Indus-Helmand Civilization

The Dawn of our History


By: Seddiq Rahpoe Tarzi


As far as it is clear, from the early childhood, particularly when we found the ability to put hear on the lectures of of the history teachers and  listen to them, like a tradition of Call of Prayer they sang down to us that our history had began by the time of Aryans.

Later, before and after World War II, with the political climate polluted in our country with  the presence of  thoughts and ideology of Superior Race of Aryan people, another opportunity for scientific and objective look at the past gone with wind. Next, slowly it turned to an unlawful  issue, and Taboo and forbidden issue.

Until now, despite many of emerging the truth and facts in this regard, some of us - including intellectuals - sticked to. Some of them surfing on wind of racial supremacy in land of beautiful mosaic of ethnic groups yet.

On this regard, it should be paid attention to this issue to clear  right from the wrong.

I believe, if you review the past and bound in the context of our current political geography of the land we'll look just to the past century and and it is not possible to explore far distance.

It is all clear that England and Russia at the end of 19th  century had been changed as such global superpower that in the first one the sun was not going down ever and the second realm was so widespread that Sun raising for its east border in Asia and coming down to the sun set of  Europe land.

These two imperial countries, spelled the final word on the fate of others and even pulling the wall at their homes up and down. These two supper power made decision to cut the widespread ethnic rug which had been woven by event-filled history of ups and downs here, in the frame of their imperial schema and model. Thus they made a land like as rugged and patch up quilt of a Dervish- from view points of ethnic groups- and put as a mantel on the shoulder of her leader here. Thus they made true the  dreams of  an Amir who wanted to have a wall around his house.

Thus, the country was created from the perspective of political boundaries as a land of  ethnic minorities.

So, I believe, that this could be to see our far distance and past, first of all, not be captive to these political boundaries, because it was reduce the spread in the different times and the second should be more cultural presence is remarkable, because this phenomenon does not recognize the current borders and spreading so far.

As it is clear that civilization and urbanization had been shaped by the banks of rivers for they provide the basic of life. Egyptian civilization is not unreasonable to read Neil gift, civilization of  China emerged in the bank of Yellow river and Sumer between two rivers of the Tigris and the Euphrates, which we call it the civilizations between the two rivers or Mesopotamia, as it is known.

In our case, we should speak of  land between three rivers about. In one corner of these three lines, Sind, Absyeen or Indus other Amo, Jahihun or Oxus and third Seer, Jaxartes or Sayhun is located. Of course, as it is clear, the presence of cultural achievement can not be confined to two sides of these rivers. The speed running horse of culture,  can swim these waters and the sound of its  neighing  be heard over wide distance.

If we simply sit review on this framework, before it going under the quadruped of Aryan people who were nomadic and aggressive, we are eyewitness that a brilliant civilization has existed among these rivers.

Others look at us with full knowledge

Our out look on the history until two centuries ago, from the opening and victory  of our homeland by Arabs, was not going far back. Our history was starting with from Adam the myth which did not have any place in our own mythological framework.

Those species that have a public awareness on land and areas of our civilization based on the review and exploration of European scholars, is based. These findings have touched on the half of 19th century and were available.

They with the deep look, knowledge and search in all corners  and angles, sometimes in line to explore and study, here found their way in the past to understand the world background. Thus this ares came under  their study and  examination too.

This section of land very long ago was considered as the Gate of India. India was circled by ocean's water or mountains stretched over high Himalaya the highest point of the world. Considering this situation, this strip of land was the only passage to. So the North West region of India was a cross road to Central Asia and Iran and far away.

Professor  Asko Parpola, who in reading and reviewing of this particular civilization has deep knowledge, and on surviving works of Indus inscriptions is an expert believes, “Unity and convergence on both sides of the mountains Hindu Kosh opened the way for extensive cultural exchange on both sides.”

We had seen in many old works a lot of signs about. In the old and ancient Persian language word of Hindus in Sanskrit word of  Sindhu as river has applied as general and specific names. Then this word  entered ancient Greek language and became the Indi.

In Rg Veda we can find different species of these hills, and hill ridges or Arma. It mentioned,  “Scattered foreign residents who have went to other lands.”

According to Strabo the famous Greek historian, when Alexander the great had sent Ariustoboulos for more discovery in 326 BC., he noticed of,  “The land where more than ten thousand cities had existed. When the river of Indus has changed its course, it has become the ruins.”

After two thousand years

It seems that hibernate here fallen over here continued for  more than two thousand years. Thus everything covered under the tent of oblivion.

I was touched at the beginning of the 19th century when Englishmen  with research vision,  set foot on the travel and  came to this place. They wrote  several travel memories  with the most detailed account yet written. Among these, A. Burnes, a young Scotch officer has a special place. During his stay in Lahore, he made a journey to the city  of Harappa which laid in the dry bed of  Ravi (a tributary of Indus river) was called.

However, it is necessary to note that out look with  knowledge and science began over by Sir William Jones who laid down the  foundation stone of Asian Association in 1784. After his return from review, he recommend the study of Indian ancient literature, especially Sanskrit language. His effort to this line concentrated on comparison of Indo-European language.

But, it was  James Prinsep (1709-1840) who was the  president of coins printer in Calcutta,  tried to review the coins of  India and Greece. His reading and decoding the language of classical texts in the  decrees of Ashoka the Great, opened the way very successfully.

General Alexander Cunningham (1814-93) young assistant of Prinsep taken his way toward the review of ancient ruins opened the gate of study. He  after retirement, put all his effort to this work. At the end of the day he became president of Archaeology of India's Office.

He, after 1853 explored the Harappa very comprehensively. In 1875 he wrote his review. In this, along of map, he explains about a stamp with signs  of a new inscription. This kind of lines and writings which was discovered had not similarities before. Document that he achieved was amazing for him. He was thinking on the line of noted Chinese pilgrims travel memories, especially Hsüang Tsang of seventh century about the Buddhist Temple in this part. He thought  that the  documents belonged to the city which was mentioned.

