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(9) The bill of lading sometimes contains a clause as to the shipowner's lien. Without any express provision for it the shipowner has by the common law a lien for freight. If it is desired to give the shipowner a lien for demurrage (see below) or other charges, it must be expressly provided for. The lien is the right of the shipowner to retain the goods carried until payment has been made of the freight or the demurrage, or other charge for which a lien has been given. The lien may be waived, and is lost by delivery of the goods, or by any dealing with the consignee which is inconsistent with a right of the shipowner to retain possession of the goods until payment has been made. The shipowner may preserve his lien by landing the goods and retaining them in his own warehouse, or by storing them in a public warehouse, subject to the conditions required by the Merchant Shipping Act 1894.


Charter-parties are, as we have already explained, either for a voyage or for a period of time. (1) A charter-party for a voyage is a formal agreement made between the owner of the vessel and the charterers by which it is agreed that the vessel "being tight, staunch and strong, and every way fitted for the voyage,'' shall load at a certain named place a full cargo either of goods of a specified description or of general merchandise, and being so loaded shall proceed with all possible despatch either to a specified place or to a place to be named at a specified port of call, and there deliver the cargo to the charterers or their assigns. There are clauses which provide for the amount of freight to be paid and the manner and time of payment; for the time, usually described as lay days, to be allowed for loading and discharging, and for the demurrage to be paid if the vessel is detained beyond the lay days; usually also a clause requiring "the cargo to be brought to and taken from alongside at merchant's risk and expense''; a clause that the master shall sign bills of lading for the cargo shipped either at the same rate of freight as is payable under the charter-party or very commonly at any rate of freight (but in this case with a stipulation that, if the total bill of lading freight is less than the total freight payable under the charter-party, the difference is to be paid by the charterers to the master before the sailing of the vessel); and there is usually vhat is called the cesser clause, by which the charterer's liability under the charter-party is to cease on shipment of the cargo, the shipowner taking a lien on the cargo for freight, dead freight and demurrage. The charter-party is made subject to exceptions similar to those which are found in bills of lading. There are also usually clauses providing for the commissions to be paid to the brokers on signing the charter-party, the "address'' commission to be paid to the agents for the Vessel at the port of discharge, and other matters of detail. The clauses in charter-parties vary, of course, indefinitely, but the above is probably a sufficient outline of the ordinary form of a charter-party for a voyage.

What has been said with regard to bills of lading as to the voyage, the place of delivery, the exceptions and excepted perils, and the liability of the shioowner and his lien applies equally to charter-parties. lt may be desirable to add a few words on demurrage, dead Freight, and on the cesser clause.

Demurrage is, properly speaking, a fixed sum per day or per hour agreed to be paid by the charterer for any time during which the vessel is detained in loading or discharging over and above the time allowed, which is, as we have said, usually described as the lay days. Sometimes the number of days during which the vessel may be kept on demurrage at the agreed rate is fixed by the charter-party. If no demurrage is provided for by the charter-party, and the vessel is not loading or discharging beyond the lay days, the shipowner is entitled to claim damages in respect of the loss which he has suffered by the detention of his ship; or, if the vessel is detained beyond the fixed number of demurrage days, damages for detention will be recoverable. Sometimes there is no time fixed by the charter-party for loading or discharging. The obligation in such cases is to load or discharge with all despatch that is possible and reasonable in the circumstances; and if the loading or discharging is not done with such reasonable despatch, the shipowner will be entitled to claim damages for detention of his ship. The rate of demurrage (if any) will generally be accepted as the measure of the damages for detention, but is not necessarily the true measure. When the claim is for detention and not demurrage the actual loss is recoverable, which may be more or may be less than the agreed rate of demurrage. The contract usually provides that Sundays and holidays shall be excepted in counting the lay days, but unless expressly stipulated this exception does not apply to the computation of the period of detention after the lay days have expired.

Dead freight is the name gaven to the amount of freight lost, and therefore recoverable by the shipowner from the charterer as damages if a full and complete cargo is not loaded in accordance with the terms of the charter-party.

The cesser clause has come into common use because very frequently the charterers are not personally interested in the cargo shipped. They may be agents merely, or they may have chartered the vessel as a speculation to make a profit upon the bill of lading freight. The effect of the clause is that when the charterers have shipped a full cargo they have fulfilled all their obligations, the shipowner discharging them from all further liability and taking instead a lien on the cargo for payment of all freight, demurrage or dead freight that may be payable to him. It has become an established rule for the construction of the cesser clause that, if the language used will permit it, the cesser of liability is assumed to be co-extensive only with the lien given to the shipowner; or, in other words, the charterers are released from those liabilities only for which a lien is given to the shipowner. The shipowner is further secured by the stipulation already referred to, that if the total freight payable under the bills of lading is less than the full chartered freight the difference shall be paid to the shipowner before the vessel sails. A difficulty which sometimes arises, notwithstanding these precautions, is that although an ample lien is given by the charter-party, the terms of the bills of lading may be insufficient to preserve the same extensive lien as against the holder of the bills of lading. The shippers under the bills of lading, if they are not the charterers, are not liable for the chartered freight, but only for the bill of lading freight; and unless the bill of lading expressly reserves it, they are not subject to a lien for the chartered freight. The master may guard against this difficulty by refusing to sign bills of lading which do not preserve the shipowner's lien for his full chartered freight. But he is often put into a difficulty by a somewhat improvident clause in the charter-party requiring him to sign bills of lading as presented. See Kruger v. Moel Tryvan, 1907 A. C. 272.

