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Bagram (; fa, بگرام) is a town and seat in
Bagram District Bagram District ( prs, ولسوالی بگرام) is a Districts of Afghanistan, district of Parwan Province, Afghanistan. Its seat lies at Bagram, which lies about 60 kilometers north of the capital of Kabul. It borders Kabul District to the sou ...
in
Parwan Province Parwān (Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the In ...
of
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
, about 25 kilometers north of the capital
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capital ...

Kabul
. It is the site of an ancient city located at the junction of the
Ghorband Ghorband District ( fa, ولسوالی غوربند), also known as Syagird District after its main town, is a district of Parwan Province, Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic ...
and
Panjshir Valley The Panjshir Valley (also spelled Panjsheer or Panjsher; fa, درهٔ پنجشير – ''Dare-ye Panjšēr''; literally ''Valley of the Five Lions'') is a valley in north-central Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto ...
, near today's city of
Charikar Charikar ( fa, چاریکار, pronounced ''Chārikār'') is the main town of the Koh Daman Valley and the capital of Parwan Province in northern Afghanistan. It has a population of around 171,200, which is majority Tajiks, Tajik populated. The c ...
, Afghanistan. The location of this historical town made it a key passage from
Ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mod ...

Ancient India
along the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...
, leading westwards through the mountains towards Bamiyan, and north over the
Kushan Pass The Kushan Pass or Kaoshan Pass (el. about 4,370 m or 14,340 ft) is a mountain pass just west of the famous Salang Pass (3,878 m. or 12,723 ft.) in the Hindu Kush mountain range of northern Afghanistan. These two passes provided the most ...
to the
Baghlan Baghlan (Dari language, Dari: بغلان ''Baġlān'') is a city in northern Afghanistan, in the eponymous province, Baghlan Province. It is located three miles east of the Kunduz River, 35 miles south of Khanabad, and about 500 metres above sea ...

Baghlan
Valley and past the Kushan archeological site at
Surkh Kotal Surkh Kotal ( fa, سرخ‌کوتل; ps, سور کوتل), also called Chashma-i Shir or Sar-i Chashma, is an ancient archaeological site located in the southern part of the region of Bactria Bactria ( Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancie ...
, to the commercial centre of
Balkh ), named for its green-tiled ''Gonbad'' ( fa, گُنبَد, dome), in July 2001 , image_flag = , flag_size = , image_seal = , seal_size = , image_shield ...

Balkh
and the rest of northern Afghanistan.


History


Ancient History

The origin of the name Bagram is not clear, with several theories proposed to describe its origins. Kapisa, an ancient site near the town, is known to be the location of a city once ruled by the Indo-Iranian Kamboja dynasty. While the
Diadochi 250px, Bust of Seleucus ''Nicator'' ("Victor"; 358 – 281 BCE), the last of the original Diadochi. The Diadochi (; plural of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...

Diadochi
were warring amongst themselves, the
Mauryan Empire The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleoli ...
was developing in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The founder of the empire,
Chandragupta Maurya Chandragupta Maurya (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in So ...

Chandragupta Maurya
, confronted a Macedonian invasion force led by
Seleucus I Seleucus I Nicator (; ; grc-gre, Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, Séleukos Nikátōr, Seleucus the Victorious) was a Ancient Macedonians, Macedonian Greek general, a Diadochi of Alexander the Great and ultimately king who fought for control over ...
in 305 BC and following a brief conflict, an agreement was reached as Seleucus ceded
Gandhara Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...

Gandhara
and
Arachosia Arachosia is the Hellenized name of an ancient satrapy in the eastern part of the Achaemenid, Seleucid The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Hellenistic state in W ...
(centered on ancient
Kandahar Kandahar (; Kandahār, , Qandahār) is a List of cities in Afghanistan, city in Afghanistan, located in the south of the country on the Arghandab River, at an elevation of . It is Afghanistan's second largest city after Kabul, with a population ...

Kandahar
) and areas south of Bagram (corresponding to the extreme south-east of modern Afghanistan) to the Mauryans. During the 120 years of the Mauryans in southern Afghanistan, Buddhism was introduced and eventually become a major religion alongside Zoroastrianism and local pagan beliefs. The ancient Grand Trunk Road was built linking what is now Kabul to various cities in the Punjab and the Gangetic Plain. Commerce, art, and architecture (seen especially in the construction of
stupa A stupa ( sa, स्तूप, lit=heap, ) is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics.(such as ''śarīra'' – typically the remains of Bhikkhu, Buddhist monks or Bhikkhuni, nuns) that is used as a place of meditation. A rel ...

stupa
s) developed during this period. It reached its high point under Emperor Ashoka whose edicts, roads, and rest stops were found throughout the subcontinent. Although the vast majority of them throughout the subcontinent were written in Prakrit, Afghanistan is notable for the inclusion of 2 Greek and Aramaic ones alongside the court language of the Mauryans. The last ruler in the region was probably
Subhagasena Sophagasenos also spelt Sophagasenus or Sophagasenas (Sanskrit: Subhagasena) was a local Indian king ruling in Kabul and Kingdom of Kapisa, Kapisa valley (Paropamisade of the classical writings) during the last decade of 3rd century BCE. Sophagase ...
(
Sophagasenus Sophagasenos also spelt Sophagasenus or Sophagasenas (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Ary ...
). Bagram became the capital of the
Kushan Empire The Kushan Empire ( grc, Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; xbc, Κυϸανο, kus, khasano, ; Brahmi script, Late Brahmi Sanskrit: , ', '; Devanagari sa, कुषाण राजवंश, ; Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, BHS: ; xpr, 𐭊 ...

