222 results in English
Abū Ma‘shar’s Eight Treatises Regarding the Great Conjunctions, the Annual Revolutions, and Their Origins
Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar (and as Albumasar in the Latin West), was one of the most-renowned astronomers of the Middle Ages. His fame in Europe rested upon numerous Latin translations of his astronomical works from the original Arabic. He was born in the Persian city of Balkh (present-day Afghanistan), on 20th of Ṣafar, 171 AH (August 10, 787). He most likely received his early education in Balkh prior to moving to Baghdad, as his works are often colored by a distinct Persian ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Collection of Persian Poetry and Prose
This manuscript in Persian is an untitled Sufi text on meditation containing both poetry and prose. It was completed in early 1520, probably in Herat (present-day Afghanistan) or Mashhad (present-day Iran). The colophon, which is in Arabic, gives the name of the scribe, Mīr 'Alī Ḥusaynī Haravī (circa 1476−1543). The manuscript is on a firm cream-colored paper inlaid into light cream (folios 1−8) or pale greenish-blue margin paper, with the writing enclosed within alternating gold and cream (or green) bands with black ruling. The margin paper is profusely ...
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Collection of Poems by Shāhī
Dīvān-i Shāhī (Collection of poems by Shāhī) is a divan (collection) of verse by Amīr Shāhī Sabzavārī (died 1453; 857 A.H.), a prominent Persian poet of the Timurid era who composed in many of the classical forms of Persian poetry. Amīr Shāhī’s poetry belongs to the tradition of Persian mystical love poetry. The collection includes poems composed in the ghazal (a metrical form expressing the pain of loss and the beauty of love), qaṣīda (lyric poem), and rubā’ī (quatrain) forms. Amīr Shāhī was born in Sabzevar (present-day ...
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Memoirs of Babur
This book is a lithograph edition of the Persian translation of Bāburnāmah (Memoirs of Babur), the autobiography of Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bāburshāh (1483–1530), the first Mughal emperor of India. Bāburnāmah originally was written in Chagatai Turkish and was translated into Persian during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The translation was undertaken by Bairam Khan (died 1561), an Afghan bureaucrat and military commander who served under Emperor Humayun and who was briefly appointed regent over his successor, Emperor Akbar, when Akbar was a child. This book was printed ...
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The War of Kabul and Kandahar
Muḥārabah-ʼi Kābul va Qandahar (The war of Kabul and Kandahar) is an account of the First Afghan War (1839–42) by Munshi ʻAbd al-Karīm, an associate of Shāh Shujāʻ, the emir of Afghanistan. Mawlawī Muḥammad ʻAbd al-Karīm was an Indo-Persian historian from Lucknow, India, who was active in the mid-19th century. He was a prolific munshi (writer, secretary, and language teacher) and translator. He rendered into Persian from Arabic such works as Tārīkh al-Khulafā (History of the Caliphs), by al-Sūyūtī (1445–1505) and a history of Egypt by Ibn Iyās ...
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Book of Effects of Drugs
This work is a lithographic print of a manuscript containing a treatise on pharmacology. It was produced in Kabul, in the Royal Printing House, by Ṣāliḥ ibn Ṣāliḥ Muḥammad and Sardār Gul Muḥammad Khān. Ṣāliḥ ibn Ṣāliḥ Muḥammad was an officer and commander from the Muhammadzai clan in the Pashtun tribal confederacy that ruled Afghanistan in the Barakzai period (1826–1973) after the fall of the Durrani Dynasty in 1842. Sardār Gul Muḥammad Khān served as the chief editor of the printing press in Kabul, where his activities included publishing ...
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Worthy Advice in the Affairs of the World and Religion: The Autobiography of Emir Abdur Rahman Khan
This work is an autobiography of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. It is styled, however, as a manual of advice and a mirror for princes. It is divided into 16 chapters, which are arranged according to the topics on which the author provides advice and worthy examples, in this case drawn from his own conduct. Subdivision by topic of this kind mimics the pattern of books in the advice genre. The colophon dates the work to the month of Muharram of 1303 AH (October–November ...
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Collected Poems of Aisha Durrani
This work is a lithographic print, published in Kabul, of the collected poems of 'Āyisha Durrānī, an Afghan poetess from the Durrani family, who was active in the second half of the 19th century. The poems include qasidas (a lyric form) and ghazals (a metrical form expressing the pain of loss and the beauty of love), and are arranged alphabetically according to qāfiya (the effect of rhyme). The collection was compiled during the reign of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, emīr of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. The Durrani family led a ...
