Skip to main content


  • Nile Green (a1)

Through their interactions with French archaeologists from around 1930, Afghan historians formulated a new official historical identity for Afghanistan based on its pre-Islamic past. This article provides the first analysis of this process by tracing the emergence of the new historiography through the career of its chief promoter, Ahmad ʿAli Kuhzad, as curator of the National Museum (founded 1931) and director of the Afghan Historical Society (founded 1942). Through placing Kuhzad in these official institutional settings and reading his major works, the article shows how traditional Persianate historiography was challenged by an imported and amended version of world civilizational history. In the decades after independence in 1919, this new historical vision allowed the young Afghan nation-state to stake its civilizational claims on an international stage. In these previously unexcavated historiographical strata lie the roots of the Taliban's iconoclasm, which are revealed as a dialogical response to the state cultural institutions that remade Afghanistan as Aryana.

Hide All


Author's note: Such are the vicissitudes of recent Afghan history that primary materials are scattered and poorly preserved. For providing the sources on which this essay is based, I am therefore extremely grateful to the custodians of the library of the National Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul; the library of the Musée Guimet, Paris; the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Library at the University of Nebraska, Omaha; the British Library, London; and the NYU Afghanistan Digital Library. An earlier version of this paper was presented in May 2016 as part of the Leon B. Poullada Lectures at Princeton University. My sincere thanks to Cyrus Schayegh for the invitation. I am also indebted to the three anonymous IJMES readers and to Ali Mousavi and Warwick Ball for their helpful comments.

1 Translation: ALEXANDRE: Do you have storytellers, legends of your heroes, songs of warriors? How do you recount them? SANAK: Certainly! We have many heroes and many legends.

2 Pierre Centlivres, “The Controversy over the Buddhas of Bamiyan,” SAMAJ: South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal 2 (2008): 1–13, accessed 12 April 12016, doi: 10.4000/samaj.992; Flood, Finbarr Barry, “Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm and the Museum,” Art Bulletin 84 (2002): 641–59; Schnoering, Jean-François, “Pourquoi les bouddhas de Bâmiyân ont-ils été détruits? L'entrée du mouvement des tâlebân dans une logique iconoclaste,” Bulletin de l'Institut Pierre Renouvin 31 (2010): 127–40.

3 For studies of Afghan historical writing, see Green, Nile, ed., Afghan History through Afghan Eyes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Grevemeyer, Jan-Heeren, “Bericht über die publizierte afganische Historiographie,” in Neue Forschungen in Afghanistan, ed. Rathjens, Carl (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1981); McChesney, Robert D., “Historiography in Afghanistan,” in Persian Historiography, History of Persian Literature, ed. Melville, Charles, vol. 10 (London: I.B.Tauris, 2012); Nawid, Senzil, “Historiography in the Sadduzai Era: Language and Narration,” in Literacy in the Persianate World: Writing and the Social Order, ed. Spooner, Brian and Hanaway, William L. (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); and Noelle-Karimi, Christine, “Historiography XI: Afghanistan,” in Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. Yarshater, Ehsan (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982–), 12:fasc. 4, 390–95. Note that none of these studies discusses the works surveyed in this essay.

4 On such developments in the region more broadly (excluding Afghanistan), see Goode, James F., Negotiating for the Past: Archaeology, Nationalism, and Diplomacy in the Middle East, 1919–1941 (Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 2007).

5 Ali, Daud, ed., Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999); Di-Capua, Yoav, Gatekeepers of the Arab Past: Historians and History Writing in Twentieth-Century Egypt (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2009); Vejdani, Farzin, Purveyors of the Past: Education, Publics and the Writing of History in Iran, 1860–1940 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2014).

6 Goode, Negotiating, 1–18.

7 Kuhzad is discussed briefly in Grevemeyer, “Bericht,” 31; and Senzil Nawid, “Writing National History: Afghan Historiography in the Twentieth Century,” in Afghan History through Afghan Eyes, 195, 200.

8 Crews, Robert D., Afghan Modern: The History of a Global Nation (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2015), 156 .

9 Adamec, Ludwig W., Afghanistan's Foreign Affairs to the Mid-Twentieth Century: Relations with the USSR, Germany, and Britain (Tucson, Ariz.: University of Arizona Press, 1974), chap. 1.

