Afghanistan's history, internal
political development, foreign relations, and very existence as an
independent state have largely been determined by its geographic
location at the crossroads of Central, West, and South Asia. Over the
centuries, waves of migrating peoples passed through the region
described by historian Arnold Toynbee as a "roundabout of the ancient
world"--leaving behind a mosaic of ethnic and linguistic groups. The
outline of the Afghanistan History In modern times, as well as in
antiquity, will focus on vast armies of the world passing through
Afghanistan, temporarily establishing local control.
50,000 BC - 20,000
BC Stone Age
- Archaeologists have identified evidence of stone age
technology in Aq Kupruk (balkh), 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.
3000 BC - 2000
BC Bronze Age
- It has been indicated the Bronze have been invented
in ancient Afghanistan around this time.
- Urbanization and trade grows, making it an important
point between Mesopotamian and other civilizations to emerge as the
present day's "Crossroads of Asia".
- First true urban centers rise 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--crossroads between Mesopotamia,
and other Civilizations.
2000 BC - 1500 BC
in Aryana Emperor Yama (Ancient
- 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
728 BC - 550
BC Medes Empire
- Deioces, 728BC -
- Phraortes (Kashtariti), 675BC - 653BC
- Cyaxares, 625BC -
585BC - 550BC
628 BC - Zoroaster
introduces a new religion
in its capital Bactria (Balkh) in N.
6 BC- 330 BC
- Cambyses I (Kambiz) 600 B.C
Cyrus the Great, Start of Achaemenid
Empire, 559BC - 530BC
530BC - 522BC
Darius I the Great, 522BC - 486BC
Xerxes I(Khashyar), 486BC - 465BC
Artaxerxes I , 465BC - 425BC
Xerxes II, 425BC - 424BC (45 days)
Darius II, 423BC - 404BC
Artaxerxes II, 404BC - 359BC
Artaxerxes III, 359BC - 339BC
Arses, 338BC - 336BC
Darius III, 336BC - 330BC
- Dariusthe Great
expands the Achaemenid
empire to its peak, when it takes 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 Persianempire
was plagued by constant bitter and bloody tribal revolts
from Afghans living in Arachosia (Kandahar, and Quetta)
329 BC - 326 BC
- Alexander the Great
conquering Persia, Afghanistan. 330BC - 323BC
- Alexander conquers Afghanistan, but fails to really
subdue its people, but unrest and bloody revolts become the regime's
Philip III(Arrhidaeus), 323BC - 317BC
Alexander IV,317BC - 312BC
323 BC - After
the region at first was part of the Seleucid empire. In the north, Bactria became independent, and the south was acquired
by the Maurya dynasty.
Bactria expanded southward but fell (mid-2d
cent. B.C.) to the Parthians and rebellious
tribes (notably the Saka).
Buddhismwas introduced from the east by the
Yüechi, who founded the Kushan dynasty (early 2d cent. B.C.).
Their capital was Peshawar.
- The city, once called Purushapura, was the
capital of the ancient Greco-Buddhist center of Gandhara.
- The Kushans declined (3d cent. A.D.)
and were supplanted by the Sassanids, the Ephthalites, and the Turkish
312 BC - 260 BC
Seleucus I, 312BC - 281BC
Soter, 281BC - 261BC
280BC - 267BC
256 BC - 130 BC -
state established in
northern Afghanistan Arsacids Empire and Parthian Empire
Arsaces, 238BC - 217BC (or 211BC?)
Artabanus(Ardawan) or Arsaces II, 211BC -
Priapatius I, 191BC - 176BC
Phraates I, 176BC - 171BC
Mithradates I, 171BC - 138BC
- Phraates II,
138BC - 128BC
- Artabanus I,
128BC - 123BC
Mithradates II(the Great), 123BC - 87BC
Gotarzes, 90BC - 80BC
Orodes I, 80BC - 77BC
Sanatruces, 77BC - 70BC
70BC - 57BC
Mithradtes III, 57BC - 55BC
- Orodes II,
57BC - 37BC
Phraates IV, 37BC - 2BC
2BC - AD 4
Orodes III, AD
4 - AD 7
Vonones, AD 7
- AD 11
Artabanus II, 12 - 38
38 - 51
Vardanes I, 39 - 45
Vonones II, 51
51 - 78
55 - 58
77 - 80
80 - 81
Pacorus, 78 -
Kushan Empire, under King Kanishka
- Graeco-Buddhist Gandharan culture reach its
- Under the Kushan King,
Kanishka, Buddha was first given a human face and the world's
largest Buddhas (175 feet and 120 feet tall) were carved into the
cliff at Bamiyan. But many gods and goddesses from Greek, Persian,
Central Asian and Hindu cultures were also worshipped.
