صدیق رهپو طرزی
“Even God cannot change the Past” Agathon (447? – 401) B.C.
Quoted in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics,6.
We and History
In search of Identity
Seddiq Rahpoe Tarzi
In our land, considering the range of political geography which was shaped in the end of the 19th century, the third decade of the twentieth century was a watershed and turning point for the begin of the troubleshooting efforts towards finding or making our identity !
These kind of efforts were taking place under a hard political climate. The generation of educated people, who during the new reform movement and modernization was touched at the end of 19th and the beginning of the twentieth century, came forward. They had got the ideas of enlightenment and wisdom-oriented thinking which emerged from Europe after the Enlightenment movement. After the collapse of Amanolla, the reformist king's political system in 1929, which embedded these new and modern thoughts, a lot of them were sent to gallows, inner exile and put in dungeons. They were kept very far away form outside world or from any kind of contact with the people. We call this time , the Great Despotism.
The Roles of others in this Process
At the the same period the Europeans, who had critical looking and searching mind, discovered that ancient languages, such as:
Hittite, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Iranian, Greek, Italic, Armenian, Germanic, Albanian, Slavonic, Tocharian, Celtic and Baltic, which came out from the same root. It should be noted that the language Hittite, Tocharian or Takhari belongs to dead language group.
William Jones in the year1786, in one of his lectures about the Indian language which delivered in the Calcutta, noted that these are children of a language which had the role of mother tongue. But this mother had been died long time ago.
Since there was no name for this Mother language, the linguists, named it Indo -European one.
Among these languages, the language spoken in the north of Indian and Sri Lanka was called Indo-Aryan and other groups , among them Persian, Pashto and other , called Indo-Iranian – from view point of linguistics not political one – and then latter they agreed to call it Aryan.
Thomas Trautmann believes , “… Applying the term Arya does not mean that the speakers of this language belong to some kind of RACE which it called Aryans. This is a clear fact that today the people who talk to this language belong to different ethnics.,, (T. Trautmann. Debate on Aryan, 2005.)
However, in the second half of eighteenth century, some Europeans still tried in looking to the features and the appearance with different color of skin, classified them on the base of races. Gobineau, Joseph Arthur, Comte de, (1816-82) in his four volumes book called, On Inequality of Races.(1853-55) argued that all ancient civilizations, are the result of the work and efforts of the intellectual genius of the white race. Whenever a country or a civilization of the white race mixes with other races, they will face the course of declining or collapsing. He will later recall that among those people who talk an Indo-European language,the only race of Germanic or more correctly, Aryan, have remained pure and refined.
As we knew the use of Aryan word was not confined only in the circle of language, but gradually and slowly became a racial superiority one.
However, it was in this atmosphere and circumstances which political system that emerged from the heart of conspiracy and deceit, with the slogan of salvation and rescue, in 1930s tried to use all means for strengthening its political power.
Then the new generation of this system which embedded in thoughts and acts of Daoud and Naiem, tried their best to use the cultural levers for installing and establishing their power base firmly. They tried their best for seeking and even making a national identity in such a social situation that the true fabric of our society were woven by different ethics groups. In this kind of situation clinging on a specific ethnic and ignoring the rest, will backfire.
The regime, with bitter experience and the fear of its less legitimacy, saw that it can not shut all the expressing mouths through oppressions and pressures, and for preventing the next social explosion, tried to find an exit valve.
The system, gave this mission to its own intellectuals who itself slowly and with a trembling pen emerged from darkness. Some of them consider it as an opportunity for expressing their suppressed ideas and on the other side, it is clear that among them there were people who wanted to use this opportunity for acquiring high positions.
In this regard, they had created a literary society called Literary Association of Kabul (1930). Through establishing it, they followed two goals: One, giving an opportunity for its own intellectuals to express their beliefs in the context of their guidance, and on other hand, tracking the intellectuals who kept silence.
Regardless, inside the structure of the Association from its early days, the border between supporters of the status quo, and others who wanted to bring social reforms were drawn clearly. Members were attached to various degrees along these two lines.
For curbing and controlling this structure, they have divided it in different branches and departments.
One of the main duty of this Association was to seek through the history for finding or making a new identity. It is clear that the search for identity, or making one, no doubt, rest and will being in the the heart of history in which the position is important.
In order to understand the work through searching in history, it should be noted that in this direction there are two concepts of chronology writing and historiography .
In the first part of there are a group of writers, who consider historical data and document without any link to the social environment. Thus they write a kind of history which is not so real.
In the second part,or historiography, there are some kind of writers who use scientific methods for recording and writing history. The idea of history as a science seeking the truth by investigating man’s action is a dated past based on clear evidence. The historiographer must analyze the incident from different angles and consider the view points of others too.
In this context, the historian will attempt to select all reports, documents and data that are closer to reality and truth. He considers events with a worldly outlook, along with measures of wisdom and put myths and legends into their proper place and do not give them color of reality. He still looks with a critical point to whatever documents he has and consider the outlooks and ideas which are not involved in those incidents but express their own opinions.
Thus, the historiographer with the scientific outlook, not just mentions historical events but try his best to write a real history one. With this method, boundaries between data and scientific knowledge and putting them in the good service of authorities must be extremely clear. In this way, historian with all his abilities and possibilities try to divide between important events and non important ones. I think that the work of an historian differs from that of a political propagandist who is trying to shape the national consciousness in a proper time and space.
There is such a belief that history as a knowledge which attempts to check the truth from the way human being's deeds and actions in past time, on the bases of documents, legal agreement, contracts, certificates and official orders and so on and so forth.
The idea of history as a science seeking the truth by investigating man’s action in a dated past based on evidence was first conceived by Herodotus, 5th century B.C. However, this was Thucydides (400 – 460 BC.) the first historian who encounter it with scientific outlook. His historical view points were not based on the phenomena resulting form delight and joy or angry or furious of Gods, Goddess and semi Gods who were commanding world. His famous work called War of Peloponnesian War which represents an important battle between Athens and Sparta in the years 404 – 431 BC. In this war, Spartans won the battle and the golden era of Greek came to the end. He in his work tries to pinpoint the causes, the result of war and its effects on the destiny of human. His outlooks on events was based on work in line with time and neutrality. In the end he described that the results of war were human actions not gods and so. Later this viewpoints were developed by Western thinkers from Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) of Italy to Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975) and others too.
