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Ai Khanum

Ai Khanum Archeological Wonders Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Geography Social Studies World History

This image depicts an ancient Greek theater in the town once known as Alexandria Oxiana (founded by, * and named for, Alexander the Great).  When it was operational, the theater had 5,000 seats.

Situated at the confluence of two rivers - the Kokcha and the Oxus (a mighty river in ancient times, known today as the Amu Darya) - the ancient town (which likely had even-earlier Persian origins) is now known as Ai Khanum (also spelled Ai-Khanoum or Ay-Khanum), meaning “Lady Moon” in Uzbek.  

Established during Alexander’s era, sometime between 329-327 BC, it was the easternmost city of Alexander’s Empire.

Located in today’s Afghanistan, near Khwaja Ghar, the town was at the crossroads of ancient Asia.  Alexander’s artisans created Greek-styled statues and, as a later stop along the silk route, the town grew wealthy.   

Most of the ancient site was totally ruined (and looted) during Afghanistan’s recent wars (with the Soviets and with the Taliban).
 

* Some scholars believe that the town may have been founded by Hephaestion, Alexander’s close friend.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy University of Texas at Austin.

 

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"Ai Khanum" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Mar 18, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Ai-Khanum/1>.
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