10 For overviews of DAFA's activities, see Bernard, Paul, “L’œuvre de la Délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan (1922–1982),” Comptes rendues de l'Académie des inscriptions 146 (2002): 12871323 ; Kohzad, Ahmad Ali [sic], “Recherches archéologique en Afghanistan,” Afghanistan 8, 2 (1953): 111 ; and Olivier-Utard, Françoise, Politique et archéologie: histoire de la Délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan (1922–1982) (Paris: Éditions recherche sur les civilisations, 1997). On prior French excavations and monopolies elsewhere in the Middle East, see Chevalier, Nicole, La recherche archéologique française au Moyen-Orient, 1842–1947 (Paris: Éditions recherche sur les civilisations, 2002); and Nasiri-Moghaddam, Nader, L'archéologie française en Perse et les antiquités nationales (1884–1914) (Paris: Connaissances et savoirs, 2004).

11 Benoit, F., “Modern Education in Afghanistan under King Amanullah,” Visva-Bharati Quarterly 7, 1 (1929–30): 5059 ; Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 33–34; Rishtia, Sayyid Qasim, “Education in Afghanistan,” Afghanistan 1, 1 (1946): 2025 . The school's first principal was Lucien Ténèbre, who was succeeded in 1928 by a monsieur Boinet.

12 Individual memoirs of French cultural activity in Afghanistan during the decades covered here are collected in Anon., Une ambassade à Kaboul (Kabul: Ambassade de France en Afghanistan, 2008), 9–120.

13 Foucher, Alfred, L'art gréco-bouddhique du Gandhâra: étude sur les origines de l'influence classique dans l'art bouddhique de l'Inde et de l'Extrême-Orient, 2 vols. (Paris: Éditions Leroux, 1905). Foucher's early involvement with DAFA is meticulously documented in Fenet, Annick, Documents d'archéologie militante: La mission Foucher en Afghanistan (1922–1925) (Paris: Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 2010). See also Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 91–139. On Foucher's field records, see Fenet, Annick, “Les archives Alfred Foucher (1865–1952) de la Société asiatique (Paris),” Anabases 7 (2008): 163–92.

14 On the career of Alfred Foucher's Indologist wife, see Fenet, Annick, “De la Sorbonne à l'Asie: Routes orientalistes d'Ena Bazin-Foucher,” Genre & Histoire 11 (2011): 121 , accessed 24 May 2016,

15 Foucher, Alfred, “Notes sur l'itinéraire de Hiuan-tsang en Afghanistan,” Études asiatiques publiées à l'occasion du 25e anniversaire de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient (Paris-Bruxelles: Éditions G. van Oest, 1926), 257–84.

16 On Barthoux's career, see Tarzi, Zemaryallaï, “Jules Barthoux: le découvreur oublié d'Aï Khanoum,” Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 140 (1996): 595611 .

17 On Godard's Afghan career, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 82–87.

18 For surveys of European (and to a lesser extent Muslim) interest in Bamiyan in the preceding centuries, see Centlivres, Pierre, Les Bouddhas d'Afghanistan (Paris: Favre, 2001); and Morgan, Llewelyn, The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012), chap. 3.

19 Fussman, Gérard, “Daniel Schlumberger (1904–1972),” Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient 60, 1 (1973): 411–22.

20 On the Society's ideological profile after Kuhzad stepped down, see Nawid, “Writing National History.”

21 Godard, André, Godard, Y., and Hackin, Joseph, Les antiquités bouddhiques de Bamiyan [Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique Francaise en Afghanistan, henceforth MDAFA, vol. 2] (Paris-Bruxelles: Éditions G. van Oest, 1928). For the factors behind the slow pace of publication, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 75–79. The earliest DAFA publication was an overview of a brief surface inspection at Bamiyan. See Foucher, Alfred, “Notice archéologique sur la vallée de Bamiyan,” Journal Asiatique 102, 2 (1923): 352–68.

22 Barthoux, Jules, Les Fouilles de Hadda, 3 vols. [MDAFA 4 and 6] (Paris-Bruxelles: Éditions G. van Oest, 1930–33); Hackin, Joseph with Hackin, Ria, Recherches archéologiques à Bégram (Chantier no.2, 1937), 2 vols. [MDAFA 9] (Paris: Les Éditions d'art et d'histoire, 1939).