Ardashir I, 224 - 241
Shapur I, 241 - 272
Hormizd I, 272
Bahram I, 273
Bahram II, 276
Narses, 293 -
302 - 309
Shapur II, 309 - 379
379 - 383
Shapur III, 383 - 388
Bahram IV, 388
399 - 420
Bahram V Gur,
420 - 438
438 - 457
457 - 459
Piruz, 457 -
Balash, 484 -
I, 488 - 496
Tamasb, 496 -
Kavadh I, 499
- Khosrow I
(Anushirvan), 531 - 579
579 - 590
Khosrow IIParviz, 590
Bahram VI, 590
Parviz, 591 - 628
Media), 591 - 596
II Shiruye (Siroes), 628 - 630
628 - 630
629 - 631
631 - 632
Hormizd V, 631
632 - 633
- Yazdegird III,
632 - 651
of the White Huns. They destroy the Buddhist
culture, and leave most of the country in ruins
425 - 550
Independent Yaftalee rule in
Afghanistan .Yaftalee Dynasty
-Established in northern Hindu Kush region of Takhar, this dynasty
gains control over the majority of present day Afghanistan by
Persians reassert control over all of what is now
531 - 579
Khosrow I (Khosrow Anüshirvan), king of
628 Khosrow II (Khosrow Parviz),
king of Persia of the Sassanid, or Sassanian, dynasty
Arabs introduce Islam
that was to influence the course of
661 Arabs - Orthodox Caliphates
(Osman), 650 - 656
- Ali, 656 - 661
750 Arabs - Umayyad Caliphate
661 - 680
Yazid I, 680 -
683 - 684
Marwan I, 684
Abd-al-Malik, 685 - 705
705 - 715
Umar II, 717 -
Yazid II, 720
Hisham, 724 -
743 - 744
Yazid III, 744
Marwan II, 744
750 - 821
Arabs - Abbasid Caliphate
Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah, 750 - 754
Al-Mansur, 754 - 775
Al-Hadi, 785 -
Harun al-Rashid, 786 - 809
Al-Amin, 809 -
860 - 960
Nasr I, 864 -
Ismail, 892 -
Ahmad, 907 -
Nasr II, 914 -
Nuh I, 942 -
I, 954 - 961
Mansur I, 961
962 - 1030
Ghaznavid Dynasty - (Khurasan)
- Mahmud, 970 - 1030 The Islamic era
begins with Mohammed Ghazni and Afghanistan becomes the centre of
Islamic power and civilisation. Several short-lived Muslim dynasties
were founded, the most powerful of them having its capital at Ghazna
(see Ghazni). Mahmud of Ghazna, who conquered the
lands from Khorasanin Iran to the Punjab
in India early in the 11th cent., was the greatest of Afghanistan's
Masoud I, 1030
1140 - 1215
Ghorid leaders from central Afghanistan
capture and burn Ghazni, then move on to conquer India.