Next, Sir John Marshall, encouraged Dai Ram Sahani, Indian archaeologists, to search on  Harappa deeply. He in an article in 1924 which was published in the journal "Illustrated London News" unveiled  a civilization which long had been forgotten.

This, surprisingly moving  the world of archeology. These finding put two major effects on the vision of scientists:

-First on the historical timeline, completely a new civilization has been discovered.

-Second, it showed that this civilization has existed before the invasion of so called Aryan  and composing of Veda  and its sister Avesta religion hymn.

This document in the course of reviews  showed that civilization which was discovered, belonged to very far distant past between three thousand and six hundred to one thousand nine hundred BC, while the oldest document of the hymns of  Veda and even its younger sister, Avesta, were not belonged more than seven hundred to one thousand five hundred BC.

This is worth to be noted that indigenous civilization of Indus in the document of Sumerian had been recorded as  Meh-luh-ha. According to, Parpola who in the way of decoding the written inscription  of Indus civilization and has done detailed exploration, found this term in  Dravidian language in the form of Met-acam which means" land of the high Mountain”. He still believes that the Sanskrit word Melcaca which meaning strangers, wild, lowbrow and non-Aryan indicate the   residents of Indus.

This Outlook

Since this article is about civilization  of Indus valley and opens the door for the next review, I will quotes some of its important parts.

Marshall, writes about as:

“Not often has it been given to archeologists, as it was given to Schliemann at Tiryns and Mycenae, or Stein in the deserts of Turkestan, to light upon the remains of a long -forgotten civilization. It looks, however, at this moment, as if we were on the threshold of such a discovery in the plains of Indus.

“Up to present our knowledge of Indian antiquities carried out back hardly further than the third century BC. Of the long ages before the coming of the Greeks and the rise of Maurya dynasty, of the birth and growth of of civilization in the great river basin , of the cultural developments of races who once after another  poured into peninsula from the north and west - of these and other problems  relating to that dim and remote past, archeology has given to us but the faintest glimmerings, for almost the only remains of those early times that have come down to us have been rough implements of the Stone and Copper Ages, groups of the prehistoric graves in the south of peninsula, and some rude cyclopean walls at Rajagriha in Bihar. On the other hand, from the third century BC onward, we have, on the whole, a fairly clear idea of man's hand work in general: of his religious and domestic architecture, of his formative arts, of his weapons and utensils, of his personal ornaments and his jewelry, of his coins and germs, and the scripts which he used in his writing. And whenever it happens that new antiquities come to light- no matter to what race or religion they may belong- it is invariably possible to assign them with confidence and within relatively narrow limits to their respective age or class.

“ Now, however, there has unexpectedly been unearthed, in the south of Panjab and Sind, an entirely new class of  objects which have nothing in common with those previously known to us, and which are unaccompanied by any data that might have helped to establish their age and origin.

“ The two sites where these somewhat startling remains have been discovered are some 400 miles apart - the one being in Harappa in Montgomery district of Panjab, the other at Mohenjo -daro, in the Larkana district of Sind. At both these places there  is a vast expanse of artificial mounds, evidently covering the remains of once flourishing cities, which, to judge from the mass of accumulated debris rising ad high as 60 ft above the level of the plain, must have been in existence for many hundred of years. Such groups of mounds abound in the plains of Indus, just as they do in Mesopotamia and the valley of the Nile, and they are specially conspicuous along the banks of the old, dried-up beds of main stream and its tributaries, not only in Sind, but in Bahawalpur State and in  Panjab.”

He after shedding more light about the richness of this part hope for new discoveries in the future.

He with  a strong strange look noted as:

“At Mohenjo-daro, the main street of the old city can still be discerned as a broad highway running from the south bank of the river towards the south-east, with houses fringing it on either side. What is  surmised by the discoverer, Mr. Banerji, to have been the royal palace, stood at the point where this road emerged on to the quays of the riverside. Opposite to it, in the now dry bed of river, are several islands from which rose the principle shrines of the city, the highest and, no doubt, the chief of them all, being a massive Buddhist stupa raised on the high above oblong platform, and surrounded by subsidiary shrines and monastic quarters.”

He then consider the deeper part of this area very valuable and says:

“Deep down below the Buddhist monuments described above, or at the other parts of the sites appearing close to the surface itself, there are at least two other strata of building belong to mush earlier epochs, and containing a variety of brick structures...Among these older structures one group is especially worthy of mention. Besides various halls and passages and chambers, it includes a massive structure -apparently a shrine- with walls seven or eight ft thick, pierced by several conduits which, in the opinion of excavator, served for carrying off lustral water when the shrine or image within it was washed. In other part if same group is what appears to be an alter built of small glazed bricks, and provided with a drain of similar brickwork.”

He during his talk about the age and levels says:

“At Harappa Mr. Daya Ram Sahani's excavations disclosed as many as seven or eight successive levels, demonstrating the long and continuing occupation of site during many hundred of years prior to the third century BC, and throughout most, if not all, of this long period, burnt brick of good quality was used for building purposes.”

He then describe about Stone Seals as:

“Of all these antiquities the most valuable are the stone seals, not only because they are inscribed with legends in an unknown pictographic scripts, but because the figures engraved on them, and the style of the engraving, are different from anything of the kind hitherto met with in Indian art.”

As he mentioned,

“ The animals engraved on them are in some instance bulls, in other unicorn, but it is to be  observed that neither the Indian humped bull nor the water-buffalo occurs among them.”

On the matter of scripts in this civilization he noted down as:  

“As to the strange pictographs which do duty for letters, three points are worth to remarks: First, that the marks (apparently vowel signs) attached to many of the pictograph indicate a relatively high stage of envelopment, secondly, that some of inscriptions from Mohenjo-daro betray a later stage in the evolution of this script than those from Harappa,thirdly, that they bear no resemblance whatever to nay ancient Indian alphabet known to us, but, on the other hand, they do bear a certain general affinity to pictograph of the Mycenaean age in Mediterranean area, though it is not possible to point any of the symbols as being actually identical.”