In our region it was Ebn e Khaldun in his history, particularly in its introduction note made just a critical outlook on his previous histories and historians, but also see them with critical sociological view points too. He believes that to understand all sides of a certain historical phenomenon, one should pay attention to all sides of that period's culture. He believes that with such outlook, the historical events can be assessed and measured on the principle of rational and reasons.
With this view, in our region and especially our country, within the current geo-political boundaries, we stand in a very starting point. The stumbling block which we are facing is that very outlook in this area is confined on our traditional way of reporting from historical events.
On the other hand, another obstacle on our way is that we cling on oral history which had came down from generation to generation. The most important point is that report of these kind of historical events had been changed under pressure of this or that political power. The best examples are sacred books of Rig Vida and its other twin sister Avesta. Yar Shater says that the historical events were fabricated with myths, legends and stories.
In this circle, we have historians who reported the only historical events and had not historiographers methods of writing history.
Figures such as: Mr. Ali Ahmad Kuhzad, Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar and Mr. A.H. Habibi and so and so … had tried only to report the historical events.
In the meantime, what is a deep vacuum and still has its presence is the lack of those who have seen education in historiography filed. We have self declared historians. If we have a single person like Mr. Hassan Kakar who studied history writing methods, under the pressure of the political events, was unable to take a step out of his own narrow circle and traditional view points. What can we expect from historians who recorded historical events accordance to their personal outlooks?
So, as Jalaloddin from Balkh says, “Everyone according to his mind, thought and suspicion became my sweetheart”.
In this course, Mr. Ahmad Ali Kuhzad, with knowledge of French language and being under the influence of French writer and anthropologist Gobineau, who believed that the races are innately unequal and that the white Aryan race is superior to all others, on one side and having the lever of presidential seat of Historical Association for more than a decade of on the other hand, tried to search for finding identity. He dedicated his great part of his book under the title of History of Afghanistan for searching Aryans. This was done under the atmosphere of the full acceptance of the presence of Aryan supremacy theory in Europe and especially Germany under the rule of Hitler. He did not put any kind of critical view on this theory for finding facts and realities.
He, while knew very well about the the great discovery of Indus civilization, the place we have a big role without doubt in it, pushes it on the sidelines. He marginalized it under the chapter “In the margins and sideline of Ariana” ( A.A.K.. History of Afghanistan, vol. First. P. 17). He dedicates just one sheet from more than a thousand pages in his book to Indus Civilization.
Mr. Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar, who came under the influence of Amani movement for reforms got a fresh air of thinking. Meanwhile he was an eyewitness to the fundamental changes in Soviet Russia on that time, and had been under the heavy burden of Great Despotism, in his land on the other side. I believe that he put and analyzed the historical events in the framework of Class Struggle.
… And others within the framework of their own minds such as Mr. A.H. Habibi, S. Farhang and its more recent, like Hassan Kakar followed suit.
It is very surprising that someone like Hassan Kakar, who was educated and learned history knowledge with Modern methods, followed the same path. When he wrote his theses for defending his academic degree, he was very faithful to the principle of modern history writing. The outcome was his book under the title of “Government and Society in Afghanistan: Reign of Amir Abdol Rahman Khan (University Publication, Austin U.S. of America, AS 1979).It is one of our best history books. But this historian, when the country's political stormy events in 80s of twentieth century brought a change in our land, in writing the new historical books, forgot all modern history writing principals and followed his traditional narrow minded way of thinking.
The scholars who praised his previous work and gave him PHD, in analyzing the new ones with critical points, commented that he following political impact in a polluted atmosphere and reminded that this work shows that he is out of events. They stressed that the look of deep outlooks and profound points, had been denied. He might have learnt that nothing will be out of their critical points.
With this vision and measures, our writers and historian have not reached to level of Historiography yet.
We, in the Bed of these Events
I believe that if we search our past in the current geopolitical context in the framework of today's borders, it would not go behind a century. For reaching to this aim, it is necessary to look behind this time.
It is all clear fact that Britain and Russia rose in the end of 19th century as the global superpowers, which in the territory of the first the sun was not sitting down and in the latter:s the land was started from rising sun in the east of Asia to siting sun in west Europe.
These two Empires were the only powers who were expressing the final word on the fate of other lands and even drawing up the borders too. These powers cut the others land according to their own benefits. Here they cut in pieces our land which was a mosaic of different ethnic groups. They agreed to pop up a leader on the throne of power on it.
Thus, they created a country which was composed of ethnic minorities.
So, I believe for considering the past, first of all it must not be confined to these borders. These borders in the length of history some time had extended to wide circle and some time decreased to little one. On the same time one should pay attention to its cultural presence, because this phenomenon does not recognize political limited boundaries.
Again, if we would assume a flexible framework, should consider of the land between two rivers of Amo or Oxus on one hand and Indus on the other hand. Of course, as it is clear, the presence of cultural achievements can not be confined in this area too.
If we consider for our study the mentioned land, before touching the Indo-european speaking languages and the nomads who were a band of aggressors, there existed a brilliant civilization among these two rivers.
For shedding light on our presence in this civilization, we must point to cities of Mudigak and Tape Deh Morsai (Hill of Morsai Village) who are situated in Northeast of Kandahar. They were part and parcel of Indus civilization. They are on equal footing with Mohenjo-daro and Harappa who are making the core of Indus civilization.
It is necessary to mention that the influences of culture spread form here and join with the land among two rivers or as we call it Mesopotamia.
A Look to Distance
After that Homo Sapiens Sapiens, put a rational and abstract look on his surrounding world, we can say that the history of mankind enter a new phase.
