From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


No professional archaeologist has ever been able to work at Balkh. - an IP-user in bg: (unknown to me) says that there was a French team in 1930s working in Balkh. May be we should reconsider this sentence. --Nk 16:26, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

My statement. Then this 1998 source is misinformed?: "The ruins of the walls of this city are a length of three and half km and width of almost three km. Pre-Islamic relics are abundant, but no work has been done on the archaeology of these treasures"[1].
Sir Aurel Stein might be the figure that's haunting the Bulgarian memory: "Stein's unending series of attempts, spread over forty-odd years of wanderings, to obtain permission to explore in Afghanistan, particularly at Balkh, the ancient Bactra, hoping to uncover the remains of the Greco-Buddhist civilization of Hellenistic Bactria. "My hope of reaching Bactria made me take to Oriental studies, brought me to England & India, gave me my dearest friends & chances of fruitful work, and for all this I must be deeply grateful to Fate" (letter of 1923, quoted by Walker, p. 248). I do not know what moral to draw from the fact that, in the last year of his life, he was finally invited by the government of Afghanistan, the "Promised Land" of his private letters, only to die a week after he arrived in Kabul, a month shy of his eighty-first birthday."Review of biographies of Stein
A single Googling "Archaeology Balkh" will turn up information without digging, like pottery shards at Balkh, apparently. --Wetman 17:55, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Frankly, I have no idea. I just wanted to know if I have to change it or not :). Thank you. --Nk 12:11, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The temple was Buddhist then Zoroastrian, not the other way around (... right?)[edit]

The article had:

For a long time the city and country was the central seat of the Zoroastrian religion, the founder of which, Zoroaster, died within the walls, according to the Persian poet Firdousi. In a fire-temple of Balkh, later converted to a Buddhist temple and given the name of Nava Vihara (Navbahar) in Persian chronicles, the Kashmiri Brahmins called Pramukh kept the lamps burning.
From the Memoirs of Xuanzang, we learn that, at the time of his visit in the 7th century, there were in the city, or its vicinity, about a hundred Buddhist convents, with 3,000 devotees, and that there was a large number of stupas, and other religious monuments. The most remarkable was the Nau Behar, (avci Bihara or New Convent), which possessed a very costly statue of Buddha. A curious notice of this building is found in the Arabian geographer Ibn Hawqal, an Arabian traveler of the 10th century, who describes Balkh as built of clay, with ramparts and six gates, and extending half a parasang. He also mentions a castle and a mosque.

However, the same temple is described twice here. I understand that it was in fact a Buddhist temple that was converted to Zoroasrianism, and not the other way around (unless it was converted twice?). So I merged the two descriptions, and added references to the most interesting Barmakids, guardians of that temple. Or Monastery, whatever :P I leave this notice here, 'cause I'm not exactly sure of the Buddhist -> Zoroastrian transformation, any sources for it being the other way around? flammifertalk 21:32, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

History of the temple - interesting :) flammifertalk 21:41, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


The lead section should talk about Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism. Balk is a very important spot for Zoroastrianism, yet Zoroastrianism is not even mentioned in the lead... Persian Warrior----Contact Me! 06:39, 7 August 2009 (UTC)


Those articles have failed to provide any statistics or census that Balkh district is indeed a Pashtun dominated district. according to the book Ancient Supremacy[2], only 5% of Balkh District were Pashtuns in the late 19th century. Balkh has always been a Tajik district throughout history and the Pashtuns migrated to Balkh in the last 150 years.--Inuit18 (talk) 03:12, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

This is amazing. You are giving me sources which clearly mentions that over 100 years ago those regions were dominated by non-Pashtuns and trying to prove that majority of the residents of Balkh district are non-Pashtuns. I have given you up-to date sources which clearly mentions that pashtuns make up majority of the district.
"Today, Balkh is a Pashtun stronghold, one of the few in northern Afghanistan. It's where the Taliban found refuge during the last days of its regime in late 2001." [3] (Ketabtoon (talk) 03:22, 27 October 2009 (UTC))

Pashtuns are living in Balkh district but it is irrational to think that the ethnography changed so greatly that 5% went up to 50% and up in 100 years. These are news articles not any academic sources.--Inuit18 (talk) 03:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The city of Mazare Sharif was a stronghold of Dostum and Junbish but Uzbeks were a minority in the city.--Inuit18 (talk) 03:27, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Apparently it has increased that much that now they are in majority in Balkh district. It is not only that single news source, but other sources write the same thing. For example
"Atta had named three districts of Balkh Province -- Charbolak, Chamtal, and Balkh district, all dominated by Pashtuns, as the areas where Juma Khan was stirring things up." [4] (Ketabtoon (talk) 04:02, 27 October 2009 (UTC))