Marshall knew very well that people are very eager to know about the age and people of Indus civilization. He remarks about as:

“To what age and to what people do these novel antiquities belongs? Those are two questions which all naturally occur to reader, and to which score of different answers may perhaps suggest themselves. As  to the first question, all that can be said at the present is that the period during which this culture flourished in the the Indus valley must have extended over many centuries, and that it came to a end before the rise  of the Maurya power in the third century BC...the pictographic writing is totally distinct from the early Brahmi script which Emperor Asoka employed throughout the greater part of India, or from the Kharoshthi script which he used in his inscription on the north-wet Frontier.”

“ As to the second question, it is possible, though unlikely, that this civilization of the Indus valley was intrusive civilization emanating from further west. Painted pottery and other objects somewhat analogous to those from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa have been found in Baluchistan, and there are linguistic reasons for believing that it was by way of Baluchistan that the Dravidian races (thought by some writers to have been originally connected with Mediterranean) entered india. Mr. Benerji himself is inclined  to connect this culture to the Indus valley directly with the Aegean culture of the  Eastern Mediterranean , and holds that distinct affinities are traceable between Minoan (Its relating to, or denoting a Bronze Age civilization centered on Crete  c. 3000 –1050 BC, its people, or its language. Tarzi) antiquities of the Crete and those unearthed by him in Mohenjo-daro-especially in regard to the painted ceramic wares and pictographic inscriptions. But the resemblance referred at are, at the best, problematical, and, in case too slight the intangible to warrant any reference being drawn as to a  cultural connection between the two areas.

“What seems prima facie more probable is this forgotten civilization, which the excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have now given us first glimpse, was developed in in the Indus valley itself. And just as distinctive of that region and the civilization of Pharaohs was distinctive of Nile. In the marvelous forward progress which mankind made during the Neolithic, Cooper and Bronze Ages, the great rivers tracts of the then inhabited parts of world played a most important part, for it was, in these tracts that the condition were found most favorable from supporting a dense and settled population-namely, fertility of soil, an unfailing water supply, and easy communications, and it was of course, among such large and settled populations that civilization had the best chance of making progress. The debt which, in the early stages of its development, the human race owed to Nile, to the Danube, to the Tigris, and to the Euphrates, is already well known. But how much owed to the Indus and Ganges has yet to be determined. In the case of the Indus, It is probably true that successive migration from outside had useful effect, as they did in Mesopotamia and Egypt, in promoting the development of indigenous culture, but there is no reason to assume that the culture of this region was imported from other lands, or that its character was profoundly modified by ousted influences.” 

Published by S. H. Mrashall as, “First light on long-forgotten civilization” of  Illustrated London News, 20 September 1924. Pp. 524 to 32 and 548.

I have taken it from "Aryan Debate " edited by Thomas R. Trautmann”. Pp.15- 21.Oxford University Press, new Delhi, second impression  2006.

New Documents

The ink of  Sir John Hubert Marshall article in IL was not dry yet, then just two weeks later, article of J.G. Gadd and  Sidney Smith on the  link between Babylonian and Indian civilizations, was published in the same journal. According to their arguments, these signs in the seals of Indus valley, has close link with civilization of Sumerians surely. Their arguments based on the foundation of new findings. They showed the  close relationship between the people of Indus civilization  and Sumer between 3000 to 2800 BC. As these facts show,  such a relationship has existed before the invasion Aryan Tribes in 1500 BC.

Non-native or native?

The discovery of this civilization, brought up controversial discussions among scholars and scientists. At the end of the day they had reached this conclusion that Indus civilization first of all is a native one and  Second, the next one which we call it Vedic Brahmanism is the continuation of the same civilization, and not had been entered from the outside.

According to  A. Lich, the world of knowledge shocked strongly in this sector. It's therefore assume that the former  Daisies (Native people) who were called in Rg Veda as savages and  without culture, suddenly had been entirely changed to makers of a glorious civilization. We can see this point in other sectors of Rg Veda very clearly.

 Different Growth stages of this civilization

Results from  past research till recent times  display the clear fact that this civilization covered a range of one million square kilometers. This extends form Shortugai (According to archeologist its one of the Indus valley civilization trading colony. It was  established about 2000 B.C. on  the Oxus the river near the lapis mines in north. According to belief of  Sergent, “Not one of the standard characteristics of the Harappan cultural complex is missing from it” in the  north of the bank of Amo river in the old Bakhter, to the  South on the bank of  Gang river. In the East, river of Kabul, Jelum, Gomel and Sultij and Ravi who all called Panj Ab or Five Rivers. This civilization was irrigated with the  water of Himalayan mountains. Cities in the West  as Mundigak in Helmand, Shahr e Sukhta or Burnt City in Sistan are within this circle.

However, cultural influence  of Indus civilization are not confined in this area. We can find  its impact in the Elamite and Sumer, in between the two water,  or Mesopotamia.

 In this limited space I do not want to go in detail about.

New findings in this section can clearly tell us that civilization Indus-Helmand has passed from the path of slowly growing local culture. The  explores showed the  fact that on same time  external relation from Central Asia to the Middle East  widely exists too.

Archaeologists and scientists have believed that this civilization has passed form three  periods: First, Middle and End.

Cities in this Civilization

As it the archaeological excavations shows  there have been cities in the valley. Recent discovery in this context is the city of Davarkar which is under water. Interesting and surprising is that  the foundation of this city had been laid down according to plans and programs. First road stretch, then the sewer was made and then building of the  houses was done. In the end, where people  began to come in the new houses.