23 Jenkins, Jennifer, “Excavating Zarathustra: Ernst Herzfeld's Archaeological History of Iran ,” Iranian Studies 45 (2012): 127 .

24 Among the rich scholarship on colonial Indian archaeology, see Guha, Sudeshna, Artefacts of History: Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts (Delhi: Sage, 2015); Guha-Thakurta, Tapati, Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004); and Mitter, Partha, Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reactions to Indian Art (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977).

25 On the museum's history, see Centlivres, Les Bouddhas, 70–78; and Tissot, Francine, Kaboul, le passé confisqué: Le musée de Kaboul, 1931-1965 (Suilly-la-Tour: Findakly, 2002), 911 .

26 A good sense of the DAFA-excavated objects on display at the museum during this period is given in Dupree, Ann, Dupree, Louis, and Motamedi, A. A., A Guide to the Kabul Museum: The National Museum of Afghanistan (Kabul: Government Press, 1964), based on a 1961 French original.

27 Centlivres, Les Bouddhas, 71.

28 Ibid., 72.

29 On Ottoman and Iranian developments, see Bahrani, Zainab, Çelik, Zeynep, and Eldem, Edhem, eds., Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753–1914 (Istanbul: SALT, 2011); Mousavi, Ali, Persepolis: Discovery and Afterlife of a World Wonder (Boston: De Gruyter, 2012); Nasiri-Moghaddam, Nader, “Archaeology and the Iranian National Museum: Qajar and Early Pahlavi Cultural Policies,” in Culture and Cultural Politics under Reza Shah: The Pahlavi State, New Bourgeoisie and the Creation of a Modern Society in Iran, ed. Devos, Bianca and Werner, Christoph (London: Routledge, 2014); and Shaw, Wendy, Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Ottoman Empire (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2003). The museums of colonial Russian Central Asia (which opened at Samarqand in 1874 and Tashkent in 1876) appear to have had no direct influence on Afghanistan. On those museums, see Gorshenina, Svetlana and Rapin, Claude, De Kaboul à Samarcande: les archéologues en Asie centrale (Paris: Gallimard, 2001), 3839 .

30 On Tarzi, DAFA, and the museum, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 23.

31 On the Kabul Literary Society, see Green, Nile, “Introduction: Afghan Literature between Diaspora and Nation,” in Afghanistan in Ink: Literature between Diaspora and Nation, ed. Green, Nile and Arbabzadah, Nushin (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 1417 . On literary nationalism more fully, see Ahmadi, Wali, Modern Persian Literature in Afghanistan: Anomalous Visions of History and Form (London: Routledge, 2008).

32 Gregorian, Vartan, “Mahmud Tarzi and Saraj-ol-Akhbar: Ideology of Nationalism and Modernization in Afghanistan,” Middle East Journal 21, 2 (1967): 345–68, citation at 348.

33 Habibi, Abd al-Hayy, “A Glance at Historiography and the Beginning of the Historical Society of Afghanistan,” Afghanistan 21, 2 (1968): 119 .

34 The charter is translated in ibid., 17–19.

35 Ibid., 18.

36 For the richest case study regarding India, see Chakrabarty, Dipesh, The Calling of History: Sir Jadunath Sarkar and His Empire of Truth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015).

37 For graduation figures, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 35.

38 On the school's laïcité and broader policies, see ibid., 23. However, Benoit (“Modern Education,” 53, 58) claims the students also received classes on religion by local mullahs.

39 The photograph appears in Godard, André, Godard, Madame, and Hackin, Joseph, Asar-i Atiqah-i Buda'i-yi Bamiyan, trans. ʿAli Khan, Ahmad [Kuhzad], 2 vols. (Kabul: Anjuman-i Adabiyat-i Kabul, 1315/1936), unpaginated image. Note that this and subsequent works by Kuhzad were dated according to the Afghan calendar.

40 Habibi, “A Glance,” 11.

41 On his appointment as director, see ibid., 12–13.

42 The complex and staggered publication history of Siraj al-Tawarikh is described in R.D. McChesney, “‘The Bottomless Inkwell’: The Life and Perilous Times of Fayz Muhammad ‘Katib’ Hazara,” in Afghan History through Afghan Eyes.