Scientists and scholars after eighteen centuries, divided this long long way into two categories, prehistory and history based on recoding of inscriptions. However, this attitude with the emergence of other knowledges such as: Archeology, Linguistics, Biology and so with the genes as the latest one had not remain imprisoned in this framework. In such instance, the prehistory of Egypt reaches three thousand years, and in New Ghana to the twentieth century.
What is most important in this context is the development of tools.
From the time onward which the wised men for defending their lives made the tool work, we can call him instrument maker animal, a new line of evolution developed and put him in high position.
In this context, we can specify three periods of tool making: Stone, Bronze and iron. Of course, it should not forget that these periods, particularly Paleolithic, such as the following courses, had been divided in sub categories. There is no place to address them fully here.
Lost and Forgotten Civilization
During the archaeologists research in Sind valley, one of the archaeologists called Alexander Cunningham found some documents which were amazing for him.
At that time he was concreted for finding the Chinese pilgrims documents, especially, Hüsing who passed here in the seventh century for focusing on Buddhist temples. So he had thought that he had got the documents which were related to the cities which he was recorded in his travelogue.
Next, Sir John Marshall by using the findings of Banerji and D. R. Sahni the Indian archaeologists in an article which published in (1924) the journal of Illustrated London News, unveiled a civilization which had been forgotten long time ago between tow rivers.
This fact brought a surprisingly shock in the archaeological world. It put two clear and major effects on the vision of scholars:
First, that a completely new civilization has been discovered
Second, the above mentioned civilization flourished before of coming of the people who used Indo-European language, which later called by linguists as Aryans.
The review of documents showed that this civilization belonged to far distance between three thousand and six hundred (3,600) to one thousand nine hundred (1900) B.C. while the oldest documents date of religious song or hymn of Vida and its twin sister Avesta are not going back more than seven hundred years to one thousand five hundred years B.C.
Since this article is a very important one about Sind valley civilization, I try to quoted its high lights as:
Marshall, writes about as:
“Not often has it been given to archeologists, as it was given to Schliemann at Tiryns and Mycenae, or Stein in the deserts of Turkestan, to light upon the remains of a long -forgotten civilization. It looks, however, at this moment, as if we were on the threshold of such a discovery in the plains of Indus.
“Up to present our knowledge of Indian antiquities carried out back hardly further than the third century BC. Of the long ages before the coming of the Greeks and the rise of Maurya dynasty, of the birth and growth of of civilization in the great river basin , of the cultural developments of races who once after another poured into peninsula from the north and west – of these and other problems relating to that dim and remote past, archeology has given to us but the faintest glimmerings, for almost the only remains of those early times that have come down to us have been rough implements of the Stone and Copper Ages, groups of the prehistoric graves in the south of peninsula, and some rude cyclopean walls at Rajagriha in Bihar. On the other hand, from the third century BC onward, we have, on the whole, a fairly clear idea of man's hand work in general: of his religious and domestic architecture, of his formative arts, of his weapons and utensils, of his personal ornaments and his jewelry, of his coins and germs, and the scripts which he used in his writing. And whenever it happens that new antiquities come to light- no matter to what race or religion they may belong- it is invariably possible to assign them with confidence and within relatively narrow limits to their respective age or class.
“ Now, however, there has unexpectedly been unearthed, in the south of Panjab and Sind, an entirely new class of objects which have nothing in common with those previously known to us, and which are unaccompanied by any data that might have helped to establish their age and origin.
“ The two sites where these somewhat startling remains have been discovered are some 400 miles apart – the one being in Harappa in Montgomery district of Panjab, the other at Mohenjo -daro, in the Larkana district of Sind. At both these places there is a vast expanse of artificial mounds, evidently covering the remains of once flourishing cities, which, to judge from the mass of accumulated debris rising ad high as 60 ft above the level of the plain, must have been in existence for many hundred of years. Such groups of mounds abound in the plains of Indus, just as they do in Mesopotamia and the valley of the Nile, and they are specially conspicuous along the banks of the old, dried-up beds of main stream and its tributaries, not only in Sind, but in Bahawalpur State and in Panjab.”
He after shedding more light about the richness of this part hope for new discoveries in the future.
He with a strong strange look noted as:
“At Mohenjo-daro, the main street of the old city can still be discerned as a broad highway running from the south bank of the river towards the south-east, with houses fringing it on either side. What is surmised by the discoverer, Mr. Banerji, to have been the royal palace, stood at the point where this road emerged on to the quays of the riverside. Opposite to it, in the now dry bed of river, are several islands from which rose the principle shrines of the city, the highest and, no doubt, the chief of them all, being a massive Buddhist stupa raised on the high above oblong platform, and surrounded by subsidiary shrines and monastic quarters.”
He then consider the deeper part of this area very valuable and says:
“Deep down below the Buddhist monuments described above, or at the other parts of the sites appearing close to the surface itself, there are at least two other strata of building belong to mush earlier epochs, and containing a variety of brick structures…Among these older structures one group is especially worthy of mention. Besides various halls and passages and chambers, it includes a massive structure -apparently a shrine- with walls seven or eight ft thick, pierced by several conduits which, in the opinion of excavator, served for carrying off lustral water when the shrine or image within it was washed. In other part if same group is what appears to be an alter built of small glazed bricks, and provided with a drain of similar brickwork.”
He during his talk about the age and levels says:
“At Harappa, Daya Ram Sahani's excavations disclosed as many as seven or eight successive levels, demonstrating the long and continuing occupation of site during many hundred of years prior to the third century BC, and throughout most, if not all, of this long period, burnt brick of good quality was used for building purposes.”
He then describe about Stone Seals as:
“Of all these antiquities the most valuable are the stone seals, not only because they are inscribed with legends in an unknown pictographic scripts, but because the figures engraved on them, and the style of the engraving, are different from anything of the kind hitherto met with in Indian art.”
As he mentioned,
“ The animals engraved on them are in some instance bulls, in other unicorn, but it is to be observed that neither the Indian humped bull nor the water-buffalo occurs among them.”
