The Throne that is no Throne

Samangan, Afghanistan July 8, 2019 Some hundred kilometers southeast of Mazar-i-Sharif is the provincial town of Samangan. A nondescript town now, but it was once a flourishing Buddhist center with a monastery and an unusual stupa built in the Kushan period of 4th to 5th centuries. Predictably, it was on my wish list to visit … More The Throne that is no Throne

Incognito in a Burqa

On the road from Kabul to Bamiyan Afghanistan July 1, 2019 Before arriving in the country, I had read that road travel in Afghanistan is to be avoided. Many roads are within Taliban-held territory and road blocks are a common tactic to kidnapping foreigners. Nor are foreigners the only targets; well-known or affluent Afghanis are … More Incognito in a Burqa

A Glimpse of Herat

Herat, Afghanistan June 28, 2019 Persepolis in Shiraz has detailed carved reliefs of the peoples of Herat in stylized Scythian dress. I remember them well. They are also found carved on the tombs of Naqsh-e-Rustam and in the inscription of Darius. Herat may well have a history that goes back further but by the time … More A Glimpse of Herat