43 Hazara, Mulla Fayz Muhammad Katib, Nizhadnama-yi Afghan (Kabul: Shirkat-i Kitab-i Shah Muhammad, 1379/2000). Note that in 1933 the text was first published in Iran, not in Afghanistan itself. On the earlier Mughal works of Afghan history, see Green, Nile, “Tribe, Diaspora and Sainthood in Afghan History,” Journal of Asian Studies 67 (2008): 171211 .

44 Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 118; translated by Nile Green.

45 Ahmad ʿAli Kuhzad, Impiraturi-yi Kushan (Kabul: Matbaʻa-yi ʻUmumi/Anjuman-i Adabi, 1316/1937); Kuhzad, Bigram (Kabul: Matbaʻa-yi ʻUmumi/Anjuman-i Adabi, 1317/1938); and Kuhzad, Maskukat-i Qadim-i Afghanistan (Kabul: Matbaʻa-yi ʻUmumi/Anjuman-i Adabi, 1317/1938).

46 Kuhzad, Bigram, 2. On early European scholarship on the Kushans, see Cribb, Joe, “Rediscovering the Kushans,” in From Persepolis to the Punjab: Exploring Ancient Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, ed. Errington, Elizabeth and Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh (London: British Museum Press, 2007).

47 Kuhzad, Bigram, 2–4.

48 Ibid., 21–29; Hackin, Ria and ʿAli Kohzad, Ahmad, Légendes et coutumes afghanes (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1953), 2539 .

49 Kuhzad, Bigram, 31–34. For earlier French translations of Chinese accounts of Afghanistan on which Kuhzad apparently drew, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 50–51.

50 Kuhzad, Bigram, 46–62. Kuhzad appears to have been drawing, inter alia, on Wilson, H.H., Ariana Antiqua: A Descriptive Account of the Antiquities and Coins of Afghanistan; with a Memoir on the Buildings called Topes, by C. Masson (London: East India Company, 1841).

51 Kuhzad, Bigram, 63–76.

52 Ibid., 77–86.

53 Ibid., 96–108.

54 Though he did not cite it, from his numismatic studies Kuhzad may have been familiar with Masson's article: Masson, Charles, “Memoir on the Ancient Coins Found at Beghram [sic], in the Kohistan of Kabul,” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 3 (1834): 153–75 and 5 (1836): 1–29, 537–47.

55 Kuhzad, Bigram, 99–100.

56 Ibid., 101–6. Kuhzad later reiterated his presence at the discovery: ʿAli Kohzad, Ahmad, “New Archaeological Enquiries at Begram,” East and West 7, 3 (1956): 244–46, citation at 244.

57 Kuhzad, Bigram, 106. Subsequent scholarship would disagree with Hackin's attribution of the ivories to the Gupta era. On Hackin's comparative dating method, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 128.

58 The 1938 Musée Guimet exhibition poster is reproduced in Hiebert, Fredrik and Cambon, Pierre, ed., Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World (London: British Museum Press, 2011), 148. The Guimet had, however, opened its Hadda room in February 1929. See Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 105n215. Kuhzad later maintained his association with Begram, taking a close interest in the excavations by Roman Ghirshman in the 1940s and in English-language scholarship. See Kohzad, A. A., “Begram in the Light of [a] Recent Work Entitled ‘New Archaeological Enquiries at Begram,’East and West 7, 3 (1956), 244–46.

59 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, “Aryana ya Afghanistan Qabl az Islam,” Kabul 9, 11 (1939).

60 Ahmad ʿAli Kuhzad, Aryana (Kabul: Nashriyat-i Mudiriyat-i ʻUmumi-i Taʾrikh, 1321/1942–43).

61 On the journal's foundation, see Habibi, “A Glance,” 11–12.

62 On state centralization of historical book and journal production from the mid-1930s, see Grevemeyer, Jan-Heeren, Afghanistan: sozialer Wandel und Staat im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Express Edition, 1987), 288 .

63 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, Taʾrikh-i Afghanistan, 3 vols. (Kabul: Anjuman-i Taʾrikh, 1325/1946): vol. 1 Az Adwar-i Qabl al-Taʾrikh ta Sugut-i Saltaʻi Muriya; vol. 2. Az Aghaz-i Saltanat-i Mustaqil-i Yunanu Bakhtari ta Zuhur-i Islam; vol. 3. Mushtamil bar Zuhur-i Islam wa Nufuz-i Islam wa ʻArab dar Afghanistan.

