Inherited Landscapes in Muslim Bactra

In: Eurasian Studies
Etienne de la Vaissière EHESS Paris

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This article presents recent archaeological discoveries on the Buddhist monasteries, the irrigation system and defence systems of the oasis of Balkh, intending to explore the depth of the gap between these central features of the oasis landscape and the transmitted early Islamic texts describing the site. The Fażāʾil-i Balḫ and the Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam do provide us with some data but the archaeology allows a detailed demonstration of how many parts of the pre-Islamic past were quickly forgotten or reinterpreted in the following centuries.

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