On the matter of scripts in this civilization he noted down as:
“As to the strange pictographs which do duty for letters, three points are worth to remarks: First, that the marks (apparently vowel signs) attached to many of the pictograph indicate a relatively high stage of envelopment, secondly, that some of inscriptions from Mohenjo-daro betray a later stage in the evolution of this script than those from Harappa,thirdly, that they bear no resemblance whatever to nay ancient Indian alphabet known to us, but, on the other hand, they do bear a certain general affinity to pictograph of the Mycenaean age in Mediterranean area, though it is not possible to point any of the symbols as being actually identical.”
Marshall knew very well that people are very eager to know about the age and people of Indus civilization. He remarks about as:
“To what age and to what people do these novel antiquities belongs? Those are two questions which all naturally occur to reader, and to which score of different answers may perhaps suggest themselves. As to the first question, all that can be said at the present is that the period during which this culture flourished in the the Indus valley must have extended over many centuries, and that it came to a end before the rise of the Maurya power in the third century BC…the pictographic writing is totally distinct from the early Brahmi script which Emperor Asoka employed throughout the greater part of India, or from the Kharoshthi script which he used in his inscription on the north-west Frontier.”
“ As to the second question, it is possible, though unlikely, that this civilization of the Indus valley was intrusive civilization emanating from further west. Painted pottery and other objects somewhat analogous to those from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa have been found in Baluchestan, and there are linguistic reasons for believing that it was by way of Baluchistan that the Dravidian races (thought by some writers to have been originally connected with Mediterranean) entered india. Mr. Banerji himself is inclined to connect this culture to the Indus valley directly with the Aegean culture of the Eastern Mediterranean , and holds that distinct affinities are traceable between Minoan (Its relating to, or denoting a Bronze Age civilization centered on Crete c. 3000 –1050 BC, its people, or its language. Tarzi) antiquities of the Crete and those unearthed by him in Mohenjo-daro-especially in regard to the painted ceramic wares and pictographic inscriptions. But the resemblance referred at are, at the best, problematical, and, in case too slight the intangible to warrant any reference being drawn as to a cultural connection between the two areas.
“What seems prima facie more probable is this forgotten civilization, which the excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have now given us first glimpse, was developed in in the Indus valley itself. And just as distinctive of that region and the civilization of Pharaohs was distinctive of Nile. In the marvelous forward progress which mankind made during the Neolithic, Cooper and Bronze Ages, the great rivers tracts of the then inhabited parts of world played a most important part, for it was, in these tracts that the condition were found most favorable from supporting a dense and settled population-namely, fertility of soil, an unfailing water supply, and easy communications, and it was of course, among such large and settled populations that civilization had the best chance of making progress. The debt which, in the early stages of its development, the human race owed to Nile, to the Danube, to the Tigris, and to the Euphrates, is already well known. But how much owed to the Indus and Ganges has yet to be determined. In the case of the Indus, It is probably true that successive migration from outside had useful effect, as they did in Mesopotamia and Egypt, in promoting the development of indigenous culture, but there is no reason to assume that the culture of this region was imported from other lands, or that its character was profoundly modified by ousted influences.”
Published by S. H. Marshall as, “First light on long-forgotten civilization” of Illustrated London News, 20 September 1924. Pp. 524 to 32 and 548.
Note: I have taken it from “Aryan Debate ” edited by Thomas R. Trautmann”. Pp.15- 21.Oxford University Press, new Delhi, second impression 2006.
The ink of John Hubert Marshall's article was not dried yet just after two weeks J.G. Gadd and Sidney Smith published an article under the title of “The link between Babylon (Gate of God) and Indian civilizations, in the same journal. They believed that the signs in the valley of Sind seals have surely close link with Sumerian civilization. They argued that according to new founded documents, there were close relationship between the peoples of the Sind civilization Sumer in third millennium BC. This shows that such a relationship had been existed before invasion of the tribes who used different branches of Indo- European or Indo-Hittite language. They entered here in 1500 BC.
Native or non-native?
Discovery of this civilization, brought tow controversial view points among scholars and the experts : Sind civilization of is very clear the native one. Second, the next civilization India is the continuation of this civilization and has not arrived from outside.
According to Edmund Lich the world of science and knowledge had received a strong shock. This fact the old concept that Dasa or Dasyu (Both are Sanskrit words and means Enemy. The Dasa are often identified as the non-Indo-European populations subdued by the people practicing Vedic rituals in the course of the Indo-Aryan migration. Asko Parpola proposed that the original Dasas were fellow Indo-Iranian of the BMAC, who initially rejected Aryan religious practices but were later merged with them. Tarzi) whom Rig Vida called them savages, primitives and without culture, suddenly changed to the creators of a magnificent civilization.
Cities in the Sind Civilization
As the archaeologists exploring shows in the Sind valley have been cities. New discovery in this regard is the city Davarkar which is under water now. Interesting and amazing thing is that the construction of these cities based on the program and plan. They first of all paved the road, then made stench sewer and drainage and then were building the houses. In the end, the people were bringing for live there.
These roads were severely straight and parallel with, and where they crossed each other was just ninety degrees. These in compare with even today roads had been wider. Along roads they were digging the streams so carefully that a drop of water was not wasted or closed. The houses were same and two stories. All houses had court yards and stairs for climbing to a second floor. The baths and water wells are small. These houses made of bricks and its interesting that not gate and nor a window were open to the public roads. Entering homes through the side streets has been done. Roads were carpeted by bricks have resistance against the passing of horses and heavy carts.
Another interesting point of these houses are their greatness. They had the capacity for living a lot of families.
L. Karlovesky believe that it shows the presence of social harmony and high cultural of Sind civilization. He think that its for being of such the social structure where the blood links were so strong and was extremely tight. He believes that competition in a class society, pave the ways to the presence and the emergence of different means of production, while in a common community- as we see in the Sind valley- there were a harmonious relations. This fact stimulate the stability in a community where the central government, a leader or groups of rulers not existed.