64 On the history of the party, see Bezhan, Faridullah, “Nationalism not Islam: The ‘Awaken Youth’ Party and Pashtun Nationalism,” in Afghanistan's Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban, ed. Green, Nile (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2016).

65 Kohzad, Mohamad Nabi, “The Opening of the Salon d'Automne in Kabul,” Afghanistan 4 (1946): 3034 .

66 Ibid., 30.

67 Ibid., 32.

68 ʿAli Kohzad, Ahmad, Alexandre en Afghanistan: pièce en quatre actes (Kabul: Imprimerie Générale, 1946).

69 On the theater, see Green, “Introduction,” 19.

70 Kuhzad, Taʾrikh-i Afghanistan. See n. 63 for the details of each volume.

71 Ahmad ʿAli Kuhzad, Tayan (Kabul: Anjuman-i Taʾrikh, 1327/1948).

72 Ahmad ʿAli Kuhzad, “Anahita: Rabbat al-Naw‘-yi Amu Darya,” Aryana 2, 5 (Jawza 1323/May 1944), 16–21; Khuzad, “Qadimtarin Ma‘bad-i Bamiyan,” Aryana 2, 6 (Saratan 1323/June 1944); Kuhzad, “Kashf-i Mutun-i Qadima-yi Sanskrit dar Bamiyan,” Aryana 2, 7 (Asad 1323/July 1944). The manuscripts had earlier been the subject of an article by the Indologist Sylvain Lévi (1863–1935), to whom they had been shown for identification by Hackin. See Lévi, Sylvain, “Notes sur des manuscrits sanscrits provenant de Bamyan (Afghanistan) et de Gilgit (Cachemire),” Journal Asiatique 220, 1 (1932) : 145 .

73 On the scholarly Muslim challenge to “pharaonism” in 1940s Egypt, see Reid, Donald Malcolm, Contesting Antiquity in Egypt: Archaeologies, Museums, and the Struggle for Identities from World War I to Nasser (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2015), chap. 10.

74 The references to the Pashutan Sunjata (?) and Clement are in Kuhzad, “Anahita,” 17 and 20. I have been unable to identify the former text: my transliteration of the title is based on Kuhzad's Persian spelling.

75 Ibid., 18.

76 Gorshenina and Rapin, De Kaboul à Samarcande, 146; Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 85–86, 92–94.

77 Ibid., 93.

78 Benoit, “Modern Education,” 56; Annick Fenet, “Archaeology in the Reign of Amanullah: The Difficult Birth of a National Heritage,” in Afghan History through Afghan Eyes, 147.

79 Nizami, Khwaja Hasan, Safarnama-i Afghanistan (Lahore: Atish Fishan, repr. 2007 [1931]), 45 .

80 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, “Sanʿat-i Yunani Budaʾi, ya Grigu-Budik,” Aryana 3, 11 (Qaws 1324/December 1945), 2125 .

81 Foucher, Alfred, L'art gréco-bouddhique du Gandhâra: étude sur les origines de l'influence classique dans l'art bouddhique de l'Inde et de l'Extrême-Orient, 2 vols. (Paris: E. Leroux, 1905). Kuhzad referred to this work in the opening paragraph of his article.

82 Flood, Finbarr B., Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu–Muslim” Encounter (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009), 2636 ; Flood, “From Icon to Coin: Potlatch, Piety, and Idolatry in Medieval Islam,” Images, Ritual and Daily Life: The Medieval Evidence, ed. Jaritz, Gerhard (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012), 163–72.

83 Kuhzad, “Sanʿat-i Yunani,” 21, 24.

84 Ibid., 22–23.

85 Ibid., 21.

86 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, “Danishmand-i Faransawi-yi Zhuzif Hakin,” Aryana 3, 9 (Qaws 1324/November 1945): 816 . The article was based on an obituary in the Paris Review, the publication of which was delayed until after the liberation of France due to Hackin's opposition to the Vichy regime.

87 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, Surkh Kutal: Atashkada-yi Surkh Kutal dar Kushan-shahr (Kabul: Anjuman-i Taʾrikh-i Afghanistan, Asad 1333/August 1954). On Schlumberger's excavations there, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 197–207.

