Hazarajat - History


Little information exists on the history of the region; however, at different times it has remained under Persian, Greek, Mongol and Timurid dynasty rule. Archaeological finds can be traced back to the Greek empire of Bactria and Buddhist civilization. The region has been identified by Witzel as the location of the Avestan Airyanəm Vaējah.

Subsequent rulers of the region include the Ghorids, Persians, Ghaznavids and Mongols. They were followed by Genghis Khan in 1220. Some contend Genghis's grandson was killed in Bamian. Enraged, Genghis Khan then ordered his forces total annihilation of the town and surrounding region, with the Mongols formally laying a curse on the site. Later the region remained a colony of the Ilkhanids, Chughtais, and others.

The subjugation of the Hazarajat, the mountain fortresses of Ghor in particular, proved difficult for the Mongols after their conquest of the region, and ultimately Mongol military detachments left behind in the region “adopted the language of the vanquished”. In late 14th century, Timur's armies made expeditions into Hazarajat, but Hazarajat was once again free after his death. During Mongolian era, majority of Hazara were pastoralists dwelling in yurts and spoke Moghol. They started inhabiting the fortified villages, adopted a Persian dialect, and farming in the high steppes in the early 16th century. However, they kept flocks and some, on the norther slopes of Koh-i-Baba, remained nomadic and continued migrating between highland summer pastures and lowland winter pastures.

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