If we compare the building of these cities with, Sumer or Egypt, can see a wonderful point. In the two mentioned civilizations, the homes and buildings were made around temples or worship houses of the gods. This means that the first temples were built and then without any plan or program the city were extending around it. In the civilization of Sumer and Egypt the houses and living environment of ordinary people, with worship places and administrative building were made in a chaos forms, while in Sind they were built in the three separated parts.
Worship in the Sind Civilization
Until now the findings like alters for fire or stoves of benedictory in public and private temples are revealed. Next to it were found the remaining of baths and the pieces of bone which represent that livestock and animals were sacrificed. Still clay statues and figures of women that may have had the role of Mother Goddess, with a lot of the seals have been discovered. In large part that seals, we see the portrait of a unicorn (A mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead. Tarzi) can be seen. This mythical horse has power of goodness and bad in the same time. It is very beautiful and its unicorn has the power of highly antidote. The position of this mythical horse in the Sind civilization symbolizes a high power and authority. Beside unicorn there are the signs of burning for sacrifices. Figures of other animals such as: Tiger, camel and so and so have been found.
Meanwhile, they found a seal which A. Walter Fairservis, called it Anil and Marshall a previous image of Shiva. It is one of the important finding here. Archeologists have named it the King of Beast. These figure, with a straight body and yogi like movement sitting on his knees and put a horned helmet on its head. Around it surrounded by animals and on the top there is a kind of written signs.
The presence of different worship symbols in the Sind civilization brought a heated debate among archaeologists and other scholars in this case that whether the people were worshiping a single god or multi one.
Some scholars believe that even the Temple of Fire had two goals : one to hold fire. For it is very clear that in that past time lighting again a fire has been very difficult job. Second this fact slowly changed to the worship of fire.
Inscriptions in Sind Civilization
The most important issue about Sind civilization is his inscription or handwritten. As far as we know, the archeologists had found (64) seals which related to Sind with a lot of other things. On a lot of them there are signs of unidentified inscription. Despite all efforts such as using the latest technical methods its secret and talisman had not broken yet. Whenever its spell and talisman breaks, many of the questions that have not ever answered will be solved. Many scholars have not ever even agreed that this line is syllabic or syllabic- signs ?
Thus the Forgotten Civilization with the article which was was presented by Marshall came out from the the minds who forgotten the past. Some of them wanted to forgot the past for spreading the racial theory of so called Aryan superiority.
Our History Writers and this Civilization
Our historians not historiographers, in the twentieth century are famous figures like: M Ahmad Ali Kuhzad, Mir Gholam Mohammad Ghobar, Abdol Hai Habibi, Mohammad Hassan Kakar and Mir Mohammad Seddiq Farhang.
Their outlook to this period is too surprising.
It is very mention clearly demonstrate that Kuhzad was living in the atmosphere of years before and after the Second World War which that space was filled with Arianism, especially supper race of Arian theory. The crystal sign of it can be seen in the following Petrastich (Four lines verses) under the title of Afghan which he composed in (1942) . In the first part of this Petrastich which according to Kuhzad Cultural Foundation “.. Represent Great Kuhzad patriotic feeling ” Stated …
Oh, Afghanistan country! /
Oh ancient land ! /
Cradle of Arian flame /
Your name be Eternal/
Your name be Eternal !
It is very interesting. In this poem, if it can survive the situation and had became a national anthem , in a land with a lot of ethnic groups, had not been mentioned others, except the names of Aryan, which does not belong to any ethnic groups and Afghans which had been used just for Pashtuns.
He is although familiar with the Marshall's article about Sind civilization which strongly highlighted our presence and he ignored this issue in his big work called Afghanistan History. According to his chapters, marginalized it very much.
He even put Marshall's name in a very confusing style.
In this last print which had been done by Kuhzad Cultural Association, the title in English turned on. The History of Afghanistan has been changed to A History of Afghanistan. Under other tittle it has written A Comprehensive history of Afghanistan when it was called Ariana. Another interesting point that the word Ariana has been written in a very clear and big size ,so large as to put a kind of strong emphasizing.
I think that there was a reason to do so. Later,it is written “Before the fall of Morian destiny." More interesting that the correct name of this destiny is Mauryans not Morian. It represents the carelessness in this matter .
He then used the article of Marshall without mentioning the date and source and put it to the East of Ariana. (Afghanistan, p.18). Then make an overview hastily. What had been forgotten in this one sheet, put a forgotten mark on our position and place it in this forgotten civilization.
Later, the large sections of the book was swallowed by dragon of Aryan.
Since then, Ghobar and Habibi tried out their hands for reporting the history's events. They did not try to write a history on the bases of Historiography principles. It shows that we have not entered this high stage.
Both Ghobar and Habibi, in the same time (1967) compiled first, “Afghanistan on the course of History” and then “Short history of Afghanistan.”
As we knew Afghan authorities confiscated the book from printing house onward. Some copies were smuggled form there only. After the military coup in April 1978, it was released for public reading.
Thus the book was entered martyrdom with this act of censorship and the halo of sacredness was put around. To my belief if this book was not seized at that time, and had chance to be observed by critical perspective, would not have reached to such a position.
Thus, the authoritarian political system cut its roots with its own axes.
Here I want to express my own personal sense – although telling of this kind of individual impression is forbidden in a society which is dominated by collective minds – about the book by recalling my memory of the past
I left Herat in (1963), where our family were sent to inner exile in (1942)for higher education to Kabul. It was due to this fact that my father supported reformists movement of (1920s) as we call it Amani's movement. The regime which came to power in (1929), put a lot of this movement supporters to gallows, prisons or inner exile.
I came to Kabul for having higher education and entered the faculty of Law and Political Science in Kabul University. One day, Mr. Homayoun Baha, who was my friend from Herat and I was familiar with him, and together we had heated debates about the country, showed me this book and give it to me for just one night. The condition was that it is not allowed to be even seen by others for it was one of the copies which was smuggled from printing house at the time of confiscation. For avoiding that eyes of non-confidential and confidential peoples alike, I did not go that night in the university's dormitories. Instead I was awaked that night in a friend house. I, in moments of high excitement, not reading but swallowing the book. Its section about reformists movement was very interesting. It called all familiar words which my father and all my family members were telling about this movement. This book put a strong effect on me and draw me more on the line of rebellion. As we know that such rebellion, clash and feud, is a kind of excitement conditions which takes us out of analyzing a phenomenon very deeply.