(2) A time charter-party is a contract between the shipowner and charterers, by which the shipowner agrees to let and the charterers to hire the vessel for a specified term for employment, either generally in any lawful trade or upon voyages within certain limits. A place is usually named at which the vessel is to be re-delivered to the owners at the end of the term, and the freight is payable until such re-delivery; the owner almost always pays the wages of the master and crew, and the charterers provide coals and pay port charges; the freight is usually fixed at a certain rate per gross register ton per month, and made payable monthly in advance, and provision is made for suspension of hire in certain cases if the vessel is disabled; the master, though he usually is and remains the servant of the owner, is required to obey the orders of the charterers as regards the employment of the vessel, they agreeing to indemnify the owners from all liability to which they may be exposed by the master signing bills of lading or otherwise complying with the orders of the charterers; and the contract is made subject to exceptions similar to those in bills of lading and voyage charter-parties. This is the general outline of the ordinary form of a time charter-party, but the forms and their clauses vary, of course, very much, according to the circumstances of each case.

It is apparent that under a time charter-party the shipowner to a large extent parts with the control of his ship, which is employed within certain limits according to the wish and directions, and for the purposes and profit of, the charterers. But, as we have already explained at the beginning of this article, the shipowner continues in possession of his vessel by his servant the master, who remains responsible to his owner for the safety and proper navigation of the ship. The result of this, as has been already pointed out, is that the holder of a bill of lading signed by the master, if he has taken the bill of lading without knowledge of the terms of the time charter-party, may hold the owner responsible for the due performance of the contract signed by the master in the ordinary course of his duties, and within his ostensible authority as servant of the shipowner, although in fact in signing the bill of lading the master was acting as agent for and at the direction of the time charterer, and not the shipowner. In the language of the ordinary time charter-party the ship is let to the charterers; but there is no true demise, because, as we have pointed out, the vessel remains in the possession of the shipowner, the charterer enjoying the advantages and control of its employment. Where the possession of a ship is given up to a hirer, who appoints his own master and crew, different considerations apply; but though the instrument by which the ship is let may be called a charter-party, it is not truly a contract of affreightment.

Customary rights.

There are certain rights and obligations arising out of the relationship of shipowner and cargo-owner in circumstances of extraordinary peril or urgency in the course of a voyage, which, though not strictly contractual, are well established by the customs of merchants and recognized by the law. It is obvious that, when a ship carrying a cargo is in the course of a voyage, the master to some extent represents the owners of both ship and cargo. In cases of emergency it may be necessary that the master should, without waiting for authority or instructions, incur expense or make sacrifices as agent not only of his employer, the shipowner, but also of the cargo-owner. Ship and cargo may be in peril, and it may be necessary for the safety of both to put into a port of refuge. There it may be necessary to repair the ship, and to land and warehouse, and afterwards re-ship the cargo. For these purposes the master will be obliged to incur expense, of which some part, such as the cost of repairing the ship, will be for the benefit of the shipowner; part, such as the warehousing expenses, will be for the benefit of the cargo-owner; and part, such as the port charges incurred in order to enter the port of refuge, are for the common benefit and safety of ship and cargo. Again, in a storm at sea, it may be necessary for the safety of ship and cargo to cut away a mast or to jettison, that is to say, throw overboard part of the cargo. In such a case the master, acting for the shipowner or cargo-owner, as the case may be, makes a sacrifice of part of the ship or part of the cargo, in either case for the purpose of saving ship and cargo from a danger common to both. Voluntary sacrifices so made and extraordinary expenses incurred for the common safety are called general average (see AVERAGE) sacrifices and expenses, and are made good to the person who has made the sacrifice or incurred the expense by a general average contribution, which is recoverable from the owners of the property saved in proportion to its value, or, in other words, each contributes rateably according to the benefit received. The law regulating the rights of the parties with regard to such contribution is called the law of General Average. It must, however, be remembered that the owner of the cargo is entitled under the contract of affreightment to the ordinary service of the ship and crew for the safe carriage of the cargo to its destination, and the shipowner is bound to pay all ordinary expenses incurred for the purpose of the voyage. He must also bear all losses arising from damage to the ship by accidents. But when extraordinary expense has been incurred by the shipowner for the safety of the cargo, he can recover such expense from the owner of the cargo as a special charge on cargo; or when an extraordinary expense has been incurred or a voluntary sacrifice made by the shipowner to save the ship and cargo from a peril common to both, he may require the owner of cargo to contribute in general average to make good the loss.