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Indian Celebrities: Sir Robert Egerton, Lieutenant Governor of Punjab
This small photograph of Sir Robert Egerton (1827–1912), lieutenant governor of Punjab, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Egerton was an aide to the previous lieutenant governor of Punjab, Sir Robert Henry Davies (1824–1902), before being appointed to the same position in 1877. During the British Raj of 1858–1947, prominent British administrators and military men were often considered as “Indian” celebrities. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what ...
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Indian Celebrities: General Dunham Massy
This portrait of General Dunham Massy (1838–1906) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Massy is shown standing next to his spiked pith helmet. As a lieutenant colonel, Massy successfully led a cavalry brigade at the Battle of Charasia in October 1879, but he subsequently was removed from cavalry command because of poor leadership in another engagement, the Battle of Killa Kazi, in December of the same year. He overcame this dismissal and by 1886 had risen to ...
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Indian Celebrities: Sir Donald Stewart
This three-quarter-view portrait of Sir Donald Stewart (1824–1900) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Stewart commanded the Kandahar Field Force (also known as the Quetta Army) in October 1878 and, after arduous marching across harsh terrain and several cavalry battles against Afghan forces, successfully occupied Kandahar in January 1879. He was promoted to commander in chief in India in April 1881 and to field marshal in 1894. He is shown here in the uniform of a lieutenant ...
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Indian Celebrities: Babu Khan
This photograph of Babu Khan, probably a tribal Pashtun leader judging from his typical Afghan longi (turban), is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. During the British Raj of 1858–1947, prominent British administrators and military men, as well as Indian princely rulers and tribal chiefs, were often considered as “Indian” celebrities. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan, invaded the country from British ...
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Indian Celebrities: Amir Abd al-Raḥmān
This photograph of the Afghan amir, Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (circa 1844–1901), is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Abd al-Raḥmān Khān was known as the “Iron Amir” because of his skill and forcefulness in suppressing rebellions against his authority. He is credited with creating a centralized state in the aftermath of the war, based on a cabinet called the Supreme Council, a general assembly called the Loya Jirgah, and the army. His achievements included the introduction of some ...
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Indian Celebrities: Mustanfi Habibulah Khan
This photograph of Mustanfi Habibullah Khan is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mustanfi (also seen as mostufi and mustaofi, the latter being the Arabic origin of the title) was a title approximating to state treasurer, the most powerful position in the government of Afghanistan after that of Amir Yakub Khan. Mustanfis were not elected, but subject to the ruler’s approval. They had full authority over all financial affairs, including hiring and dismissal of government personnel. Habibullah Khan ...
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Sir Alfred Lyall
This photograph of Sir Alfred Lyall (1835–1911) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Lyall was an administrator in the Indian Civil Service, a poet and Tennyson scholar, and the author of several works on the expansion of British power in India. He served as the foreign secretary to the government of India during the war and helped broker the 1880 peace treaty with the Afghan ruler, Amir Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (circa 1844–1901). The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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Sir Ashley Eden, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal
This portrait of Sir Ashley Eden (1831–87), lieutenant governor of Bengal, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Eden became the first civilian governor of Burma after his success as a special envoy to the Himalayan hill state of Sikkim in 1861. He was appointed lieutenant governor of Bengal in 1877 and promoted major public works in the state, such as hospitals, schools, canals, and railroads. Eden’s efforts were praised by both Europeans and Bengalis. The Second ...
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Sir William Muir
This photograph of Sir William Muir (1819–1905) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Muir entered the Bengal Civil Service in 1837 but served in the North-Western Provinces for most of his career. After the 1857 Indian Rebellion, the North-Western Provinces were ruled by a lieutenant governor who reported directly to the British government; Muir served in that position from 1868–74. He became famous because of his extensive and controversial scholarship on Islam and the early Muslim ...
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Sir Richard Meade
This photograph of Sir Richard Meade (1821–94) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Meade, who is smartly dressed with his military honors across his chest, served as the British resident at the Indian princely (nominally sovereign) state of Hyderabad in 1875–81. He tutored and protected Maḥbūb ʻAlī Khān (1866–1911), the underage nizam (ruler). Meade’s biographer, Thomas Henry Thornton (1832–1913), author of General Sir Richard Meade and the Feudatory States of Central and Southern ...
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Sir George Colley
This photograph of Sir George Colley (1835–81), likely taken within three years of his death, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Colley served nearly all of his military and administrative career in British South Africa, but he played a significant part in the Afghan War as military secretary and then private secretary to the governor-general of India, Lord Lytton (1831–91). After the war Colley returned to South Africa, became high commissioner for South Eastern Africa in ...