Kushan Empire
in the 1st century, from here they invaded and conquered
Peshawar Peshawar (; ps, پېښور ; hnd, ; ; ur, ) is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its List of cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by population, largest city. It is the List of most populous cities in Pakistan, six ...

Peshawar
in the south. The "Bagram treasure" as it has been called, is indicative of intense commercial exchanges between all the cultural centers of the classical time, with the Kushan empire at the junction of the land and sea trade between the east and west. However, the works of art found in Bagram, such as the
Begram ivories The Begram ivories are a group of over a thousand decorative plaques, small figures and inlays, carved from ivory and bone, and formerly attached to wooden furniture, that were excavated in the 1930s in Bagram (Begram), Afghanistan. They are rare a ...
, are either quite purely Hellenistic, Roman, Chinese or Indian, with only little indications of the cultural
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
found in
Greco-Buddhist art The Greco-Buddhist art or Gandhara art of the north Indian subcontinent is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between Ancient Greek art and Buddhism. The series of interactions leading to Gandhara art occurred o ...
.


Islamic conquest

The
Islamic conquest of Afghanistan The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghan ...
and the adjoining Pashtun region began in 7th century after conquest of Persia. However, the complete Islamization of Afghanistan wasn't achieved until the
Ghaznavid The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''Ġaznaviyān'') was a Persianate society, Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic peoples, Turkic ''mamluk'' origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana ...
rule. The modern-day town is believed to be founded by
Babur Babur ( fa, , lit= tiger, translit= Bābur; 14 February 148326 December 1530), born Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder of the Mughal Empire and first Mughal emperors, Emperor of the Mughal dynasty () in the Indian subcontinent. He ...

Babur
at the site of the ancient city. In Babur's memoirs, the ''
Baburnama The ''Bāburnāma'' ( Chagatai/ fa, ;´, literally: ''"History of Babur"'' or ''"Letters of Babur"''; alternatively known as ''Tuzk-e Babri'') is the memoirs of Ẓahīr-ud-Dīn Muhammad Bābur (1483–1530), founder of the Mughal Empire ...

Baburnama
'', the emphasis of his visit in 1519 is on the colony of Hindu ascetics at Gurh Kattri (Kur Katri), who fascinated him.Losty, J. P. Roy, Malini (eds), ''Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire'', pp. 42-43, 2013, British Library, , 9780712358705


Recent history

Bagram hosts the strategic
Bagram Airfield Bagram Airfield-BAF also known as Bagram Air Base is the largest list of United States military bases, U.S. military base in Afghanistan. It is located next to the ancient city of Bagram, southeast of Charikar in the Parwan Province of Afghanista ...
, from which most US air activity in Afghanistan takes place. The runway was built in 1976, and it was a
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
air base An air base (sometimes referred to as a military air base, military airfield, military airport, air station, naval air station, air force station, or air force base) is an aerodrome used as a military base by a military force for the operation ...
from 1979 to 1989. There is also a
Provincial Reconstruction Team A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) was a unit introduced by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States The United States o ...
which is led by the US. Bagram is also the location of the
Parwan Detention Facility The Parwan Detention Facility (also called Detention Facility in Parwan or Bagram prison) is Afghanistan's main military prison. Situated next to the Bagram Air Base in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan, the prison was built by the U.S. during th ...
; this detention facility was the last prison in Afghanistan under management of the US. It was handed back to the Afghan government on 25 March 2013.Aljazeera news
US hands over Bagram prison to Afghanistan
25 March 2013
The detention centre had earlier come into the attention of the news media as it was claimed that prisoners were tortured (see the article
Bagram torture and prisoner abuse In 2005, ''The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''NYT'' or ''NY Times'') is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to ...
). At the time of the hand-over of the facility, human-rights groups like
Amnesty International Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use ...

Amnesty International
have raised concerns about the treatment of prisoners there. On December 21, 2015, Bagram was the site of a
suicide bombing A suicide attack is any violent attack Attack may refer to: Warfare and combat * Offensive (military) * Charge (warfare) * Attack (fencing) * Strike (attack) * Attack (computing) * Attack aircraft Books and publishing * The Attack (novel) ...
killing 6 people.


See also

*
Bagram District Bagram District ( prs, ولسوالی بگرام) is a Districts of Afghanistan, district of Parwan Province, Afghanistan. Its seat lies at Bagram, which lies about 60 kilometers north of the capital of Kabul. It borders Kabul District to the sou ...
*
Parwan Province Parwān (Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the In ...


Footnotes


References

* ''The Ancient Geography of India. I. The Buddhist Period, Including the Campaigns of Alexander, and the Travels of Hwen-Thsang''.
Alexander Cunningham Major General Sir Alexander Cunningham (23 January 1814 – 28 November 1893) was a British army engineer with the Bengal Engineer Group who later took an interest in the history and archaeology of India. In 1861, he was appointed to the newly c ...
. Trübner and Co., London. Complete and unabridged reprint (2006): Low Price Publications, Delhi. *''Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul'' (2008). Eds., Friedrik Hiebert and Pierre Cambon. National Geographic, Washington, D.C. .


External links


Map of Bagram and the surrounding area
Afghanistan Information Management Service (AIMS) *Human Rights First
Undue Process: An Examination of Detention and Trials of Bagram Detainees in Afghanistan in April 2009 (2009)
*Human Rights First
Arbitrary Justice: Trial of Guantánamo and Bagram Detainees in Afghanistan (2008)
{{Authority control Populated places in Parwan Province History of Afghanistan Populated places along the Silk Road