Firuzabad was a Tarum capital. Fortress was called Kal'ah Taj. Great Castle of Sham Irun. In 943 Ad it was the stronghold of the Daylamite Kings. The Sham Irun had 'lions of gold' and the 'sun and moon' on its walls. In 1046 it was the cpaital of Tarum in Daylam. It was in ruins in the 13th century. It was the 'mother of castles ' situated on the great Tarum river. It's site is yet unidentified." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 227)...

FIRUZKUH......(65E..34N)(36N..53E?)......"Ghuristan attained its greatest splendor in 1148-1215 during the Sam Dynasty. Their great capital was Biruzkuh (Firuzkuh)(Turquoise Mountain) an immense fortress in the mountains, site unknown. Great mountainous region and source of many great rivers. Murghab River. Headwaters of the Hari River. Castle was called Kal'ah Khastar. Bamiyan. Herat, rich city of 400,000 people in the 12th century. Great Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan.Bactria. The city of Bamiyan was the capital of a great district and a great Buddhist center long before the days of Islam. Great sculpture. The Ghurid princes were defeated in 1215 AD and the dynasty disappeared a few years later with the Mongol invasion. Destroyed by Ghengis Khan in 1222 AD. The great castles (kal'ah) mentioned in its history seem to have disappeared. " (Le Strange: 1966..pg 418)...."Subjugation of the mountainous region of Ghur required great effort of the part of the Mongols. The mongols gradually adopted the Iranian language. The Hazaras are Mongolian in origin but Iranian by speech. Between Harat and Qandahar. On the upper reaches of the Murghab River live the Mongols who speak Persian. There is a road from Badakhshan to Tibet." (Barhtold: 1984..pg 83)...

COSMIC CITY..."Plato explained the ideal city as divided into 12 sectors which allowed cosmic laws and proportion to penetrate the city and allow the inhabitants to live under cosmic laws. This cosmic pattern is especially clear in the royal circular cities of the ancient Orient. A number of Parthian, Sassanian, and Abbasid cities are cited. In Persia: Darabjird, Firuzabad, Kalach, Hiraqla, Hamadan (Ecbatana)" (Sacral Kingship: 1959..pg 481)...

"A glimpse into ancient Persian cosmology is the royal city of Hagmatan (Hamadan, Agbatana, Ekbatana)[50E 32N] built in 800 BC by King Deioces (Daiukku) of the Medes. Seven concentric circles within walls, each higher than the preceding wall as one passed toward the center hill where the palace stood. The 7th and highest wall was painted gold (sun)...the 6th was painted silver (moon)...the 5th wall was painted orange...the fourth was painted blue...the third was painted red...the second black...and the outermost wall was painted white. Orange was the fiery morning 'asman', blue the noonday 'asman', red for the evening asman. The array of colors chosen for the encircling walls of the royal city was similar to that of the robe of warriorhood and sovereignty described in the Denkart."

Around the base of the sacred mountain in the center are literally hundreds of cities, palaces, and temples, but among them there are four, which are especially important. To the east of the mountain is the shining white temple of Shampo Lhatse (sham-po lha rtse). To the south is the great palace of Barpo Sogyad (bar-po so-brgyad) where Tonpa Shenrab`s had lived and he was born. To the west is the palace of Trimon Gyalzhad (khri-smon rgyal-bzhad), where the chief queen of Tonpa Shenrab, Hoza Gyalzhadma (Hos-bza` rGyal-bzhad-ma) had lived and where three of his children were born, namely, Tobu (gTo-bu), Chyadbu (dPyad-bu), and Ne`u-chen. And to the north is the palace of Khong-ma Ne`u-chung where another one of his queens, Poza Thangmo (dPo-bza` thang-mo) lived and three more of his children were born, namely, Lungdren (Lung-`dren), Gyuddren (rGyud-`dren), and Ne`u-chung. Surrounding this innermost region in every direction is an intermediate region with twelve great cities, four in each of the four cardinal directions. One of these cities located in the west is Gyalag Odma (rgya-lag `od-ma) where the fabled king and disciple of Tonpa Shenrab, Kongtse Trulgyi Gyalpo (Kong-tse `phrul gyi rgyal-po) lived. He was important for the transmission of astrological and magical teachings coming from the Master. The miraculous temple erected by this king on an artificial island built by the Rakshasa demons in the western sea was also very important since it was here that certain teachings of Tonpa Shenrab were written down and deposited for safe keeping. These texts have been preserved there until this very day. This second region is completely surrounded by two more concentric rings, an outer region and a border region. As said above, these regions and their subdivisions are separated by rivers and other bodies of water. The entire land is in turn surrounded by an ocean called Mukhyud Dalwa (mu-khyud bdal-ba`i rgya-mtsho), “the wide-spreading enclosing ocean”. Again, this sea is surrounded by a mighty wall of snow-capped mountains called Walso Gangri Rawa (dbal-so gangs ri`i ra-ba), causing the imperishable sacred land to be impenetrable to any intrusion from the outside world.

