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Bagram

General View

This is currently the site of one of The U.S. ' s largest military bases... not much reason for a traveler to stop, and probably not the safest place to be either.. If you are within the area, do not attempt to stop near the facilities and observe operations, this interest may be seen differently by others with Afghanistan being such a volatile situation..

General Info

Bagram, founded as Alexandria on the Caucasus and known in medieval times as Kapisa, is a small town and seat in Bagram District in Parwan Province of Afghanistan, about 60 kilometers north of the capital Kabul.. It is the site of an ancient city located at the junction of the Ghorband and Panjshir Valley, near today's city of Charikar, Afghanistan.. The location of this historical town made it a key passage from Ancient India along the Silk Road, leading westwards through the mountains towards Bamiyan..

Recent History

Bagram hosts the strategic Bagram Airfield from which most US air activity in Afghanistan takes place. The runway was built in 1976 and it was a Soviet Air base from 1979 to 1989. There is also a Provincial Reconstruction Team which is led by the US.. Bagram is also the location of the Parwan Detention Facility, this detention facility was the last prison in Afghanistan under management of the US. It was handed back to the Afghan government on 25 March 2013.. The detention centre came earlier in the news as it was claimed that prisoners were tortured see the article Bagram torture and prisoner abuse, and also at the time of the hand over of the facility human rights groups like Amnesty International have raised concerns about the treatment of prisoners in the facility.

History

It is unknown when the site was originally settled. In the mid 500s BC, Cyrus the Great of the Persian Achaemenid Dynasty destroyed the city as part of his campaign against the Saka nomads in the region.. The town, however, was soon rebuilt by his successor Darius I. In the 320s BC, Alexander the Great captured the city and established a fortified colony named Alexandria of the Caucasus. The new town, laid out in the " hippodamian plan " or iron grid patterna hallmark of Greek city planning, had brick walls reinforced with towers at the angles..

The central street was bordered with shops and workshops.. After his death in 323 BC, the city passed to his general Seleucus, who traded it with the Mauryans of India in 305 BC. After the Mauryans were overthrown by the Sunga Dynasty in 185 BC, the Greco Bactrian Kingdom invaded and conquered northwestern India with an army led by Demetrius I of Bactria.. Alexandria became a capital of the Eucratidian Indo Greek Kingdom after they were driven out of Bactria by the Yuezhi in 140 BC.. Bagram became the capital of the Kushan Empire in the 1st century, from here they invaded and conquered Peshawar in the south..

The " Bagram treasure " as it has been called, is indicative of intense commercial exchanges between all the cultural centers of the classical time, with the Kushan empire at the junction of the land and sea trade between the east and west.. However, the works of art found in Bagram are either quite purely Hellenistic, Roman, Chinese or Indian, with only little indications of the cultural syncretism found in Greco Buddhist art.. While the Diadochi were warring amongst themselves, the Mauryan Empire was developing in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent..

The founder of the empire, Chandragupta Maurya, confronted a Macedonian invasion force led by Seleucus I in 305 BC and following a brief conflict, an agreement was reached as Seleucus ceded Gandhara and Arachosia and areas south of Bagram to the Mauryans.. During the 120 years of the Mauryans in southern Afghanistan, Buddhism was introduced and eventually become a major religion alongside Zoroastrianism and local pagan beliefs. The ancient Grand Trunk Road was built linking what is now Kabul to various cities in the Punjab and the Gangetic Plain..

Commerce, art, and architecture developed during this period. It reached its high point under Emperor Ashoka whose edicts, roads, and rest stops were found throughout the subcontinent.. Although the vast majority of them throughout the subcontinent were written in Prakrit, Afghanistan is notable for the inclusion of 2 Greek and Aramaic ones alongside the court language of the Mauryans.. Inscriptions made by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, a fragment of Edict 13 in Greek, as well as a full Edict, written in both Greek and Aramaic has been discovered in Kandahar. It is said to be written in excellent Classical Greek, using sophisticated philosophical terms..

In this Edict, Ashoka uses the word Eusebeia as the Greek translation for the ubiquitous " Dharma " of his other Edicts written in Prakrit. The last ruler in the region was probably Subhagasena, who, in all probability, belonged to the Ashvaka background..

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Recent History

Bagram hosts the strategic Bagram Airfield from which most US air activity in Afghanistan takes place. The runway was built in 1976 and it was a Soviet Air base from 1979 to 1989. There is also a Provincial Reconstruction Team which is led by the US.. Bagram is also the location of the Parwan Detention Facility, this detention facility was the last prison in Afghanistan under management of the US. It was handed back to the Afghan government on 25 March 2013.. The detention centre came earlier in the news as it was claimed that prisoners were tortured see the article Bagram torture and prisoner abuse, and also at the time of the hand over of the facility human rights groups like Amnesty International have raised concerns about the treatment of prisoners in the facility.

History

It is unknown when the site was originally settled. In the mid 500s BC, Cyrus the Great of the Persian Achaemenid Dynasty destroyed the city as part of his campaign against the Saka nomads in the region.. The town, however, was soon rebuilt by his successor Darius I. In the 320s BC, Alexander the Great captured the city and established a fortified colony named Alexandria of the Caucasus. The new town, laid out in the " hippodamian plan " or iron grid patterna hallmark of Greek city planning, had brick walls reinforced with towers at the angles..

The central street was bordered with shops and workshops.. After his death in 323 BC, the city passed to his general Seleucus, who traded it with the Mauryans of India in 305 BC. After the Mauryans were overthrown by the Sunga Dynasty in 185 BC, the Greco Bactrian Kingdom invaded and conquered northwestern India with an army led by Demetrius I of Bactria.. Alexandria became a capital of the Eucratidian Indo Greek Kingdom after they were driven out of Bactria by the Yuezhi in 140 BC.. Bagram became the capital of the Kushan Empire in the 1st century, from here they invaded and conquered Peshawar in the south..

The " Bagram treasure " as it has been called, is indicative of intense commercial exchanges between all the cultural centers of the classical time, with the Kushan empire at the junction of the land and sea trade between the east and west.. However, the works of art found in Bagram are either quite purely Hellenistic, Roman, Chinese or Indian, with only little indications of the cultural syncretism found in Greco Buddhist art.. While the Diadochi were warring amongst themselves, the Mauryan Empire was developing in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent..

The founder of the empire, Chandragupta Maurya, confronted a Macedonian invasion force led by Seleucus I in 305 BC and following a brief conflict, an agreement was reached as Seleucus ceded Gandhara and Arachosia and areas south of Bagram to the Mauryans.. During the 120 years of the Mauryans in southern Afghanistan, Buddhism was introduced and eventually become a major religion alongside Zoroastrianism and local pagan beliefs. The ancient Grand Trunk Road was built linking what is now Kabul to various cities in the Punjab and the Gangetic Plain..

Commerce, art, and architecture developed during this period. It reached its high point under Emperor Ashoka whose edicts, roads, and rest stops were found throughout the subcontinent.. Although the vast majority of them throughout the subcontinent were written in Prakrit, Afghanistan is notable for the inclusion of 2 Greek and Aramaic ones alongside the court language of the Mauryans.. Inscriptions made by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, a fragment of Edict 13 in Greek, as well as a full Edict, written in both Greek and Aramaic has been discovered in Kandahar. It is said to be written in excellent Classical Greek, using sophisticated philosophical terms..

In this Edict, Ashoka uses the word Eusebeia as the Greek translation for the ubiquitous " Dharma " of his other Edicts written in Prakrit. The last ruler in the region was probably Subhagasena, who, in all probability, belonged to the Ashvaka background..