I think that book of Ghobar is big rebellious act against the great tyranny of that time which we call it Great Despotism.
Back to the issue
Now the hot and burning space of Aryans' oriented policy of earlier time had turned cold. The crystal of rulers belief, especially the younger generation, which was concerted to this theory that the conquering of subcontinent of India by Hitler will realize their dream for getting more land, was broken with the stone of defeat.
Ghobar in the his book under the chapter Past Distance, does not make any debate about Sind civilization, although that at that time new data and knowledge had been provided by archaeologists in this country. Although, he was familiar with the archeological works of L. Dupree,but just made a small point to Mudigak, “.. As the intersection and crossroad of Highway between Sind valley and Iran” (Ghobar,1967, p.34.)
According to himself, under the tittle of Avyestad and then Avysta says that our history begins right from here.
In this work, Ghobar only in parts of names, talk about Ariana" and knows as the most ancient name of the country. Then he talks more about Avysta and speaks less on Ariana. He talks about the language Avysta and write, “The Avysta call this land Ariana and its the country's territory as Arya,, (Ghobar .1967 p.37)
Habibi in the first part of his book under the tittle of “Comments on Afghanistan Prehistory .,, (Habibi third edition in 1998) pay more attention on extensive period of Copper. I believe that term is including very long period of stone and on the other side the archaeologists do not use it more.
Thus Habibi mixes two periods of of Paleolithic and Metal together. Then, without pointing to the work of archaeological exploration in the area in this section, talk about Sind civilization.
He talk about Mundigak and hill of Morasi in North -West of Kandahar.
He has reminded that in Mundigak fifteen layers have been discovered. While J.G Shaffer in his latest work entitled “Archaeology of Afghanistan” (1978) says that according to the findings of their exploration, the figure are only five layers. But it is more interesting that he does not consider the larger circle of this civilization which extends from Amo and high mountains of Pamir downward. He partly, without taking the name of Sind and Amo rivers , does speak about new debates.
Then as he gave detailed information about Aryans especially the section of Vida"and then Avesta and even without taking any critical points, say that they are the creature of Bokhdi (Balkh) and Afghanistan land, and says that its founder is Zoroastrian or Zarathustra.
The interesting point is that from now on, our historians divided in two parts very clearly. A group follow Vida and the next group to Avesta. While scholars believe that the text of these two languages are so close together that simply can be translated to each other. Norman Bird, a known textualist, noted that eighty-five percent of words in two languages, have shared together and are similar and we can translated them very easy.(N. Bird, 1982) The only differences is dialect, not any more.
To my belief, our so called historians go on the line of ethnic and language. Some of them with a kind of sympathy look to the East or India and and the next to the West or Persia. More interesting is that this is going on intentionally and our intellectuals! can not abandon it yet.
Then Farhang with his work by the name of, “Afghanistan in the Five Centuries,” (Farhang, 1988.) enter the rank. He through his analyzing talks about “Historical period in Afghanistan” He rejects the European historical periods as he believe, “First, the Middle and Modern centuries”. It should be kept in mind that historians who are working on European History do not promote such practices. This division is more political. On history they consider the people, culture and civilizations. They divide history according to time and starts form Bible to now.
He says that the history of our country began with Zardhasht. It is very strange that our historians on the base of their personal test use Zoroaster's name with different spells. As a proverb says in Persian, “Khest Awal ra chu meamar mand kaj / Ta soraya mirawad divar kaj” it is English impression is as, “An ill beginning, an ill ending.”
He, for the considering the past historical period, without referring to the achievements and findings of archaeologists and other scholars, face to descendants of Zoroaster.
He ends this period without mentioning Avesta and Vida" with a few lines and blames the lack of access to materials on military campaign of Median King, Cyrus. He only once name the Aryan tribes. He does not talk about Sind civilizations because it belongs to West and South of the country. Then the large part of his attention is concentrated on Khorasan.
The amazing points in these historical work which dominated the minds of our intellectuals during the twentieth century are the lack of bibliographies and indexes.
Basic principle especially for a serious writer is that at the end of his work he should mentioned these two things.
In this work of Kuhzad, the sources are not mentioned either at the end of chapters and nor at the end of his book. Only at the end of the book they put index in a as list of names, ethnicities and tribes, and later, the list of places separately. While it should be mentioned in a one section not confuse readers. I think that this had been don by Kuhzad Cultural Foundation in the next edition.
In the book of Ghobar at the end of book, we can find reference. Different styles and sizes of letters and written summary shows that it was added later. We can not see the index there. It is interesting that the second volume of this work which was published in June 1999 in Virginia of USA by Hashmat Khalil Ghobar as an editor there is no indexes and bibliography too.
In the book of Habibi, to the third part under the tittle of “ Independent Islamic Era” or ninth century, the sources were not mentioned. Then under the name of sources, its mentioning only the name of Hodudalalm (Frontiers of the World) by Otbi. However, it is without mentioning the name of author, date and place of print. In this work there is also no room for indexes.
In the book of Farhang, at the end of each chapter we can see its bibliographies. But there is no indexes in it.
I believe that what has shaped our turbulent historical mentality, frame of mind and psychology or outlook is the lack of critical approach and accepting or rejecting without dispute of a book or article and so. According to this line of thought, we had not put our historical book with critical outlook. Most of the book, which had been written, are confined on the ethic and local outlook of writers which is based as L. Dupree put it down on a Peasant-Tribal social relations.
A Glance at the Culture Facts Pre- Sind civilization
Its more than half a century, that with the help of archaeologist's explorations the thick and dark screen was put off from the face of Sind civilization. Now many believe that this civilization is the most ancient civilization in this region and through out the world.