This is an academic encyclepedia therefore you need to provide academic sources. for the mean time I am taking the Persian speaking sentence also out.--Inuit18 (talk) 05:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Why is Balhae linked in See Also?[edit]

I can find no reason why the ancient Korean kingdom of Balhae should be linked from this page. Could someone enlighten me? Perhaps it is a misspelling? --Ben Applegate (talk) 05:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any reason either. Some times people add it by mistakes. (Ketabtoon (talk) 05:52, 1 December 2009 (UTC))

Sultan Mohammad Khan[edit]

I removed this passage from the section "Ancient Ruins of Balkh"

[A famous figure from the Balkh Province was Sultan Muhmmad Khan from the Mamozai tribe. Sultan Muhmmad Khan was the wealthiest person in Balkh at one time. He was believed to own Hundreds of thousands of acres of land. The people of Balkh considered him to be Khan of Balkh. In 1969 his son Shah Muhmmad Khan became a representative of the Balkh Province in The House of representatives so called The Woloesi Jirga.]

It has really no place in the section and has no link whatsoever to the passage. Furthermore, it has not citations. (talk) 07:11, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Is this the town also called "Wazirabad"?[edit]

I'm pretty sure this is the town occasionally called "Wazirabad" (not to be confused with similarly named towns in Pakistan and India, and a neighborhood in Kabul). Any objections to my adding a mention of that alternate name, and liking to here from Wazirabad (disambiguation)? Here's are some gBooks hits: . MatthewVanitas (talk) 22:02, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


What was the etymology of Balkh? Balkh or Bactra(city), which name is older? Böri (talk) 10:32, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

I have omitted a WORD from the paragraph because it was incorrect gramaticaly. MB1133 (talk) 05:55, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Quatation from Reference 8 "Buddhism in Central Asia", page 130[edit]

The quatation from Reference No. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). 8 "Buddhism in Central Asia", page 130under the Section "Buddhism" is not entirely correct. The correct statement is:

"The Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien (c. 400) found the Hinayana prevalent in Shan-Shan, Kucha, Kashbar, Osh, Udyyana and Gandhara. Hsuan-tsnag also notices its presence in Balhh, Bamiyan and Persia." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Added "Tajik-Persian"[edit]

Tajiks are a Persian people. The Persian People article clearly states that. So I don't see why the articles says "Tajiks are also descendants of the Bactrians", when it mentions the Persians earlier. Since moern Tajiks are no longer the same "type" of Persians I have changed it to "Tajik-Persians."

-- (talk) 04:55, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

There should be no mention of Tajiks on this article, if they should be added then so should Pashtuns. Also there is no evidence that Tajiks are the sole descendants of Bactrians but rather Sodighans who more upwards in Tajikistan. Akmal94 (talk) 18:37, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Location of Bactra and Zariaspa[edit]

Recent research by David Adams (an experienced Australian documentary maker and photo-journalist) and his research team suggests that Bactra and Zariaspa are not synonymous with Balkh but are located further south in the Shulgara Valley in the Paraopamisus mountain range. This was presented in Episode 2 - The Mother of All Cities in his series Alexander's Lost World which was broadcast on SBS on 27 July 2014. The location proposed is backed by circumstantial evidence including consistency with contemporary accounts (the site of modern Balkh is not) and the presence of archaeological ruins which are consistent with contemporary accounts; the ruins are the subject of a recent (ongoing?) French archaelogical dig. According to Adams, contemporary Greek accounts describe Bactra and Zariaspa as twin cities and 'that the two cities lay at the foot of the Paraopamisus mountains and the Bactra river flowed past their walls'. While his theory does not currently appear to have been confirmed or refuted by the academic community, given the consistency of circumstantial evidence with contemporary accounts it appears that future research is more likely than not to confirm the theory. Research sources are available on his website however there is a once-off fee to access this extended information. Given the area is not particularly safe for outsiders, it may be some time before sufficient evidence is available to satisfy the academic community. AusTerrapin (talk) 17:02, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Sheer, unadulterated speculation that it is likely to be confirmed - that's nothing but guesswork. If/until the historians change their minds, his theories are just so much ... fodder. HammerFilmFan (talk) 15:10, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Odd transliteration[edit]

ẞaxlɔ. Surely the is a mistake. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV (talk) 03:18, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 3 external links on Balkh. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 17:06, 24 October 2016 (UTC)