In 1964, in northern Afghanistan, professor Daniel Schlumberger and french archaeologists have discovered an ancient greek city..! Its original name was lost in time. In the scientific literature the name stuck Ai-Khanum. This city was founded in the Early Hellenistic period, the Macedonian and Greek colonists.

In the scientific literature the name stuck Ai-Khanum

The story began in the 20s of the 4th century BC, when Alexander the Great's army captured vast areas of Persia, Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Greeks founded a lot of major cities. After the death of the great general, these areas became part of the Seleucid power, which was created by associate Alexander the Great Seleucus First.

The greeks had a very interesting life in Central Asia. Some scientists believe that the greeks disappeared very quickly among the local population. Other scholars argue that in Afghanistan, and even in North India you can find traces of the cultural influence of Greece. This demonstrates the continued existence of the greek settlements in the depths of Asia. Proof can serve as coins of Greco-Bactrian kings. From the inscriptions on the coins became known the names of the Greco-Bactrian kings. City Ai-Khanum kept clue of its appearance in the history of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom.

Greco-Bactrian kingdom arose after the collapse of the Seleucid empire. In 292 BC co-ruler of his father Seleucus was appointed Antioch. Antiochus chose the city of Bactria (now Balkh) as its capital. This Central Asian state existed at the head of the Greek kings of a hundred years. The decline came under the blows-saka nomads in the 2nd half of the 2nd century BC.

Ai-Khanum was the second largest city of the Graeco-Bactrian. It was located on the highest natural hill with steep precipitous slopes. On top of the hill was the citadel. At the bottom, along the river, settled neighborhoods Lower City. The main street ran through the entire Lower Town. Its length is more than 1700 m. The complex of palace buildings located between it and the river Panj. The whole area was surrounded by a strong wall with towers.

In the city of Ai Khanum was a greek theater, designed for 6 thousand spectators. In addition, in the city was the gymnasium, which included facilities for sports and schoolwork. There is also a swimming pool. In the city of Ai Khanum all the inscriptions are greek in their writing, language and style. Almost Greek pottery is found among the ruins of the city. Greek sculptures were found during excavations. The huge palace complex occupied nearly a third of the city of Ai Khanum. It included a parade, residential and office space. a vast open courtyard, which was called the peristyle (dimensions 136x108 m) was arranged front of the palace.

In the Ai-Khanum, archaeologists explored the remains of the arsenal, which contained arms of hundreds of soldiers. Archaeologists have found the residence of city officials, houses and temples. The last group of buildings was the most interesting. It turned out, the architecture of the temples had nothing to do with the architecture of traditional Hellenic sanctuaries. Built temples are not the Bactrian temples and Mesopotamian temples. Committed in these temples rituals were different from the Greek rituals. Statues of deities were typically Greek in these temples!

This discovery has shed light on the origins of the cultural interaction between ancient Greece and the East. The greeks believed that each country patronize their gods. Therefore, coming to a foreign country, you need to worship them.

The discovery of the city of Ai Khanum allowed to enter the correct path to solve the problem "the Greeks in the East." However, the history of Greek colonization of the East is still largely unexplored.