The roads were severely straight and parallel with, and where both were linked, was just ninety degrees. The roads, even compared with modern roads have been wider. Along roads, so careful the gutters have drawn that  a drop of water was not displaced or barred. The house were two stories and have made very similarly. Every house had an yard, steps for climbing to the second floor, small bathrooms and water wells. The houses built of baked bricks and amazing that no gate and  windows was opening on public roads. Entering the homes through side streets have been done. Roads covered by the baked brick and had resistance for passing heavy carts and horses.

Another interesting point of these homes are their  greatness. There is a belief that more than  three or four families were living there.

L. Karlovesky is surprised of the presence of social and cultural harmony of this civilization. He thinks that it caused for social structure in which blood relations had been extremely strong. He believes that competition in a class society, opens the way of the presence of different mode of productions, while in the society with balance social relations, as it can be seen here, there was a  harmony relating to social relations. This fact guarantees the stability in a community where the central government is not in power or a group of leadership nonexistence.

When compare buildings of this city with civilization of Sumer and Egypt we can find very wonderful thing. In these two civilizations, homes and buildings has been expand around the  Temple or house of Gods. This means that the first of all the Temple was built and then, without a plan, the city was extended in the four sides. In the civilizations of Sumer and Egypt homes  of  ordinary people, with worship places and office clutter are formed in a chaotic condition, while in the Indus civilization the three parts were separated.

Worship in this Civilization

Until now we have  obtained altar of fire or stove which belong to Temple of Prayer in public and private.  Besides them, the remaining bath and the pieces of  animal bones which  represent the victims are foreleg, were found. The statues and clay figures of women that may be the figurines  of Goddess has been discovered. In large part these seals, we can see the the drawn of  Unicorn. The availability of this figure in the Indus civilization, symbolizing the power of authorities. Next to a Unicorn, we can see the signs of self burning as scarifies. There engraved the    faces as the other animals: tiger, camel and so and so.

Meanwhile, there is a seal which A. W. A. W. Fairservis called it Anil and Marshall as the previous image of Shiva. It is very important discovery too. The archaeologists have called it king of Animal. This figure, drawn with the right stretched body and with a move as Yoga. He is seated on his knee and his head covered with horned hat. It is surrounded by animals and there are written sings on the top.

The presence  of such symbols in the Indus civilization brought a  hot debate among archaeologists and other scholars in this case whether the people had worshiped any single entity or multi.

Some scientists believe that even the Temple had two objectives: one for keeping the fire. For at that time the flaming a fire was very difficult and rekindle and keeping it was worst. The second is that the task of keeping fire had been then slowly changed to worship it.

Inscription in civilization

The big problem in the Indus civilization is her writing. As far as we know there are (64) seals which  related to this civilization, along with four thousand pieces. On them there are signs of unknown inscription. Despite all efforts for reading it as such as using new technical methods, not yielded yet. When you break this spell, many of the questions that so far have not answered, will be given. Many scientists have until now has not even agree that this line is  Syllabic-Sings or Logo-Syllabic one?

New findings especially research work Prof. Asko Parpola at the end shows that this is Logo-Syllabic. Breaking of this puzzle would be possible if it have an example with a known inscription. But Prof. Parpola does not  believe that hope and above all their efforts in this direction lost.

Thus the forgotten civilization that Marshall was presented, came out from minds that wanted to forget the past or who tried for consolidation of racial superiority of Aryan race. This fact, kindled the passionate hot debate which continues to the present.

Thus in this respect as Jalaloddin from Balkh says, “Every body form his/her guess, became my friend-but not tried to find my secrets form my inner.”

Languages here

As far as research and surveys in this civilization show, inscriptions has  enjoy from an unity  form. However, this does not mean that all people were speaking in one language for chatting. This rule out that the other can also be seen. However, the fundamental question is that this language belongs to which language family ?

From the beginning, Marshall had linked the issue with the language Dravidian. The reason that this language has close connection with  Brahui language which now more than 2m people speaking in part of Afghanistan and Baluchestan too. Language property of Brahui is that  this language group does not belong to Indian-European one and its other branches such as: Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindi,  ancient, middle and new Persian, Avesta, Kurdish, Belluchi, Urrmory , Pashtu, Kaferi, Pamir different language and so.

However, some scholars believe that language Brahui is under such impact of Baluch language that it make problem for accepting this theory easily. However the reviews  and profound research of Prof. Parpola who has done it with care and precision which is unparalleled is considerable. He writes about it as,”It seems likely that this language is branch of the Dravidian one...”

Some of linguists, among them  Dr. Tareq Rahman forwarding the hypotheses of transfer and entry to it According to this view, first language or earlier one, transfer or enter on the  second or subsequent language, or the incorporation of transition can be seen. To these topics we can find the words of Dravidian language in to  Indo-European, who arrived long after. This phonemes is  due to transfer and incorporation one.

For shedding more light about bringing one or two examples is sufficient.:

The words of  Phalam or Fruit, Mukham or Mouth and Khala or Threshold belong to family language of  Dravidian but being used in Rg Veda too. It shows the penetration of Dravidian language to Indo-European one in Rg Veda.

This makes it extremely clear that those who for a long time tried to show that they are the  original  resident  of this land as we have a good saying about “...are going to Turkestan instead of Mecca”  or taken a wrong path. The ancient and linguistics documents show that those people lived here long long, who speak  a language before Indo-European people coming here. Thus the people of Indo-European language with all its branches, are newcomers to this era.

Knowledge of data shows that people who spoke language of Brahui which is a branch of Dravidian, is the oldest ethnic group of this land.

About the people who are talking in Mongolian -Altai language need a separate research. I use this narrow place to say a few words:

 In the second half-century AD people of North East of Asia attacked on Sassanid Empire. These were people who spoke with Altai language and came out form Mongolian land. They ended the  domination of Sassanid Empire in high land of  Central Asia.