Ghurid Empire Shansabani Dynasty (Afghanistan)
Husayn I, 1117 - 1146
Suri, 1146 - 1149
Sam I, 1149
Husayn II, 1149 - 1161
Muhammad I, 1161 - 1163
al_Din Muhammad II, 1163 - 1203
al-Din Muhammad III, 1203 - 1206
al-Din Mahmud, 1206 - 1210
Sam II, 1210
Atsiz, 1210 - 1214
Muhammad IV, 1215 - 1215
1219 - 1221
Mongol Invasion of Afghanistan by Genghis
1256 - 1265
1282 - 1284
1291 - 1295
Ghazan, 1295 - 1304
1304 - 1316
1317 - 1335
Arpa, 1335 -
Musa, 1336 -
1336 - 1338
1338 - 1339
1339 - 1340
1339 - 1343
crosses Afghanistan on his voyage
from Italy to China to discover the "Silk Route". Revolts and battles
between smaller kingdoms mark the next two centurie
1370 - 1404
Timurids and Turkmen Empire
Timur, 1393 - 1405
(Western Persia), 1405 - 1408
(Western Persia 1409 - 1411), 1405 - 1409
Shah, 1409 - 1447
1447 - 1449
Said, 1451 - 1469
1414 - 1421
Lodi dynasty An Afghan
by the named Buhlul Khan invades Delhi, and seizes
Moghul dynasty Babur shah, takes control of Kabul, Babar
begins to take control of Afghanistan. Babur, a descendant of
, used Kabul as the base for his conquest
of India and the establishment of the Mughal empire in the
Roshan (Afghan intellectual) revolts against the power of
the Moghul government. Roshan was killed in a battle with the
Moghuls in 1579--but his struggle for independence continued.
1613-1689 Khushhal Khan
Khattak (Afghan warrior-poet) initiates a national uprising
against the foreign Moghul government.
Wais Neka (forerunner of Afghan independence)
makes Kandahar independent of Safavid Persia that had ruled it since
1622. Mir Wais, considered by some to be the father of Afghan
independence, takes over Kandahar. His son, Mir Mahmud, invades Persia
and liberates Herat.
- 1715-- Mir Wais dies peacefully, and lies
in a mausoleum outside of Kandahar.
- 1722-- Mir Wais' son, Mir Mahmud, invades
Persia and occupies Isfahan. At the same time, the Durranis
revolt, and terminate the Persian occupation of Herat. The Durranis
revolt to throw out Persians from Herat.
- 1725 (April 25)--Mir Mahmud is mysteriously killed after
going mad. Afghans start to lose control of
1736 Persian King Nadir Shah occupies the
south-west and later Kandahar; assassinated in 1747.
the Persian Nadir Shah extended his
rule to N of the Hindu Kush. After his death (1747) his lieutenant,
Ahmad Shah, an Afghan tribal leader, established a united state
covering most of present-day Afghanistan. His dynasty, the Durrani,
gave the Afghans the name (Durrani) that they themselves frequently
- 1747 Nadir Shah is assassinated, and
the Afghans rise once again. Afghans, under the
leadership of Ahmad Shah Abdali retake Kandahar, and establish modern
1747 - 1773
Ahmad Shah Durrani, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali and (Ahmad
Shah Baba) is the founder of today's Afghanistan. Pir Sabir Shah, the
spiritual guide of the time, showered his praise for the young Ahmad
Shah by declaring him Dar-e-Durran (pearl of the pearls) not because
that he was a military giant but for his humanity a definite quality of
a statesman. The start of the Durrani's Empire.
1773 - 1793
- Relocated the capital of
Afghanistan from Kandahar to Kabul.
1793 - 1800
- He began to remove
prominent Muhammadzai leaders from positions of power and replacing
them with men of his own lineage, the Sadozai. This upset the
delicate balance of Durrani tribal politics that Ahmad Shah had
established and may have prompted Painda Khan and other Durrani
chiefs to plot against the shah. Painda Khan and the chiefs of the
Nurzai and the Alizai Durrani clans were executed, as was the chief
of the Qizilbash clan. Painda Khan's son fled to Iran and pledged
the substantial support of his Muhammadzai followers to a rival
claimant to the throne, Zeman's older brother, Mahmood Shah. The
clans who's chiefs Zeman had executed joined forces with the rebels,
and they took Kandahar without bloodshed.
1800 - 1803
- King of Afghanistan (1800 - 03; second time 1810 -
1803 - 1810
- King of Afghanistan (1803 -10; second time
1839 - 42) whose alliance with the British led to his
1810 - 1826 Shah Mahmood and his brother
Zaman Shah struggle for the throne.
