Lost World Of The Golden King: In Search Of Ancient Afghanistan, by Frank L. Holt
For those who are not aware, I have a passion for random and obscure history of lost civilizations, a subject I occasionally blog about . It just so happens that at some ancient era of history at the dawn of human history, there was once a great civilization in Bactria, and before the Taliban generally screwed up life for everyone , there were historians and archeologists seeking to uncover the truth about this fabulous lost civilization that was known as the Kingdom of 1,000 Golden Cities. Apparently one of those cities was found and it corroborated evidence gained from texts and coins. Naturally, I find all of this rather exciting.
In fact, this particular book reminds of a book I read several years ago about a lost city that was mentioned in the Koran a lot . In both cases we have cities known for their beauty and wealth that vanished or were destroyed (as tends to happen to cities) leaving beyond nothing but legends. When those legends end up containing the truth, those who say things like: “There’s no way that a dungheap like Afghanistan could have ever had an ancient civilization,” end up being very wrong. In fact, Afghanistan has been the center of several civilizations, but apparently the combination of urban corruption and existing in the middle of the heart of Central Asian shamanistic and steppe culture along with the corrosive effects of Islam has made the area completely worthless as far as asabiya is concerned (similar to Somalia, Iraq, and Libya, among other places).
So, as this is a book of about 220 pages of main text (along with 120 pages of notes and indices, as this is well-researched), I look forward to reading how a combination of coins, ancient texts, and archeological research proved the wealth and power of the Hellenistic society of Bactria in the post-Persian period. I am not sure if it will relate any history of the Kushan Empire, which ruled in that region for a few hundred years between about 200BC and 200AD, and which I am immensely fond of, but we shall see, because Kushan is mentioned a few times in the index, which is always a good sign. At any rate, good books about ancient history detective mysteries are immensely appealing.