88 Kuhzad, Surkh Kutal, 1. Cf. Iranian nationalist claims to Zoroaster detailed in Ringer, Monica, “Iranian Nationalism and Zoroastrian Identity: Between Cyrus and Zoroaster,” in Iran Facing Others: Iranian Identity Boundaries and Modern Political Culture, ed. Amanat, Abbas and Vejdani, Farzin (New York: Palgrave, 2012).

89 Kuhzad, Surkh Kutal, 1.

90 Ibid., 4–5.

91 The Schlumberger section is numbered separately as ibid., 1–21.

92 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, Rahnuma-yi Bamiyan (Kabul: Anjuman-i Taʾrikh-i Afghanistan, Asad 1334/July 1955).

93 Mousavi, Sayed Askar, The Hazaras of Afghanistan: An Historical, Cultural, Economic and Political Study (Richmond, UK: Curzon Press, 1998).

94 ʿAli Kohzad, Ahmad, L'Afghanistan: antico e moderno (Rome: Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1955); Kohzad, Aryana: Ancient Afghanistan (Kabul: Afghan Historical Society, 1335/1956).

95 Kohzad, L'Afghanistan, 45–53.

96 Ibid., 35–40. On Tucci's career and politics, see Benavides, Gustavo, “Giuseppe Tucci, or Buddhology in the Age of Fascism,” in Curators of the Buddha: The Study of Buddhism under Colonialism, ed. Lopez, Donald S. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).

97 Pazhvak, Abd al-Rahman [sic], Aryana (Ancient Afghanistan) (London: Afghanistan Information Bureau, 195– [sic]).

98 Pazhwak's contributions to Aryana included a short story based on a folktale about two lovers, which he also included in his Aryana book. See Pazhwak, ʿAbd al-Rahman, “Shiftigan ‘Dalaram,’” Aryana 3, 11 (Qaws 1324/December 1945): 10–16; and Pazhwak, Aryana, 117–21. On his wider literary and political career, see Chaled Malekyar, “The Poetry and Prose of Pazhwak: A Critical Look at Traditional Afghanistan,” trans. Nushin Arbabzadah, in Afghanistan in Ink, 141–61.

99 Ahmad ʿAli Kohzad, Tayüan (Kabul: Afghan Historical Society, 1337/1958).

100 On the interplay between international diplomacy and the Iranian creation of a “Silk Road” historiography in Persian, see Green, Nile, “From the Silk Road to the Railroad (and Back): The Means and Meanings of the Iranian Encounter with China,” Iranian Studies 48 (2015): 165–92.

101 Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 223–24.

102 Habibi, “A Glance,” 13. On the arrival of American, Danish, Italian, and Japanese research teams, see Olivier-Utard, Politique et archéologie, 169–71. I have corrected the version of Ziai's given-name (ʿAbd al-Rahim) provided by Olivier-Utard.

103 Goode, Negotiating.

104 Toynbee, Arnold, Afghanistan as a Meeting Place in History (Kabul: Afghan Historical Society, 1960). Toynbee also published his own memoir, depicting the visit as a passage through classical Greek rather than Islamic geography. See Toynbee, Between Oxus and Jumna (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961), esp. chaps. 16 and 17.

105 On Toynbee's world historical model, see Lang, Michael, “Globalization and Global History in Toynbee,” Journal of World History 22 (2011): 747–83.

106 Grigor, Talinn, Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture, and National Heritage under the Pahlavi Monarchs (New York: Periscope/Prestel, 2009).

107 Scott's Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, 162nd edition (New York: Scott Publishing Company, 2006), 1:218–48.

108 On the geopolitical circumstances surrounding the airline's foundation, see Van Vleck, Jenifer, “An Airline at the Crossroads of the World: Ariana Afghan Airlines, Modernization, and the Global Cold War,” History and Technology 25 (2009): 324 .

109 Kohzad, Mohammad Nabi, Les sites touristiques de l'Afghanistan (Kabul: Historical Society of Afghanistan, 197– [sic]). On the impact of European tourism on Egyptian archaeological policies, see Reid, Contesting Antiquity, chap. 5.

110 Habibi, “A Glance,” 12–13. I am grateful to Dr. Zaman Stanizai for information about the radio program.

111 ʿAli Kuhzad, Ahmad, Kanishka (Kabul: Mudiriyat-i ʻUmumi-yi Taʾrikh, 1325/1946).

112 Edwards, David B., Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2002), chap. 6; Reid, Contesting Antiquity, chap. 10.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed