11 Facts About Ai Khanoum


Ai-Ai Khanoum began to grow once more under Euthydemus I and his successor Demetrius I, who began to assert control over the northwest Indian subcontinent.

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Bertille Lyonnet theorises that during this time Ai-Ai Khanoum was merely "a military stronghold with administrative functions".

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However, the end of Eucratides' reign was marked by sudden chaos: it is likely that Ai-Ai Khanoum was already under attack when its monarch was assassinated by a vengeful son.

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Ai Khanoum was informed by his guides of the existence of an ancient city in the area, which the natives called Babarrah.

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City of Ai-Ai Khanoum was founded at the southwest corner of a plain in the region of Bactria, at the confluence of the Oxus and Kokcha rivers.

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Euthydemus I Hellenistic

Ai-Ai Khanoum therefore served as a strategically important bulwark, despite not controlling a major crossing of the Oxus or any other large trade route.

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Ai-Ai Khanoum was built predominantly using unbaked bricks, with baked bricks and stone used much less often.

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Burials were in general not allowed within the walls of Greek cities—hence Ai-Ai Khanoum's necropolis being located outside the northern ramparts—but special exemptions were made for prominent citizens, especially city founders.

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Excavations of Ai-Ai Khanoum yielded three hoards of Hellenistic coins, along with 274 stray coins, of which 224 were legible.

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At Ai-Ai Khanoum, bricks bearing the same mark were found in the heroon, one of the oldest structures in the city.

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The historian Rachel Mairs has noted that the discovery of Ai-Ai Khanoum did represent a sort of "turning point" in the study of the Hellenistic Far East, even if the primary pre-discovery questions were still asked after the excavations had been finished.

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