Description: Bronze age Bactria bird, 34mm, 2300-1700 BC; Crude greenish bronze Bactrian bird, from 2300-1700 BC Weight: 9.26 g; Height: 34 mm; Provenance: Ex European collection; In Mesopotamia, the Bronze Age begins at about 2900 BCE in the late Uruk period, spanning the Early Dynastic period of Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, the Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian periods and the period of Kassite hegemony. In Ancient Egypt, the Bronze Age begins in the Protodynastic period, c. 3150 BCE. The BactriaMargiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to ca. 23001700 BCE, located in present-day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River). Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi (1976). Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of which was Merv, in modern-day southeastern Turkmenistan. Bactria or Bactriana was the name of a historical region in Central Asia. The English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek ?????????, a Hellenized version of the Bactrian endonym Bakhlo (?????). Analogous names include the Persian/Pashto ????? B?khtar, Uzbek ????, Tajik: ??????, Chinese: ?? Dàxià, and Sanskrit ??????? B?hlika. Bactria was the birthplace of Zoroastrianism, and later important in the history of Buddhism. It became part of the Islamic caliphate during the 7th century. Bactria was located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Amu Darya river, covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Bactria, the territory of which Bactra [Balkh] was the capital, originally consisted of the area south of the ?m? Dary? with its string of agricultural oases dependent on water taken from the rivers of Bal? (Bactra) [Balkh], Tashkurgan, Kond?z [Kunduz], Sar-e Pol, and ?r?n Tag?? [Shirin Tagab]. This region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the geographic frame of the Bactrian plain.
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