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Sir Peter Lumsden
This military portrait of Sir Peter Lumsden (1829–1918) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Lumsden’s first posting in the region was in the North-West Frontier of British India in the 1850s, where as an ensign in the 60th Bengal Native Infantry he participated in the suppression of rebellions by several Pashtun tribes. He also served in the Second Opium War and the Bhutan War. He was adjutant general of the Indian army 1874–79 and then ...
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Sir James Fergusson, Governor of Bombay
This portrait of Sir James Fergusson (1832–1907), governor of Bombay, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Fergusson briefly served as undersecretary of state for India in 1866–67, but otherwise his career in British India began late in life. His direct involvement in the war was brief. He was appointed as the governor of the Bombay Presidency in 1880. In this position, Fergusson was able to exercise as much power within Bombay as the viceroy wielded in ...
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Sir Frederick Haines
This photograph of Sir Frederick Haines (1819–1909) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Haines served as commander in chief in India (the highest-ranking military officer in the British Raj) throughout the war. His authority was subject only to the viceroy, Lord Lytton (1831–91). Haines and Lytton repeatedly clashed over British war strategy. At the start of the war, for example, Haines favored a significantly larger troop commitment than Lytton, but he was partially overruled by the ...
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Lord William Beresford
This photograph of Lord William Beresford (1846–1900) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Beresford served as an aide-de-camp to several British viceroys, including under Lord Lytton during the war. He was also a captain in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers and, while on leave from Delhi, volunteered to fight under General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) at the November 1878 Battle of Ali Masjid. Beresford was commended for his valor in dispatches after the battle. He ...
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Sir Chas Aitchison
This photograph of Sir Charles “Chas” Aitchison (1832–96) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Aitchison held many positions in the government of India during his long career. He was the British foreign secretary in India from 1868 until 1878. During this time Aitchison published several scholarly works on Indian politics and the relationship between Britain and the nominally sovereign Indian princely states. He was a critic of the confrontational foreign policy towards Afghanistan pursued by the viceroy ...
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Colonel Mowbray Thomson
This photograph of Colonel Mowbray Thomson (1832–1917) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Thomson was one of only four survivors of the massacre of a British garrison in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) during the 1857 Indian Rebellion. After recovering from his injuries, he wrote a 260-page account of the massacre entitled The Story of Cawnpore. Thomson, then a captain, dedicated it to “the brave men, the patient women, and the helpless innocents of England,” who perished in the ...
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Sir Andrew Clarke
This photograph of Sir Andrew Clarke (1824–1902) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Clarke was a military engineer and colonial governor for several British settlements in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. He served as minister of public works in India in 1875–80 and was a member of the viceroy's council. Clarke's ambitious plans to upgrade the infrastructure of the subcontinent were undermined by the Indian famine of 1876–78 and by the British ...
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Group of Mountain Tribes
This photograph of a group of mountain tribesmen, most likely Afghan Pashtuns, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The term “Afghan” is very ancient and originally was used to denote only Pashto speakers or the Pashtun people, the dominant ethnic group in the country. But by the time of 17th-century Pashto poet Khwushḥāl Khān, Afghan already referred to any citizen of Afghanistan, regardless of tribal heritage. These men, apparently warrior tribesmen, are wearing traditional loose-fitting clothing and longis ...
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Sikh Gurus Attached to Punjab Regiments
This photograph of two Sikh gurus attached to Punjab regiments of the British Indian Army is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Sikh soldiers were often deployed on the Afghan frontier and fought in most major engagements of the Afghan War. The men shown are religious figures who accompanied soldiers into battle. The gurus can be seen wielding their kirpans (ceremonial swords). They also wear elaborate dastars (turbans), which cover their uncut hair. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in ...
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A Loyal Afghan
This photograph of a white-clad Pashtun Afghan tribesman wearing a carefully wrapped turban and a medal pinned to his tunic, with his sword by his side, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The religious and ethnic identity of this individual is unknown. The caption states that he was "a loyal Affghan," so he may have fought with the British during the war and earned the medal for his service. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when ...
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"Dumps," An Afghan Girl
This photograph of a young Afghan girl is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The girl’s head is covered with a patterned scarf tied behind her head and full-body chador (a large cloth worn as a combination head covering and shawl), and her long braided hair hangs down below her waist. The caption supplied by the photographer sheds little light on the girl’s identity or circumstances but may derive from her melancholy expression and the British saying ...
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Certificate Given by Kabul Prisoners in 1842 to Babu Khan
This photograph of a certificate given by prisoners held in Kabul is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The certificate, relating to an important episode in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42), apparently had remained in the possession of an unknown Afghan for some 40 years before being reproduced by a British photographer during the Second Anglo-Afghan War. In the document, the prisoners attest to the kindness shown them by Babu Khan, who was probably a tribal Pashtun leader ...