Their language family name is Altai. As you knew Altay mountains are located in Central Asia along the border of Serbia-China. The group can be divided in three major groups Turkish,  Mongolian and Makhu-Tonguz. Some of forwards this idea that Korean and Japan languages included in this section too. Willem Vogelsang  believes, the first group this aggressors called Younan or Hunan. They entered at half century AD into the North of Afghanistan. Then were placed by Hephtalites.

We must look at ourself to this bright mirror. If it shows our real face, not break it !!

The collapse of civilization

As it is clear, after reaching  of civilization to its peak, the way in the collapse began.

This hypothesis is based on two theories: one, which due to natural changes, especially changes of rivers courses.

Second, that the nomads people of Aryan, after the invasion of this land, during the opening and occupation of these cities they were turned them into ruins. Attention to this matter is fixed on the text of Rg Veda. The verse in Rg Veda referring to the numerous ruins and conquering the cites. This is a clear example:

Indra with the help Abhyavartin Cayamana

Root out the Varasikha.

He, in  Hariyupiyah made a big blow on vanguard of Vrcivans.

And behind the trench forces, escaped form fear.

Rg Veda (Part VI. Verse 27 section 5.)

Referring to the  Hariyupiyah is a referring finger on Harappa.

M.J. Kenoyer, believes that in Harappa so far in any part of it we can not see the signs of such war. But, to look at the many bloody and destructive wars in history, can it be believed that the war is occurring outside the city. If the enemy is defeated, what need for destroying of the  city is?

Our Historians and this Civilization

Among our so called historians and chronologist-not history writers- in twentieth century, we can name as: Mr. Ahmed Ali  Kohzad, Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar, Abdol Haiii Habibi, Mohammad Hasan Kakar and  Mohammad Seddiq Farhang.

It ought to say that before that time the from Baihaqi 10th  century to Kateb of early  20th century  must  analyze and explore in the  special article.

Their look of them to this period, is full of  surprises.

As it noted, Mr. Kohzad in the atmosphere before and after the Second World War which was filled with Arianism, especially racially superior of Aryan Race has wrote his book. The crystallization  of this influence can be seen in the poem of Five-some under the title of  Afghanistan which have been composed just in year (1942/1321).

In the first part of this poem which  the Cultural Foundation of Kohzad named it Kohzad the  Great patriotic feeling! (The exclamation mark is me).

We read a roughly its translation in English as:

Oh the country Afghanistan!

Oh the  ancient land!

Glorious cradle of Arian

Forever your name be immortal.

Forever your name be immortal.

(underline is mine)

the  very interesting point in this poem if it can survive the situation and had been changed as state and national anthem! What would be the result of it in a nation with a lot of ethnic groups,   which we call it the beautiful mosaic of different ethnics. In this poem we can find just the name of   Aryan which is a mythological one  and Afghans which refer to just one ethic group of this multi ethnical land.

He is familiar with Marshall article about the  Indus valley civilization  and it is important place in our history. But, in his history book called Afghanistan's History marginalized it widely.

He then using the article of Marshall but, without mentioning the source and date, puts the Indus civilization to the East in the framework of Ariana (Afghanistan, pp. 18). Next, it throws an short and general overview just in one page. What have been not mentioned in this one page is our position in this forgotten civilization.

Later, the large sections of the the book devoted to the dragon of Aryan.

Since then, gentlemen, Ghobar and Habibi the reporting the events. They have not write history in the form of historiography. To that date we have not reached to this high stage yet.

Both of them wrote their books  at the same time year (1967/1346) in the Kabul. First under the title of  Afghanistan in the Course of History and the second Short History of Afghanistan.

Authorities confiscated the book of  Ghobar in early stage from the printing house. Thereafter, except for a few versions, until the military coup of Saur or Taurus (1357/1978) was kept faraway from public eyes.

By this act, authorities made a martyr of this one. Thus the halo of sanctity  was put over it. I believe that if  this book were not confiscated and was put to  critical analyzes and review, such a position would not been available to.

Thus, political authoritarian systems, put axes to cut and destroy their own roots . I pressing the idea that this work is a big cry of distress  against the  great tyranny and great despotism. It is clear that as much as anger is louder and stronger, equally unable to see a more realistic and makes thin from thick.

Going back to the problem

Now, the burning and hot period of  Aryan's supper race ideology which was dominated  earlier, had turned to cold. The big strives of rulers especially its younger generation, in line with the belief that the Hitler of capturing subcontinent of India, will bring true their great dream of conquering the new land was melt down.

Ghobar in his history book in the part of Distant Past dose not debate about Indus civilization while at that time new data and knowledge by archaeologists in hid country itself, was published. He himself noting about Louis Dupree archeological research. He refers just to Mundigak and call it, “...highway intersection between Indus and Iran” (Ghobar, 1967. Pp 34).

According to his belief, our history, starting from Avistad (He first used this spell) and then mentioned it Avista not correct one as Avesta.

In this work, Ghobar, only in the part of names, used the Ariana word and says that it drives the most ancient name of the country knows. He then, more speak up more about Avesta and the less on Ariana. He then and on the  language of Avesta writes “.. .Avista (He used this kind of spell) calls this land Ariana ,, (Ghobar .1967 Pp.37).

 Habibi, In the first part, under the title of Period of  Prehistoric Afghanistan (Habibi Third edition 1377 / 1998) concentrated himself on extensive period Copper.

 Thus Habibi mixes two historical juncture of Stone with the term of Metal periods.

Then  without noting to  archaeological exploration in the area of this section, talking about Indus civilization and make different periods as the scrambled blends. He mentions of Mundigak and  Deh Morasi Ghundai in Northwest of Kandahar. He recorded a lot of names without proper spells.

He  reminded us that in Mundigak more that fifteen layers has been discovered. While Shaffar, JG in his latest book, “Archaeology in Afghanistan: Since beginning to Timurids,” (1978) with regard to their findings and explorers, named of  Five layers which was discovered. But more interesting that do not touch to larger circle of this civilization which extended to the banks of  Amo river and the mountains of Pamir. He somewhat without its naming talks  of Indus and Amo without mentioning the new documents in this case.

