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40Mil BC
The entire Tibetan Plateau underwent major uplifting. Vast ranges rose from the Himalayas on the east to Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush and Iran’s Elburz mountains on the west.
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50000 BC
20000 BC
Archaeologists have identified evidence of stone age technology in Aq Kupruk, and Hazar Sum. Plant remains at the foothill of the Hindu Kush mountains indicate, that North Afghanistan was one of the earliest places to domestic plants and animals.
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3000 BC
2000 BC
Bronze might have been invented in ancient Afghanistan around this time. True urban centers rose in two main sites in Afghanistan--Mundigak, and Deh Morasi Ghundai. Mundigak (near modern day Kandahar) had an economic base of wheat, barley, sheep and goats. Also, evidence indicates that Mudigak could have been a provincial capital of the Indus valley civilization. Ancient Afghanistan was a crossroads between Mesopotamia, and other Civilizations.
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2500 BC
Aryan followers of King Yama crossed the Oxus River from Central Asia into Tajikistan and created a new calendar with the new year (Now Roz, Now-Ruz) marked by spring.
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2000 BC
500 BC
Aryan tribes lived in Aryana (Ancient Afghanistan). The City of Kabul is thought to have been established during this time. Rig Veda may have been created in Afghanistan around this time. Evidence of early nomadic iron age in Aq Kapruk IV.
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1500 BC
1200 BC
The Persian prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra) founded the religion known as Zoroastrianism. The principal beliefs included the existence of a supreme deity called Ahura Mazda and a cosmic struggle between the spirit of good, Spenta Mainyu, and the spirit of evil, Angra Mainyu. Later adherents to Zoroastrianism are represented by the Parsees of India and the Gabars of Iran.
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1000 BC
A Pashtun legend later held that about this time King Saul’s son, Jeremiah, had a daughter named Afghana whose descendants made their way to Central Asia.
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600 BC
Zoroaster introduced a new religion in Bactria (Balkh), also known as ancient Afghanistan. Zoroastrianism is a Monotheistic religion. [see 1500-1200BCE]
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522 BC
Zoroaster died during nomadic invasion near Balkh.
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522 BC
486 BC
Darius the Great expanded the Achaemenid (Persian) empire to its peak, when it took most of Afghanistan, including Aria (Herat), Bactriana (Balk, and present-day Mazar-i-Shariff), Margiana (Merv), Gandhara (Kabul, Jalalabad and Peshawar), Sattagydia (Ghazni to the Indus river), Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta), and Drangiana (Sistan). The Persian empire was plagued by constant bitter and bloody tribal revolts from Afghans living in Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta).
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329 BC
326 BC
After conquering Persia, Alexander the Great invaded Afghanistan. He conquered Afghanistan, but failed to really subdue its people. Constant revolts plagued Alexander.
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326 BC
325 BC
Revolts plagued Alexander and he left little more behind than a city with his Afghan name, Kandahar.
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323 BC
Greeks ruled Bactria (Northern Afghanistan)
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170 BC
160 BC
The Bactrian-Parthian era of Afghanistan.
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10 Oct 13
Italy became the latest NATO ally to detail plans to scale down its military presence and hand over territory to Afghan security forces by the end of next year.
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37
Some 20,000 pieces of jewelry and other objects were buried about this time with a warrior-prince and 5 women in northern Afghanistan. In 1978-79 a team led by Russian archeologist Viktor Sarianidi discovered their 6 sealed tombs at a site called Tillya Tepe (hill of gold). The findings became known as the “Golden Hoard of Bactria.”
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50
Kushan ruled over Afghanistan under King Kanishka. Graeco-Buddhist Gandharan culture reach its height.
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200
400
A giant statue of Buddha was made at Bamiyan (Bamian) some 100 miles west of Kabul. It was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
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220
Kushan empire fragmented into petty dynasties.
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250
300
The smaller Buddha at Bamiyan (Bamian), 114 feet high, dated to about this time. It was a gigantic magnification of a Gandhara image. It was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
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400
Invasion of the White Huns. They destroyed the Buddhist culture, and left most of the country in ruins.
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400
600
The large Buddha at Bamiyan, 170 feet tall, was constructed. It was an enlargement of an Indian Buddha of the Gupta period.
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425
550
Independent Yaftalee ruled in Afghanistan.
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550
Persians reasserted control over all of what is now Afghanistan. Revolts by various Afghan tribes followed.
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629
A Chinese pilgrim reported seeing a 1000-foot reclining Buddha at Bamiyan, Afghanistan. By 2004 the sleeping Buddha had not been seen for several hundred years. [see 632]
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632
Hiuan-tsang, an Chinese pilgrim, visited the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.
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632
661
The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in history up until that time.
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652
Arabs introduced Islam.