HIRAQLA....(34E..37N)...(Eregli)..."Persian circular city Harun al-Rashids." Aerial photo of the ruins. (Sacral Kingship: 1959..pg 483)..."32 miles from the Tamarisk Valley is Hiraklah (later: Arakliyah, the Greek Heraclia), the town which Harun-ar-Rashid took by storm. Near Tarsus and the Cilician Gates." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 134)...

KABALAH....(48E..42N)..."In the mountains near Darband was the fortress of Kabalah, on a hill. North of the port of Baku. The Arabs called Darband (Bab-al-Abwab)." (le Strange:1966..pg 181)...A second TARUM RIVER in ancient Persia...near the Caspian Sea. A ring of mountains surrounding the small kingdoms of ancient Persia. North of Hagmatan. Location of a great castle called Kal'ah Taj. Had 'lions of gold' on its walls. Tributary of the Safid River in the Elburz Mountains. North of the ancient city of Ray. South of the ancient city of Kabalah. (LeStrange: 1966..pg 227))...On the Caspian Sea where the Caucasus Mountains meet the sea, in the Shirvan province is the capital Ash-Shamakha, near the famous port of Darband. In the mountains near Darband was the ancient fortress of Kabalah, on a hill, near the current Soviet border. north of the port of Baku. Location of a great castle called Kal'ah Taj. The remains of a mighty castle (kal'ah), a 'mother of castles' situated on the great Tarum River that flowed from the mountains of Tarum in northern Persia. Like Samiran, its site remains unidentified. On its walls were lions of gold. The ancient fortress of Kabalah near Darband is more than once mentioned in the campaigns of Timur.
Le Strange, G...."The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate"...1966

The capital city of Zhang Zhung was called Khyunglung (Khyunglung Ngülkhar or Khyung-lung dngul-mkhar), the "Silver Palace of Garuda", southwest of Mount Kailash (Mount Ti-se)....Garuda - valley - silver - castle, "The Silver Castle of Garuda Valley"...30º 04. 0" N. lat. / 80º 32.2" E. long.......At one point the Zhang Zhung civilization consisted of 18 kingdoms in the west and northwest portion of Tibet. Tibetan accounts say that the Tibetan king and the king of Zhangzhung had married each other's sisters in a political alliance.

KARAKORAM....Uigur capital in Northern Mongolia until 840 AD. On the Orkhon River. (Chadwick: 1969..pg 8)

KAYSARIYAH....(39N..35E)...(Caesarea Mazaka, of Cappadocia).."The chief city east of the Karaman frontier. Mt Arjaish (Argaeus, Erciyas Dagi)...is near Kaysariyah. A great town with a castle at the foot of the extremely high mountain, whose summit is always covered in snow. On the summit was a great church."

KHOTAN...(Li Yul)..(37N...80E)....near the Tarim River..."Khotan (kamsadesa, Li Yul) an ancient city-state in Central Asia, beyond the Karakorum Range. The city has been buried for centuries near the village known as Yotkan."...(Kongtrul: 1995..pg 153)

KILAT...(Qazvin)...(36N..49E)..."Another castle (kal'ah) of this district was Kilat,in the Tarum Mountains between Kazvin and Khalkhal (49E...38N).... It occupied the summit of a mountain. This castle belonged to the chief, but like Samiran its site remains unidentified." (Le Strange: 1966..pg 227)...