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Copy of Hoondee in Payment of Moorcroft’s Ransom
This photograph of a hondee, or hundi, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A hundi is a Hindi word for a negotiable financial instrument, such as a bill of exchange or promissory note, by which the signer authorized the recipient to pay a specified sum of money to a third party. This document, in English and Persian, was a ransom payment for 11,000 rupees, signed by the English explorer William Moorcroft (1767–1825) on December 20, 1824 ...
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Four Sons of Nawrūz Khan of Lalpoora
This photograph of four sons of Nowruz Khān, ruler of Lalpura, Afghanistan, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The young men are wearing handsome traditional Afghan garments and pointed shoes called paizaar, usually adorned with gold-thread embroidery. The photographer, John Burke (circa 1843–1900), accompanied the Peshawar Valley Field Force during part of the war, and became one of the first photographers to take pictures of Afghanistan’s people, rather than simply of military personnel. The khan was ...
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Sir Frederick Roberts and the Sirdars of Kabul, 1879
This photograph of Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914) and Afghan sirdars (noblemen) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Roberts was a British Army officer who in a long career fought in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and South Africa. In October 1879 he led the Kabul Field Force, consisting of a combination of British and Indian troops, over the Shotur Gardan Pass, defeated an Afghan army at the Battle of Charasia, and occupied Kabul. Roberts is seated among Afghan men and ...
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Dōst Moḥammad Family
This photograph of the family of Dōst Moḥammad Khān (1793–1863) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Dōst Moḥammad was the predominant Afghan political figure of the mid-19th century. He brought the Barakzai Dynasty to power and ruled Afghanistan, at various times, for more than 30 years, gradually extending his rule from Kabul to the entire country. He is seated slightly to the right of center in this photograph. To Dōst Moḥammad’s right, the first figure in ...
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Group of Hazara Chiefs
This photograph of a group of Besuti Hazara chiefs with two boys and a mule is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The origins of the Hazara people of Afghanistan are uncertain. One theory holds that they are descended from the Mongol tribes who invaded Afghanistan in the 13th century. They are predominantly Ithnā'ashariyyah (Twelver Shia Muslims) who speak a Persian dialect containing words of Mongolian origin. They form Afghanistan’s third largest ethnic group and have historically ...
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Pipers Hill, Jalālābād
This photograph of Pipers Hill in Jalālābād is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Jalālābād was occupied by the British and Indian Peshawar Valley Field Force during its march towards Kabul in 1878 at the start of the war. The occupation was lengthy but unremarkable and passed without major armed clashes. One of several tribesmen in the foreground is digging with a pick, manned sentry posts are visible in the middle distance, and Jalālābād appears in the background at ...
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The Amir’s Garden, Jalālābād
This photograph of the Afghan amir’s garden in Jalālābād is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The site of modern Jalālābād was chosen by Zahīr al-Dīn Muhammad Bābur (1483-1530), the first Mughal emperor. Building began in 1560 under his grandson, Emperor Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar (1542–1605), who oversaw the construction of numerous gardens in the city. Many Mughal gardens were inspired by the Persian decorative style, chahar bagh (“four gardens,” a design that divided the garden into ...
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Buddhist Tope at Sphola
This photograph of the Buddhist tope (stupa) above the Afghan village of Sphola, about 25 kilometers from Jamrūd, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. This ruined stupa features a dome resting upon a three-tiered base. Sphola sits in a ravine located midway between Ali Masjid and Landi Kotal in the Khyber Pass. The stupa may have been constructed towards the end of the Kushan Empire or soon after (third to fifth centuries). It is the most complete Buddhist ...
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Suffain Koh Panorama
This panoramic photograph of the Suffain Koh or Safed Koh (meaning White Mountain) range is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Safed Koh range reaches up to 4,671 meters, creating a natural border between eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. A range of smaller hills runs across the middle distance of the photograph, while the Safed Koh looms behind them. The British military camp can be seen stretching across the plain in the foreground. The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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From the Khyber to Shuttugardun
This photograph of a rocky landscape beneath the Safed Koh range is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The caption mentions “Shuttugardun,” which is probably a reference to Shotur Gardan (meaning camel’s neck), a small town in Kandahar Province. The Safed Koh range dominates the background, while in the foreground signs of agricultural activity are visible. The right side of the photograph shows a receding layer of short stone walls. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 ...
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Panorama of an Afghan City
This panoramic photograph of an unidentified Afghan city is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The city is in the middle frame, flanked on both sides by rocky hills, and with mountains rising in the distance. The right frame shows a sentry tower atop a hill and a man with his mule stopping for rest beneath it. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan ...
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