The studies and explorations of other archaeologists such as Stein and Majomdar showed that if a kind of civilization or urbanization had not been shaped here before Sind civilization as a true concept, but signs of former cultures can be seen in Baluchistan, Afghanistan and its geographical borders. It is clear archaeological research and exploration are in the first stage. However, the explorations which had been done some time ago in Baluchistan, Sistan and Afghanistan revealing the secrets of places like: Mundigak hill or Tape Namazgah, Shar e Sukhta or Burnt City and so and so.
Village, the Builder of Town
Fertilized lands at Sind valley and at the banks of Amo and Seer rivers provide the grounds for farming and agriculture. These had the back bone role for flourishing of urbane and civilization.
As we know it in periods between the third and second millennium BC, civilizations or cities in the valley, Nile, Tigris and Euphrates and Sind were sprang. It should be noted that the presence of dozens of these peasant- agriculture villages helped shaping the cities and civilizations to come through. Cultivation and production of agricultural work in the dozens of villages, led the formation and growth of social layers who could run the religious and politics affairs and at the same time was a boast for technical growth. That is why the rich soil, which was ready for planting in the Mundigak and Tape Deh Morasi, provided the means for the growth of Sind civilization.
Our Villages Place in this Civilization
Great framework of this culture can be seen form Pamir, Amo and Seer rivers in the north to two sides of Sind river in south and cities of Iran in the west of that land. However, this culture in this context, does not remain tight and close, and open its way to remote areas.
Archaeological excavations with same delay, as Louis Dupree claims, due to the unwillingness of European and American scholars to the period of pre history, started after the second World, although the first archaeological search had begun in first decade of the twentieth century.
In the meantime, according to Dupree, the famous Afghanistan expert in archaeology and named anthropologist, some of our Scholars, among them Kuhzad, regardless of archaeological knowledge, written a lot of things as rumors, unfounded and unrealistic facts about Forgotten Cities. (L. Dupree. 1979)
In this line, the fifth decade of the twentieth century marked the beginning of serious work on exploring the country's era of prehistoric.
Walter l. Fairservis, the famous explorer, in the year (1950) for the first time, payed attention to prehistory research here. He then marked Tape Deh Morasi and then went to Sistan" for more explorations.
L. Dupree, who had research in this area, expressed his view as, “It should be noted that Mudigak and Morsai in Afghanistan, the establishment of Sind civilization had played significant role,, (Afghanistan 1997) In this context, Jean-Marie Casal, in the year (1961) in Mundigak put his hands for search. Then L. Dupree in year (1963), explored Morasi. Both of them have a great role or searching our prehistory. They believe, “Mundigak slowly had changed form an agricultural village, with signs of semi-settled state and semi-nomadic, may be as grain store, to the capital of Sind civilization.
H. D. Sankalia, Indian scholar with considering the exploration Casal (1961) showed that it was don in ten steps and writes about, “He during his exploration have found five layers, each with several substrates. Among these layers, four periods for determining the cultural development in the Southern Afghanistan have enjoy great importance.
In the first round, the interesting point is that the houses were rectangular in shape with plain soil and then start adobe, made without a mold. Ovens are located in the middle of the rooms. In some rooms, there are ovens for making and burning of pottery. These findings have wonderful similarity with work which had been found in Gol Mohammad Village in the Quetta city in Pakistan and Hessar of Iran.
In the second period, the new development is pottery have been made by wheels. Another change in is that wells were dug in living quarters. At the end of this period, the houses are bigger and more rooms are rectangular. After this stage, they buried their deaths inside the home or between two. More later, we see mass graves, which are among the four walls that were used for the toilet, laundry and bath. It is very surprise that the in the graves, we could not found the house utilities and equipment except a necklace or a grinding stone. Here in the upper part, perforated bronze axes is obtained. We have been found there a group of women figurines with violin shapes.
In the fifth round, living areas became very large and wide. In the top section, the signs of a castle and a large platform which its column are based on the foundation of stone-clay found.
This species can be seen that Mundigak had got bigger achievement. In its we can see temples and other fortified buildings, including a fortress with a strong foundation. Here, due to increasing population and material flourishing, can be seen growth of knowledge and technology. This fact brought with the cultural development too. Clear and obvious examples in this context is the white plaster statue of the head of man who divide his head hair with hair clipper in two parts.. Another example is a Goddess with her eyes getting out of their sockets and her raised neck adorned with a lot of necklaces. These figures are similar with all cultural shades of Sin civilization.
In the next period, we see that the trends of urbanization in Afghanistan and Sistan starts.
The interesting point is that the documents obtained by archaeological show that Mundigak and Shar e Sukhta or burnt city, had technical superiority as arrow sharp stone points and the perforated brassed axes. However, the presence of written lines or inscriptions in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro took them in higher stage.
The time Mundigak growth and flourishing start from fourth century BC. and continues to second century which mark the beginning of Iron era. Thus Mundigak change from a farming village to the center of a town. Then her downturn period marked. In this regard, should be noted that signs of burnt houses shows that it came under sever attack and pressures.
The most interesting finding parts are ceramic dishes which have earned the passionate debate among archaeologists.
This narrow place is not enough for dealing in detail.
Tape Deh Morasi or Hill of Morsai Village
In this section L. Dupree made an exploration in 1963. This village is located in fifteen Km of Qala e Sayed or Sayed Castle's south west. They made search here later than the Sayed Qala of Sayed Castle. They made a limited exploring here. The most important layer displacement was the second one. Dupree believes that there is a time vacuum between these two parts. Here the clay figures of women, copper pipes, seals, bones and goat's horns, and pieces of ceramic container are obtained. L. Dupree believes, Deh Morasi was a semi-nomads village and played a role of transition station. Where wheat and barley are grown and still we can be see the domestication of sheep and goats,, (Dupree, Afghanistan. 1997).
Tape Qala e Sayed or Hill of Sayed Castle
Here is situated about sixty Km south east of Mundigak. This section is from the perspective of remanning of old archeological things can not be compared with Mundigak. For the first time Fairservis marked here in (1952), the archaeological explorations was conducted two decades later.
Here have a lot of layers. Here they found things from raw clay bricks to ordinary dried adobe, an oven made adobe and.