He then detailed to the Aryans, especially section Rig Veda and then Avesta and does speak without even referring to different theories. He then call that as, “it was born in Bokhdi or Balkh of Afghanistan.” Then he says that founder of this land is Zardhashhh not Zartasht, Zoroaster or Zarathustra.

The interesting point is that after this part, our two historians had been divide on two direction. A part of them concentrated to Rig Veda and the next group to Avesta.

As we knew scholars believe, these two languages are so close together that with a simple act we  can turn each to another one.  Bird, the famous textualist, after deep review, has been noted that eighty-five percent of the  words in these two languages, have shared together (N. Bird. 1982) and it can be translated very  simply. The only difference is their dialect. So we can not call them two languages.

To my belief, they are going on the lines of  ethnic and  language differences, and with a trend to look to the East as India and to the West as Persia. More interesting that our so called intellectuals! Even yet following the suit without considering it with critical viewpoints.

Then Farhang in his book under the title of, Afghanistan at the  five Recent Centuries (Farhang 1988), Joins in this category. He in the course of talk about Historical period in Afghanistan, rejects historical division of European as First century, middle, and new and contemporary and without putting new arguments. This should be considered  that there is not such divisions among historians of Europe. This division is more political and social one. On the way of analyzing the  historical events, culture and civilization, the people are in the center of heir attention. They look from the beginning of  an events and goes to end.

According to him the History of his country began form Zardhasht.

He, for the searching the historic past in this period would follow, without referring to the archaeologists and other scientists results, survivors of Zardhasht.

He ends this course, without mentioning Avesta and Veda. He puts the blame on the lack of access to materials, on the campaign, Cyrus the  King of Mede of ancient Media.(It is worth to mention that Cyrus was not the king of Mede. Mede were a member of  people who inhabited ancient Media, establishing an extensive empire during the 7th century BC. Later it was conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia in 550 BC.He mixed the Media to Persia). He, only once mentions of the Aryan tribes and not more. He does not talk about the  civilizations between Oxus and Indus or valley of Indus because they are in West and South part of the country. Then much part of his attention is absorbed on Khorasan subject.

Amazing things in these works of historical writings which shaped the mind of our intellectuals during the twentieth century, is that we can not find bibliography not the source or origins, and most important is Indexing.

Fundamental principle is that a serious writer, especially at the end of his work should recorded two above mentioned things.

The same effect Kohzad, in his book neither at the end of the chapter nor at the end of  it, has  mentioned the sources. Only at the book's end we can see an index or  list names, ethnicities and tribes.  later  the list of places can be seen  separately. While it should be mentioned in one section to let the reader not experience confuse and wandering. I think that then it had been added in new print by Kohzad Cultural Foundation.

Concerning the  Ghobar book, at the end of it there is some kind of reference of books. Different style and size of letters shows that it added to it later too. It is interesting that in the second volume of this work which was published in Virginia of USA on June1999 by his son Hashmat Khalil Ghobar we, can not find  index and bibliography!

In Habibi's book, until the third sector which is Islamic independent period in the ninth century, the sources which were used did not mentioning. Then under the heading of references there  is some title of books, like Hodulalam is mentioned. But, without be reminded that to which author belongs to, when and where it was  published and which one has been used. There is no index at the end of the book.

In the book of Farhang, at the end of each chapter there is bibliography of related chapter. However, there is no any index in the end.

Bright lights of archaeological knowledge

I believe that what scattered mentality has brought us with historical events, and shaped our present course, is the vacuum of a critical points of view to so called historical books. Our view points about critical approach is very  simple and primitive as : We reject or accept an phenomenon. We can not see the positive and negative points of a book and not divide it accordingly. The most out look about historical events stems from the line of local and ethnical angle not broad minded one. As according to L. Dupree famous Afghanistan experts, “It rest on the line of Tribal-Peasant social relation  outlook.”

 A Look at the culture of pre Indus-Helmand civilization.

 Around more than half a century, with the help of archaeologist, the dark curtains of negligence was removed form the civilization of Indus. As many believe that it is the oldest civilization in this region and even world.

Explore archaeologists and other considerations such as Stein and Majomdar showed that if a kind of civilization (urbanization) was not here before civilization of Indus exist here, but signs of culture development can be seen in the Indus valley, Baluchestan, Afghanistan and its historical boundaries. Of course, the archeological exploration are at the first and start period. However the discoveries which had been done so for in Baluchestan, Sistan and Afghanistan revealing the secrets of: Village of Mundigak, Namazgah, Shahr e Sukhta or Burnt City.

Village, the  maker of city

Fertile land of the Sind valley, bank of Amo  and Seer rivers  providing ground for  agricultural development in this area. These, as the backbone for a city or a civilization played the big rule for the development of cities.

As it is known in the third and second millennium BC cities in the valley of Nile, Tigris- Euphrates and Indus emerged. It should be noted that this was the presence of peasant villages   and peasant agriculture which paved the way for emerging the  cities and civilizations. Cultivation and agricultural production led to the formation and growth of religious and political layers. They managed the social and political affairs, and developed technical knowledge too. Thus the  rich soil of Mundigak and Deh Morasi Ghundai (Village of Morasi Hill) and the other village for providing the ground for the  growth of the Indus civilization.

The position of our villages in this civilization

The big framework of this culture extents form Pamir, Amo and Seer rivers in the north,The banks of Indus in southern and eastern cities, including Baluchestan and Iran in the east. Of course, this culture in this context does not remain tight and sour and the way will gone behind.

Archaeological exploration of Pre history Afghanistan of course delayed. As Louis Dupree mentioned due to the unwillingness of European and American scientists till the eve of the World War II .Then it was postponed to the  war's end.

