Table of Contents

  • AFGHANISTAN ii. Flora

    M. Šafīq Yūnos

    Climate studies have shown the importance of precipitation and altitude as conditioning factors for the diversity of Afghanistan’s flora.

  • AFGHANISTAN iii. Fauna

    K. Habibi

    Thirty-two species of bats have been identified in Afghanistan. Their preferred habitat is in warmer sections of the country, where they may be found in abandoned ruins and caves of the Sīstān basin and the steppes. To the east, common bats (Myotis and Pipistrellus) have been observed in Lāgmān and the Kabul river valley.

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  • 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 by countries other than France did not occur until after World War II. In the winter of 1950-51 the second expedition of the American Museum of Natural History was directed by W. Fairservis; 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; 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.