KUBIA......"Umai's village of Kubia is in the Altaic Mountains near Shuranak. Nearest city is Biisk which is near Novosibirsk." (Kharatidi; 1996)....."Denisova's cave, one of the best known archaelogical sites in Altai traces human life in the region to 300,000 BC...(Kharatidi: 1996)...

LAMPAKA...(33N..70E)..."On the Kabul River above Jalalabad. Location of an Ashoka Stone with inscriptions. The frontier between the Greeks and Candragupta along the Kunar River." (ActaIranica: 1977)...

MERV...(38N..61E)...(Gyaur-Kala)..."Manichaean center on the Amu Darya (Oxus). Also in Balkh and Zamm (Zamb)." (Litvinsky: 1992..pg 417)...

MULTAN...(72E...30N)...'the famous city of Multan was a gateway to India for Iranian cultural influences. The extreme climatic conditions prevailing there would have made the worship of the Sun God especially appropiate. An annual festival called Sambapurayatra was celebrated by the people of Multan. Multan was also called: Kasypapura, then Hamsapura, then Bhagapura, then Sambapura, then Mulasthana ('original place'). At the site of Multan/Mitravana there was a sun sanctuary as early as the 6th century BC, which might have come under the control of the Persian Magi w/ the conquest of the Indus Valley in 518 BC by the Persian King Darius." (Humbach: 1978..pg 236)...

PARSOGARD..........(54E-30N) Photo of ruins in Frye: 1963....was one of the capitals of the Persian Empire: Pasargadae (Greek) or Parsogard (Persian)...Bar-po-so-brgyad (Tibetan). In 550 BC this city became the capital of the 1st two Persian emperors." (Kuznetsov: 1970..pg 565)...."Contained the tomb of the great Persian King Cyrus. The tomb was on a Swastika Hill (representing the sun). Nine stories tall. Crystal columns. Four sacred gardens: Lotus, Wheel, Yungdrung, and Precious." (Kuznetsov: 1970..pg 570)..."born in a palace south of Mount Yungdrung Gutseg in 1857 B.C." (Wangyal: 1993..pg 29)..."Shen rab was born in Sam bha la (sTag gzigs) in the west in the town called Yans pa can, in the dwelling place of the 33 Gods, the palace called Barpo so brgyad". (Kvaerne: 1971..pg 220)..."Pasargadae is a holy place for the followers of the ancient traditions of Iran." (Kuznetsov: 1970..pg 568)..."Into Phar-po-so-brgyad, the castle of happiness and blessing. Phar: other side...pho: change...so: watches over...brgyad: overcomes faults..." (Francke: 1950..pg 166 & 183))..."Shenrab Miwo was born in the Barpo Sogye Palace to the south of Mount Yungdrung." (Wangyal)..."To the south of Mount gYung drung dgu brtsegs is the palace Bar-po so-brgyad, the birthplace of Shenrab." (Karmay: 1975..pg 173)..."30 km NE of Persepolis. Has a large irrigated lotus garden with a citadel (castle, kal'ah) in the center 1,900 meters high." (Wiesehofer: 1996)

SAMARKAND...(39N..66E)...Alexander stayed in Samarkand (then known as Marakanda) because it was so beautiful....As a prehistoric settlement was known as Afrosiab...Ancient Greek name was Maracanda...destroyed by Mongols in 1219 AD...

"The largest cities in the Bronze Age ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age with some 30,000 inhabitants was the largest city of the time by far. Ur in the Middle Bronze Age is estimated to have had some 65,000 inhabitants; Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had a population of some 50–60,000, while Niniveh had some 20–30,000, reaching 100,000 only in the Iron Age (ca. 700 BC)."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_the_Ancient_Near_East

"Chaghaniyan (Persian: چغانیان‎ Chaghāniyān) was a small principality located on the right bank of the Oxus River, to the south of Samarkand.....In the late 7th and 8th centuries it was ruled by a local magnate, called in Persian sources the Chaghān-khudā. These rulers were most likely of Iranian stock. Eventually the principality fell into the hands of the Al Muhtaj, who were vassals of the Samanids in the 10th century and of the Ghaznavids in the early 11th. When the Muhtaj disappeared, the history of the principality came to an end.".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaghaniyan

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2014

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