Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan


This 1904 map of Persia (as Iran was then known), Afghanistan, and parts of present-day Pakistan is by the Americana Company of New York, publisher of the Encyclopedia Americana. Also included in the map are large parts of Central Asia (known as Turkestan) that were then part of the Russian Empire, the extreme western part of China, and the Persian Gulf. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a period of intense rivalry for influence in this part of the world between the Russian and British empires. Railroad construction was an important part of this rivalry, which was often called the “Great Game.” The map shows the strategically important Trans-Caspian Railway, built by Russia between 1879 and 1898, running from the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea to Samarkand and the Fergana Valley. Few railroads as yet existed in Iran, Afghanistan, and western Pakistan.

Last updated: September 30, 2016