Here can be seen the signs of pre-history of 2110 to 2160 BC.
Thus, we by forgetting his forgotten civilization, forget tour past and are wandering till now.
G. Orwell, in his book under the tittle of “1984” recalls as, “One who has not a hand in past, would not have any future too"
I believe the people who would find their last, they will not have today and tomorrow.
The Decades of Crisis
As we know, the so called white coup of Saratan 1352/July 1973, opened a breach of death and paved the way for the the later bloody coups. Form that time onward it has changed to a bloody flood which continues till now. This opened a deep crisis in all the fabric of our life.
Since the evil of war make a bigger negative impact on the cultural life, the sector search for the past for relying on it for seeing the ways to the future, stopped.
Thus with the archaeological explorations – despite some interruption in it – the wide land which was considered in past as the crossroad of civilization, had been changed to the highway of conduct among different civilizations such as: Amo, Seer, Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Ancient Rome, Egypt, India, China and Central.
Mixing of diverse peoples of different ethnic groups, who were maker and transformers of culture, inspired the artists, jewel makers, sculptor and authors to create immortal and ever-lasting artistic works.
Nancy Dupree, wife of L. Dupree, is an expert who loves this country, especially its culture, with all her body and soul. She despite all these years of crisis and conflict of past three decades, tired her best to keep the cultural remnants of of this land. That is why she, first of all, founded a cultural center in Peshawar and then in 2001, in Kabul.
She believes that among (143) archaeological sites only (17) have been explored, but not fully and comprehensively.
Stein, the famous archaeologist who opened the past door of Central Asia to archaeological knowledge about the breadth and depth of the ancient sites in this country, elaborates,The exploration of any ancient caves, will swallow the entire life a devours archaeologist.”
The work of archeological excavations which had reached to its high point in 1960s, due to transformations of political vision in (1970s) subsided and in 1980s stopped.
N. Dupree believes that after (1990s) with presence of central power and its influence break down, the ways were opened for plundering the ancient articles. Only in Mirzaka which is located in in Gardez, an amount of four and a half tons of coins to add two hundred kg Gold and silver of ornaments and makeup which belonged to prehistory and was discovered in (1947) randomly was looted. All the stolen things found its way to markets in Peshawar later.
As we know it in this context, the most heavy blow had been done to Kabul Museum, in which the effect of belonging to the prehistoric periods were kept.
N. Dupree, tell a sad story from a responsible person of Kabul Museum as,“One day in a part of the museum, where effects related to the prehistory had been kept wanted to see what is going on? Darkness blanket everywhere, and the chance to see things were impossible. Then slowly I realized that under my feet on the carpet, things of sticky mass slipped my foot. They were the discovered things of prehistory. Before theses effects were kept in their proper places and now fallen on the ground were carpeted.” from (“Afghanistan Prehistory.” 2006.)
Nancy in her article, “Afghanistan Prehistory: Sites of explorations, the Remnants and Ways of Maintenance,, has an sad story of the low awareness and our ignorance. This sorrowful tale is about one of our Information and Culture ministers in the year before the crisis. A man with a name among the intelligentsia (Emphasized is of me. Tarzi) of our country. He while inspecting the Aq Kupruk site, the archeologists with a passion demonstrated a tool work which was used long time ago and brought a profound changes in the work tools development. The wised Minister put a deep look! In the small and little stone and seemingly threw his head sadly and noted with wonder, “Oh! No! Afghans never were such backward people and never had such primitive life.”
He with uttering such words, put a cold water on the fire of excitement and enthusiasm of archaeologists, who expected him else.
World Council of Museum in its latest report made a sad and painful analyzes of crisis conditions of ancient things, despite the six years of Presence of the international community in Afghanistan. The report in one part under Red List has been reminded that far 55,000 item which was discovered in (1980s) have been disappeared. Also here is the extensive network of traffickers who cross the passage of Khyber extended to Lebanon, Europe and then to America. Within the country, the evil sides had made a triangle of warlords, weapons smugglers and opium kings build. They penetrated all fabrics of the political structure.
J. Zvereff, Secretary General of Council of World Museum said in this case as,“In Afghanistan, the historical articles which belonged Paleolithic periods to the twentieth century are subject to plunder and pillage of organized criminal networks. This country never had plundered regular as such, except in the last three decades. This is be done now before our eyes.”
These are a handful example of tons of fact.
At the end it is good to remind of a nameless refugees saying who told to Juliet the author of “Art and Archaeology in Afghanistan in the year (1994) in Peshawar as, “What is surprising me is that the people of the world are interested in our past! It means that there is hope for the future.”
Bibliography in Persian language:
1- Farhang, M. Seddiq. “Afghanistan in the Last Five Centuries.” Mashhad, Iran.1371.
2 – Ghobar, Mir Gholam Mohammad. “Afghanistan on the Course of History” Sixth Edition, Republic of Publications, Tehran, Jade Jamhuri, Bagh e Sepasalar, Printing House: Printing House of (2000), Printed Year: (1374/1995).
3 – Habibi, Abdol Hai. “Short History of Afghanistan.” Third edition, (1998/1377), Danish Library, Peshawar, Pakistan.
4 – Kuhzad, Ahmad Ali. “History of Afghanistan” the second publication. Publisher: Kuhzad Cultural Foundation, publication date, (Mizan 1381/October 2002).
Bibliography in English:
1. Allchin, FR and Hammond, N. "The Archeology of Afghanistan: From Earliest to Timurid Period'', Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd.1978.
2. Bryant, Edwin.''The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate''Oxford University Press, 2001.
3. Dupree, L. "Afghanistan". Oxford, Princeton University press, 1997.
4. Dupree, Nancy Hatch. 'Prehistoric Afghanistan: Status of Sites and Artifacts and Challenges of Preservation' in Krieken-Pieters, Juliet van.''Art and Archeology of Afghanistan: Its fall and Survival.'' Brillll, Leiden, Holland, 2006.
5. Gupta, G.S. “India: From Indus Civilization to
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