1819-1826 Shaw Mahmood but the reign of the
Sadozai line ended in 1818, and no predominant ruler emerged until
Dost Muhammad became
emir in 1826.
1826 - 1839
Dost Mohammad Khan takes Kabul, and establishes control. During
his rule the status of Afghanistan became an international problem, as
Britain and Russia contested for influence in central Asia. Aiming to
control access to the northern approaches to India, the British tried to
replace Dost Muhammad with a former emir, subordinate to them. This
policy caused the first Afghan War (1838-42) between the British and the
Afghans. Dost Muhammad was at first deposed but, after an Afghan revolt
in Kabul, was restored. In 1857, Dost Muhammad signed an alliance with
the British. He died in 1863 and was succeeded, after family fighting,
by his third son, Sher Ali.
- King of Afghanistan (1826 - 39; second time
1843 - 63)
- 1832--1833 Persia moves into Khurasan (province), and threatens
Herat. Afghans defend Herat successfully.
1834-- (May) Afghans lose Peshawar to the
Sikhs; later they crushed the Sikhs under the leadership
of Akbar Khan who defeated the Sikhs near Jamrud, and killed the
great Sikh general Hari Singh. However, they
failed to retake Peshawar due to disunity and bad
judgment on the part of Dost Mohammad Khan.
- 1836 Dost Mohammad Khan is proclaimed
as Amir al-mu' minin (commander of the faithful). He was well
on the road toward reunifying the whole of Afghanistan when the
British, in collaboration with an ex-king (Shah Shuja), invade Afghanistan to curtail the growing
Russian and Persian influence.
1839 - 1842
is installed as a "puppet king" by the British.
- First Anglo-Afghan War
- After some resistance, Amir Dost Mohammad
Khan surrenders to the British and is deported to India.
- April 1842--Shah Shuja killed by Afghans.
- 1842-1844 Akbar
is victorious against the British. The ferocity
was such that the 16,500- B British garrison with 12,000
support staff and dependents were wiped out. Only one survived,
of mixed British-Indian garrison, reaches the fort in Jalalabad, on a
- Mohammad Akbar Khan was a major player in the defeat of the British
army in the first Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842). He outsmarted and
killed Sir William MacNaughten, a top British official who highly
advocated the invasion and subjugation of Afghanistan by the British
army. Mohammad Akbar was very ambitous and wanted to regain all the
land that was lost by the Afghans, and rebuild another great empire,
similar to Ahmad Shah Abdali's. However, his father, Dost Mohammad
Khan, who wanted to work with the British, feared his son's rise to
power. Many believed that Amir Dost Mohammad poisoned his own son at
the age of 29. Mohammad Akbar Khan is highly revered by Afghans today,
and is seen as a major historical hero. A residential area of Kabul is
named after him.
1843 the nation declares independence, Dost Khan returns to occupy
In 1844, Akbar Khan
1843 - 1863
Dost Mohammad Khan comes back and occupies the royal throne.
After the annihilation of British troops, Afghanistan once again
- 1859-- British take Baluchistan , and
Afghanistan becomes completely landlocked.
1863 - 1866
Dost Mohammad Khan's son , succeeds to the throne.
- King of Afghanistan (1863 - 66; second time 1868 -
- (1865)--Russia takes Bukhara, Tashkent,
1866 - 1867 Mohamad Afzal
- Mohammad Afzal occupies Kabul and proclaims himself
- October, 1867--Mohammad Afzal dies.
1867 - 1868
- Mohammad Azam succeeds to the throne
- 1868--Mohammad Azam flees to Persia
1868 - 1879
Sher Ali reasserts control
- 1873 Russia
establishes a fixed boundary with Afghanistan and promises to respect
its territorial integrity.
- 1878-British launch their second war. For the second time, the Afghans' spirited
resistance forces them to withdraw. Sher Ali dies. Mohammad Yaqub Khan
takes over but concedes to the British such key territories as Khyber
and Pischin. The Afghans will never get back these regions.
1879 - Amir
Muhammad Yaqub Khan
takes over until October 1879.
