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Lithograph of Kandahar by Lieutenant James Rattray, 1848.

The story of Afghanistan from the 13th century until the present illuminates why the international intervention that began in 2001 failed to deliver.

Issue of The War Illustrated showing Gurkhas in action, 1914.

One of the world's poorest countries, for much of its history Nepal has been hidden from the world.

Prester John enthroned on a map of East Africa. Detail from 16th century atlas.

For five centuries the legend of a Christian priest king, in Asia or in Africa, sustained the hopes of Europeans in their struggle with Islam. Those who joined the search for Prester John were looking for a man who was not there. 

Uzbekistan, from Silk Road to Soviet Union.

Unlike his grandfather Chinggis Khan, the Mongol ruler Hulegu Khan is little known in the West. But his destruction of two Islamic empires, as well as a failed attempt to forge an alliance with Christendom, gave him a notoriety that persists to this day. 

Jewel of the Empire: the Hagia Sophia

The fates of powerful women in modern Uzbek politics echo the events of 1,000 years ago. 

Genghis Khan in battle. Illustration from a chronicle by Rashid al-Din, 14th century.

The great conqueror took the Chinese city on June 1st, 1215.

Isabella Tree explores the Kumaris, young girls chosen to be worshipped in Nepal by both Hindus and Buddhists as symbols of purity and makers of kings.

Roger Hudson explains a photographic panorama, taken at the beginning of the Second Afghan War, of the ancient and forbidding fortress of Bala Hissar.

Raymond A. Mohl describs how the nineteenth century history of Anglo-Russian conflict in Central Asia is marked by gradual Russian advances and gradual British retreats.