Bagram, also known as Begram, has been in the news a lot recently. Over the past couple of days, the last US and NATO troops have withdrawn from Bagram air base, which they have occupied for some 20 years. But this area of Central Asia, situated south of the Hindu Kush mountain range, also has some remarkable ancient history.
In the area around Bagram lie the remains of two ancient cities: the cities of Kapisa and Begram. Both cities witnessed several waves of ancient superpowers. The Persians came here, as did Alexander the Great and his successors. But it was during the age of the Kushan Empire (1st – 4th centuries AD) that it appears the rich, ancient city of Begram (and the neighbouring metropolis of Kapisa) enjoyed its golden age.
In this fascinating podcast, University of Freiburg’s Lauren Morris brilliantly guides us through Begram’s ancient history and why this site is so extraordinary. Lauren also tells the remarkable story behind the excavations at Begram during the 1930s and how it could be a big hit Netflix show in its own right.
The second part of this chat will be out soon and will be centred on the Begram’s most remarkable archaeological discovery: the Begram Hoard.