Amir Muhammad Yaqub Khan gives up the following Afghan
territories to the British: Kurram, Khyber, Michni, Pishin, and
Sibi. Afghans lose these territories permanently.
- Kabul occupied
by British forces
1880 - 1901
Abdur Rahman takes throne of
Afghanistan. He was, however, recognized by the British as emir in 1880,
and he supported British interests against Russia..
- July 1880, Afghan woman named
Malalai carries the Afghan flag forward after the
soldiers carrying the flag were killed by the British. She
becomes a hero for her show of courage and valour.
- The British, shortly after the accession of the new
Amir, withdraw from Afghanistan, although they retain the right to
handle Afghanistan's foreign relations.
- Abdur Rahman establishes fixed borders and he loses
a lot of Afghan land.
- Nuristan converted to Islam.
Russian forces seize the Panjdeh Oasis,
a piece of Afghan territory north
of the Oxus River. Afghans tried to retake it, but was
finally forced to allow the Russians to keep Panjdeh, and the Russians
promised to honor Afghan territorial integrity in the
The Durand line
fixes borders of Afghanistan with British
India, splitting Afghan tribal areas, leaving half of Afghans
in what is now Pakistan.
Afghanistan's northern border is
fixed and guaranteed by Russia
- 1901-- Abdur Rahman dies, his son
Habibullah succeeds him.
Habibullah Khan's regime.Russia and Great Britain sign the convention of St.
Petersburg, Agreement reached between
British and Russian governments over the territorial integrity of
1919 - 1929
Amanullah Khan (The reform
1929 - 1930
Habibullah Kalakani (Bachae Saqaw)
- 1933 Nadir Khan takes
the throne; his tribal army loots government buildings and houses of
wealthy citizens because the treasury was empty. Habibullah
with his supporters, and a few supporters of Amanullah Khan are killed
by Nadir Khan. Now Nadir Khan establishes full
1933-- Nadir Khan was
a High School student whos father served Amanullah Khan and was killed by Nadir
Zahir Shaw, at the age of 19 inherits the throne,
even though he did not want to take the throne. He rules
until 1973. Zahir Shah's uncles serve as prime ministers and
advisors until 1953.
Mahmud Tarzi dies in
Turkey at the age of 68 with a heart full of sorrow and despair toward
1940 - 1973
Zahir Shah proclaims Afghanistan as
neutral during WW2
1949-- Afghanistan's Parliament
denounces the Durand Treaty and refuses to
as a legal boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pashtuns in Pashtunistan (Occupied Afghan Land) proclaim an
independent Pashtunistan, but their proclamation goes
unacknowledged by the world community.
1973 - 1978
Daoud Khan abolishes the
monarchy, declares himself President. The Republic of Afghanistan is
1978 - 1979
is named President,
- Hafizullah Amin takes the Presidency.
- Mass killings of Afghans
- US ambassador killed
1979 --Amin is executed
1986 Babrak Karmal replaceing
1986 - 1992
Dr. Najibullah replaceing
- 1987-- Najibullah proposes ceasefire, but the
Mujahideen refuse to deal with a
- 1988--1989 Peace accords signed in Geneva .
Soviet Union defeated by Afghanistan, total withdrawal by
the Soviets occurred on Feb. 15, 1989.
- The Geneva Accords and Their
1992 April 15
The Mujahideen take Kabul
and liberate Afghanistan, Najibullah is protected by UN.
The Mujahideen form an Islamic State--Islamic Jihad
- Professor Burhannudin Rabbani
- Through 1993,
Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami forces, allied with the Shi'a
Hezb-i-Wahdat militia, clashed intermittently with Rabbani and
Masood's Jamiat forces. Dostam switched sides, precipitating
largescale fighting in Kabul and in northern provinces.
- 1994-The Talibanmilitia are born, and advance rapidly against the Islamic government.
Dostum and Hekmatyar continued to clash against Rabbani and
Masood's government, and as a result Kabul is reduced to rubble.
1996 - 2001
Mullah Omar Taliban militia
force President Rabbani and his government out of Kabul. After
the capture of Kabul, the Taliban executed Najibullah.
2001 - Dec.
5 Hamid Karzai