Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ancient Balkh, Bactra, Shamis en Balkh, Umm Al-Belaad, ... Photographs


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Originally inhabited by Indo-Iranian tribes between 2,000-1,500 BC, Balkh (also known as Umm Al-Belaad...The Mother of Cities)...Outside of the walled city enclosure, buildings of the Buddhist period seem to have proved more durable than those of the Islamic era, with the remains of Tahkti-Rustam, the ruins of a Buddhist monastery of Nau Bahar and the associated stupa of Tepe Rustam, of which an earth-brick base of some 40 metres in diameter survives. To the north-east lie traces of extensive gardens, in which there was a large caravanserai.

From Google Earth, this is the ruins of the outer walls of the ancient city of Shamis en Balkh..... Balkh (Bactra, 67E..36N)

Accounts of visitors in the 7th century AD indicate the existence of a significant number of Buddhist monasteries, stupas and other monuments in the city. Subsequent accounts from the 10th century AD indicate that the city was ringed with earthen walls, with six gates, within which was a fine citadel and a mosque.

Currently 46 miles south of the Amu Darya (Oxus) river whose course ran close to the city in antiquity. The foundation of the city of Paktra, later known as Bactria is ascribed to Kaiomars, and at an early date it was said to have rivaled urban centres such as Babylon.

House of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi in Balkh city of Afghanistan.Mawlana, one of the greatest mystic poets of Islam, was born in Balkh, Mazar-i Sharif (present-day Afghanistan) in 1207.


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013


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