Table of Contents

  • AFGHANISTAN iv. Ethnography

    L. Dupree

    In their ethnolinguistic and physical variety the people of Afghanistan are as diverse as their country is in topography. Except in rural areas off the main lines of communications, few peoples maintain racial homogeneity.

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  • AFGHANISTAN v. Languages

    Ch. M. Kieffer

    Best represented are the Iranian languages, followed by Turkish languages of recent import, and Indian languages which are either native (Nūrestānī and Dardic) or imported (New Indian). Most Afghans who are not native Persian speakers are more or less bilingual.

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  • AFGHANISTAN vi. Paṧto

    G. Morgenstierne

    Paṧtō is an Iranic language spoken in south and southeastern Afghanistan, by recent settlers in northern Afghanistan, in Pakistan (North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan), and on the eastern border of Iran. 

  • AFGHANISTAN vii. Parāčī

    G. Morgenstierne

    Parāčī is an Iranian language now spoken northeast of Kabul in the Šotol valley, north of Golbahār, and in the Ḡočūlān and Pačaḡān branches of the Neǰrao valley,  northeast of Golbahār. 

  • AFGHANISTAN viii. Archeology

    N. H. Dupree

    Excavations countries other than France did not occur until after World War II. Site excavations began in the winter of 1950-51 during the second expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) directed by W. Fairservis, when Šamšīr Ḡār and Deh Morāsī Ḡonday, 17 miles southwest of Qandahār, were investigated by L. Dupree.

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  • AFGHANISTAN ix. Pre-Islamic Art

    F. Tissot

    In the tombs of Ṭelā Tapa, the dead are covered with fine fabric sewn with gold bracteates, while their clothing is woven from gold thread and embroidered with pearls. Their swords and daggers are placed in gold sheaths decorated with fantastic animals, and their belts are embellished with figured medallions; their necklaces and pendants portray Greco-Iranian divinities.

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  • AFGHANISTAN x. Political History

    D. Balland

    1747 marks the appearance of an Afghan political entity independent of Safavid and Mughal empires. In 1709 a Ḡilzay uprising, led by the Hōtakī tribal chief Mīr Ways, had freed all of southern Afghanistan from Safavid control, thus establishing the basis of a state which would extend into Persia; but the retaliation led by Afšār destroyed the new state.

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  • AFGHANISTAN xi. Administration

    A. Ghani

    The form and function of Afghanistan’s administrative organizations have reflected the changing balance of power between centripetal and centrifugal forces. 

  • AFGHANISTAN xii. Literature

    R. Farhādī

    Under Aḥmad Shah Dorrānī, Afghanistan continued to play its long-standing role as a center of Persian literature and a transmitter of literary currents between Transoxiana and Islamic India. 


    Xavier de Planhol

    The development of forests is limited in Afghanistan not only by the total quantity of rainfall, but also by its seasonal distribution with respect to the vegetative season.