Meanwhile Dupree the famous archaeologist and anthropologist believes some Afghan scholars as an example, Kohzad, regardless of archaeological knowledge, spread rumors in the press at that time about so called Lost Cities. (L. Dupree. 1979)

In this line, the fiftieth decades of the twentieth century we can see the  begin of serious work on the exploration of our ancient and pre history time.

Walter  Fierservise, the famous explorer for the first time  in 1950 payed deep attention to our prehistory. He then marked  Morasi and went to Sistan for more explorations.

However, serious archaeological exploration work on the civilization of The Indus valley and its relationship with our country as Vogelsang said started at the end of 1970s. In the juncture of  Amo and Kukchah rivers in Badakhshan a lot of sites about this civilization emerge. Archeological exploration in  Shortughai between the years 1977 to 1979, which continued only two years by the French explorers brought a lot results.

After that time in 70s of 20th century, the political upheavals started with military coups and then the civil war followed suite. In the length of  frothy years the different war brought destruction to Afghanistan and stopped the  ancient survey.

Vogelsang in his work called Afghans -it was out of print in 2002 and so warmly welcomed that its  second edition was printed on the same year- using the recent archeological data and findings called it Indus-Helmand  civilization.

Mundigak and Deh Morasi Ghundai (Hill of  Morasi Ghundai)

It should be be noted by surprise  that a famous archeologist such as L. Dupree with all his knowledge in this section, when he was recording the names of the places made mistakes. We take one as an example.  Deh Morasi Ghundai. When he registered the name, mixed general and specific  and made it a proper noun. When you look at this combination can be seen that the Deh means village and Ghundai in Pashto language mean Hill. But he turned it all to a proper name and made it the Deh Morasi Ghundai. In this case, numerous examples can be seen. Of course I believe beside careless of archaeologists of making these kind of big mistake, is due to lack of attention of their local helpers, in particular, archaeologists from the country.

L. Dupree, expressed his points about the important position of these sites in a such comments, “..It must be noted that these two places in Afghanistan had played important role in the establishment of the Indus valley civilization” (Afghanistan 1997). In this regard  Jean Marie Casal had started his research in  Mundigak 1961 and then L. Dupree  in year (1963), explored Deh Morasi Ghundai. Both clarified that the pre-history in this country, have a big place in its history. They believe that Mundigak had been developed form  an agricultural village, with signs of semi-static mode, semi-nomadic, with grain stores to  state capital of the Indus valley civilization slowly.

Sankalia, H.D.,the Indian scholar using the  search of Casal writs, “.. during his review and explore of this section he was able for finding five layers, each of which had several sub layers below. Among these layers, four periods for the detection of cultural development in the south of Afghanistan enjoy great importance.”

At the first round, the  interesting point is that the houses were rectangular shape. At first they were made of raw clay and then unbacked bricks  without molds and templates. Ovens are located in the middle of the rooms. In some rooms, there are furnaces for making ceramic containers. These findings, have an amazing similarities to village of Gol Mohammad in the Quota of Pakistan and Hessar in Iran.

In the second term, the most clear change is that ceramic utilities had been made  by wheels. Another change is that  the wells had dug in the living area. At the end of this period, the houses are larger and the rooms are not more rectangular. After this stage, deaths were buried inside the house or among the two houses. More later, we see that the common graves are among the four walls which was dedicated for the restroom, cleaning room and baths. It is very surprise that in these graves, we  do not see anything else including house utensil  except for a necklace or a stone mill for  making flour. Here in the upper part, holed bronze axes have been found. We do find a group of women faces with violin shape.

In the fifth layer the living house became very large and wide.  In the top section, signs of a castle and a large and pillared platform which stand on  stone-clay foundation, has been accessed.

Thus can be seen that Mundigak had got  bigger achievements. The Temple and other fortified buildings, including a fortress with a strong foundation, are on the top. Here, due to increasing population and material achievement, the signs of the of knowledge and technology growth can be seen. This, brought with the cultural development. Clear and obvious example of Helmand civilization is a white plaster statue of a man whose hair had been divided in two different parts. Another example the statute of a  Goddess whose eyes popped out of its sockets. She put a lot of  necklaces around her neck. These figures, are very similar to cultures of the Indus valley.

In the  next period we see that the trend of urbanization in Afghanistan and Sistan starts.

The interesting point is that the dates of archaeological obtained shows that Mundigak and the Shar e Shukhta had  technical superiority as arrows in the  of sharp stone, axes the brass. However, the presence of inscriptions in Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, as compared, put them in   lower level.

The period of growth and flourishing of Mundigak starts in 4th century BC. and continues to  the second century or during Iron Age. Thus Mundigak had been changes from an agricultural village to a city center and then fall down. In this regard, it should be noted that collapse has direct connection to  pressure and aggressions too. The burnt houses show this bitter fact.

The most interesting part of the findings, are ceramic containers. This brought  intense debate among archaeologists so far.

Deh Morasi Ghundai (Hill of Morasi Village)

In this archeological site, L. Dupree started a deep research and dig. This village situated at  fifteen km. South -West of Qalai e Sayed ( Fort of Sayed).  Sayed Fort has been used later. In this place, few explore had been done. The most important layer of this displacement belonged to second round. Dupree believe time vacuum is clear between the two sections. Here, the clay figures of women, copper pipe, seals, bones and horns of goats, and ceramic pots has been discovered. L. Dupree  believes, Deh Morasi Ghundai was a semi-nomadic village and was a transferring base. Here wheat and barley were grown and we have signs of taming of sheep and goats too” (Dupree, Afghanistan 1997).

Tapa e Qala e Sayed (Hill of Sayed Fort)

This site is located about sixty km. South East of Mundigak. From the perspective of this section and its discoveries, we can not compare it with Mundigak. For the first time Firsrevis was put a sign of archeological site on it in 1952. However the  archaeological exploration work on it was conducted two decades later .