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700
900
The Hadith, the main guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran, were evaluated and gathered into large collections mostly during the reign of Umar ibn AbdulAziz during the 8th and 9th centuries.
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727
Houei-tch’ao, a Korean pilgrim, visited the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.
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781
Yakib ben Laith, a Saffarid prince from an eastern Iranian dynasty, stripped the sanctuaries of Bamiyan of their metal idols.
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962
1030
Islamic era was established with the Ghaznavid Dynasty.
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962
1140
Under the Ghaznavid Dynasty Afghanistan became the center of Islamic power and civilization.
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971
1030
Machmud of Ghazni, ruler of Afghanistan. He made annual invasions to northern India where he pillaged temples, captured slaves, and transported his goods back by elephant. His library had a large collection of erotic manuscripts and he shared his palace with 400 poets.
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980
Ibn Sina (Afghan scientist) was born in Balkh.
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1019
Machmud of Ghazni, a kingdom in central Asia, invaded India and took so many captives that the prices of slaves plummeted for several years. He invade India annually for 25 years.
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1030
Mahmud Ghazni died. Conflicts between various Ghaznavid rulers arose and as a result the empire started to crumple.
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1140
Ghorid leaders from central Afghanistan captured and burned Ghazni, then moved on to conquer India.
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1193
The Nalanda Buddhist learning center in Bihar state was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji, a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. Khalji was a member of the Muslim Turkic Khilji, or the Khalaj tribe as it is known in Iran and Afghanistan.
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1207 Sep 30
Jalal ud-din Rumi (Jelaluddin Rumi, d.1273), Persian poet and mystic was born in the area of Balkh, Afghanistan. He later fled the Mongol invasions with his family to Konya (Iconium), Anatolia. His work “Mathwani” (Spiritual Couplets) filled 6 volumes and had a great impact on Islamic civilization. He founded the Mevlevi order of Sufis, later known as the “whirling dervishes.” In 1998 a film was made about the Sufi poet’s influence on the 20th century. In 1998 Kabir Helminski edited “The Rumi Collection” with translation by Robert Bly and others. His work also included the “Shams I-Tabriz” in which he dismissed the terminology of Jew, Christian and Muslim as “false distinctions.” The poet Rumi was also known as Mowlana.
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1219
1221
Genghis Khan invaded Afghanistan. Destruction of irrigation systems by Genghis Khan turned fertile soil into permanent deserts.
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1221
Genghis Khan razed the city of Bamiyan and exterminated its inhabitants.
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1273 Mar
Polo crossed Afghan Turkistan.
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1332
1370
Descendants of earlier Ghorid rulers reasserted control over Afghanistan.
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1369
1405
Timur (aka Timur Lang or Timur Lenk or Tamerlane, so-named because of a lame leg) ruled from Samarkand.
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1370
1404
Timour-i-Lang (Tamerlane) ruled over Afghanistan. Afghan resistance was active.
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1394
Tamerlane conquered all of Afghanistan.
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1451
An Afghan named Buhlul invaded Delhi, and seized the throne. He founded the Lodi dynasty.
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1483 Feb 14
(OS) Zahir al-Din Mohammed Babur Shah (d.1531), prince, founder Mughal dynasty in India (1526-30), was born.
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1504
Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, captured Kabul in Afghanistan and maintained control to 1519.
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1520
1579
Bayazid Roshan, an Afghan intellectual, lived. He revolted against the power of the Moghul government.
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1526 Apr 21
Mongol Emperor Babur annihilated Indian Army of Ibrahim Lodi. Babar, King of Kabul, established in this year the Mughal dynasty at Delhi.
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1530 Dec 26
(OS) Zahir al-Din Mohammed Babur Shah (47), founder Moguls dynasty (India), died. Babur left power to his son Humayun, who built a royal city called Purana Qila that is part of Delhi today. His memoirs, known as the Baburnama, are considered the first true autobiography in Islamic literature. The first English translation was made in 1922 by Annette Beveridge.
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1540 May 17
Afghan chief Sher Khan defeated Mongol Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
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1579
Roshan was killed in a battle with the Moghuls, but his struggle for independence continued.
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1581
Akbar, Mughal Emperor of India, conquered Afghanistan.
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1613
1689
Khushhal Khan Khattak (d.1690), Afghan warrior-poet, was born. He initiated a national uprising against the foreign Moghul government.
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1622
Safavid Persia ruled Kandahar.
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1678
1707
Aurangzeb was the 1st Muslim ruler to fire his cannon at the giant Buddhas at Bamiyan.
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1690
Khushal Khan Khattak (b.1613), Pushtun poet, died. He wrote in Pashtu during the reign of the Mongol emperors in the seventeenth century. He lived in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. He was a renowned fighter who became known as the Afghan Warrior Poet.
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