This place also has different layers and periods too. From here they found unbaked bricks to higher grad of it. They got an oven which was used for backing bricks.

We have seen here the signs of pre-history through the years (2160-2110 BC.)

Thus, we forget our history due to not payed attention to this forgotten civilization, and wandering in the different cycles of history till now.

 G. Orwell in his work called (1984) reminded us as, “Who has not any relation to past,would not have any role in the future.”

I believe, the people who have not embraced their past, they would not find  today and tomorrow too..

Forty Years of  Crisis

As we knew the white coup of 1973 opened the death gate for next bloody coups. As we are witness form this death gate, the blood is running now too. It brought profound crisis in true fabric of our social and political lives.

Since the monster and devil of war is putting a bigger impact on the culture side of society,  the exploration work on archeology twas stopped.

Before, with work of exploring this ancient land which was called only the  highway  of different civilizations, had been changed to cradle and crossroad of different civilization. This juncture situated connect Indus, Amo, Seer, Tigris and Euphrates from one side and Ancient Rome, Egypt, India, China and Central Asia on the other hand.

Blending of diverse ethnic peoples who were makers and transferrers of culture had inspired the artists, writers, sculptors and jewelers to create immortal art things.

Nancy Dupree, the  wife of L. Dupree, who is loving this  country, especially its culture. She during all these years of storm and conflict, tried her best for the maintenance of cultural works in this country. She made and founded centers for this ideas in Kabul and Peshawar too. 

She believes that among (143) archeological sites only seventeen -and not very  comprehensive, have been explored.

Mr. Stein, the pioneer archaeologist who opened the door of Central Asia to the archaeological knowledge, about the  width and depth of ancient works of this country, is noted as, .. “The  review and search of  each ancient cave in this country, would took a whole life  an  archaeologist”

Archeological research which was in its peak in the sixties had come to end, with political changes of seventy. It came on stand still in 80s.

N. Dupree, believes that from beginning of the nineties  of 20th century which the presence and influence of central power ended, the robbers of ancient articles had found  golden opportunity for looting them. Only in Mirzakai which located in Gardiz southeast of Kabul, the amount of four and a half tons of coins plus two hundred kg. gold and silver ornament belonging to the pre historic period and was discovered (1947) randomly. They were maintained then but was looted. These ancient things later found their way to market of Peshawar, Pakistan.

As we know it in this context, the most destruction came down on Kabul Museum  in which the articles which belonged to the pre history is stored.

Museum is Weeping

N. Dupree telling a sad story form an eyewitness who was a responsible man of Kabul Museum. She remembers this tragic one as, “One day I went to a part of the museum where the  pre-history things were kept. Darkness  swallowed away everywhere. Then slowly I realized that under my feet on the carpet, sticky things have massed. These, all were things of pre historical articles which were fallen on the  ground and were carpeted the earth,” (N. Dupree, Prehistoric Afghanistan ...2006)

Nancy in an article  “Afghanistan Prehistory” tell an non-anecdotal information from our ignorance and that is a very sad one too.  One of the Minister of Information and Culture in pre-crisis years who was famous  among intellectuals of the country was  visiting Aq Kapruk. Archeologists with a passion for his business showed an old tool that long time ago was used. It was very developed tool at that ancient time. The  Secretary with a wise look ! at this little tool  with discomfort, shook his head and with surprise and murmured , “Oh! ? No! The  Afghan people never had been such backwardness and never had such primitive life.”

The cask savors the first fill !!

Should we  seen the past with wide eyes. Looking to our face at

  real mirror deeply but not break it.


Biographies in Persian language:

1 – Farhang, Mir Mohammad Seddiq. Afghanistan dar Panj Qarn e Akhir (Afghanistan at late five centuries.) Dorokhseh Publishing House, Mashhad, Iran.1371/1992..

2 - Ghobar, Mir Gholam Mohammad. Afghanistan dar Masir e Tarikh (Afghanistan on the Course of History) Sixth edition, Publishing Republic, Tehran, Republic Street, publishing house "2000"1374/1995.

3 -  Habibi, Abdol Hai. Tarikh e Mokhtasar e Afghanistan (A brief history of Afghanistan.) Danesh Library, Peshawar, Pakistan. Third edition, Winter 1377/1998

4 - Kohzad, Ahmad Ali.  Tarikh e Afghanistan (History of Afghanistan)  Second Edition, Kohzad Cultural Foundation. Mizan1381/October 2002.



1.       Allchin, F.R and Hammond, N. "The Archeology of Afghanistan: From Earliest to Timmurid Period'',Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd.1978.

2.       Bryant, Edwin. The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate'' Oxford University Press, 2001.

3.       Dupree, L. Afghanistan. Oxford, Princeton University press, 1997.

4.       Dupree, Nancy Hatch. “Prehistoric Afghanistan: Status of Sites and Artifacts and Challenges of Preservation in Krieken-Pieters, Juliet van.'Art and Archeology of Afghanistan: Its fall and Survival. Brill, Leiden, Holland, 2006.

5.       Gupta, G.S. India: From Indus Civilization to Maurya. Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 1999

6.       Krieken-Pieters, Juliet van. Art and Archeology of Afghanistan: Its fall and Survival. Brill, Leiden, Holland, 2006.

7.       Parola, Asko. Deciphering the Indus Script. Cambridge University Press.1994.

8.       Rahman, Tariq. Peoples and Languages in Indus Valley. Fulbright Visiting Fellow, ASNIC web.

9.       Sankalia, H.D. The Prehistory of India and Pakistan. Deacon College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Poona, 1974.

10.    Trautmann, T. The Aryan Debate. Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2th edition, 2006.

11.    Vogelsang, Willem. The Afghans. Blackwell Publishers. Reprinted Twice.2002.

12.    Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary. New Edition, 1996.


Goettingin City, Germany

 9 Jawza  1389 h. kh / 30 May 2010.