See Carver, Carriage by Sea (London, 1905); Scrutton, Charter-parties and Bills of Lading (London, 1904). (W.)

AFGHANISTAN, a country of Central Asia. Estimated area 245,000 sq. m. (including Badakshan and Kafiristan). Pop. about 5,000,000. It is bounded on the N. by Russian Turkestan, on the W. by Persia, and on the E. and S. by Kashmir and the independent tribes of the North-West Frontier of India and Baluchistan. The chief importance of Afghanistan in modern days is due to its position as a "buffer state'' intervening between the two great empires of Asiatic Russia and British India. During the last quarter of the 19th century our knowledge of the country was greatly increased, and its boundaries on the N., E. and S. were strictly delimited. The second Afghan war of 1878-80 afforded an opportunity for the extension of wide geographical surveys on a scientific basis. The Russian-Afghan Boundary Commission of 1884-1886 resulted in the delimitation and mapping of the northern frontier. The Durand agreement of 1893 led to the partition of the Pathan tribes on the southern and eastern frontiers. The Pamir Commission of 1895 settled its north-eastern border. Finally the Perso-Baluch Commission of 1904-1905 defined its western face.

Beginning with the Persian border at Zulfikar on the Hari Rud river, the boundary between Afghanistan and Russia follows a line roughly parallel to the course of the Paropamisus, and about 35 m. to the north of it, till it strikes the Kushk river in Jamshidi territory at a point which was once known as Chahil Dukteran, but is now the Russian post Kushkinski, and the terminus of a branch railway from Merv. Kushkinski is about 20 m. below the old Jamshidi settlement of Kushk, which is the capital of Badghis. The settlement and the post originally called Kushk must not be confused together. From Kushkinski the boundary runs north-east, crossing the Murghab river near Maruchak (which is an Afghan fortress), and thence passes north-east through the hills of the Chul, and the undulating deserts of the Aleli Turkmans, to the Oxus, leaving the valleys of Charshamba and of Andkhui (to which it runs approximately parallel) within Afghan limits. These valleys denote the limits of cultivation in this direction. Throughout all this region the boundary is generally of an artificial character, marked by pillars, but it is here and there indicated by natural features forming local lines of water-parting or water-course. The boundary meets the Oxus at Khamiab at the western extremity of the cultivated district of Khwaja Salar, and from that point to the eastern end of Lake Victoria in the Pamirs the main channel of the Oxus river forms the northern limits of Afghanistan. (See OXUS.) Eastwards from Lake Victoria the frontier line was determined by the Pamir Boundary Commission of 1895. A part of the little Pamir is included in Afghan territory, but the boundary crosses this Pamir before the great bend northwards of the Aksu takes place, and, passing over a series of crags and untraversable mountain ridges, is lost on the Chinese frontier in the snowfields of Sarikol. Bending back westwards upon itself, the line of Afghan frontier now follows the water-parting of the Hindu Kush; and as the Hindu Kush absolutely overhangs the Oxus nearly opposite Ishkashim, it follows that, at this point, Afghanistan is about 10 m. wide. Thus a small and highly elevated portion of the state extends eastwards from its extreme north-eastern corner, and is attached to the great Afghan quadrilateral by the thin link of the Panja valley. These narrow limits (called Wakhan) include the lofty spurs of the northern flank of the Hindu Kush, an impassable barrier at this point, where the glacial passes reach 19,000 ft. in altitude, and the enclosing peaks 24,000 ft. The backbone or main water-divide of the Hindu Kush continues to form the boundary between Afghanistan and those semi-independent native states which fringe Kashmir in this mountain region, until it reaches Kafiristan. From near the Dorah pass (14,800 ft.), which connects Chitral with the Panja (or Oxus) river, a long, straight, snow-clad spur reaches southwards, which divides the Kafiristan valley of Bashgol from that of Chitral, and this continues to denote the eastern limits of Afghanistan till it nearly touches the Chitral river opposite the village of Arnawai, 45 m. south of Chitral. Here the Bashgol and Chitral valleys unite and the boundary passes to the water-divide east of the Chitral river, after crossing it by a spur which leaves the insignificant Arnawai valley to the north; along this water-divide it extends to a point nearly opposite the quaint old town of Pashat in the Kunar valley (the Chitral river has become the Kunar in its course southwards), and then stretches away in an uneven and undefined line, dividing certain sections of the Mohmands from each other by hypothetical landmarks, till it strikes the Kabul river near Palosi. Thence following a course nearly due south, it reaches Landi Kotal. From the abutment of the Hindu Kush on the Sarikol in the Pamir regions to Landi Kotal, and throughout its eastern and southern limits, the boundary of Alghanistan touches districts which were brought under British political control with the formation of the North-West Frontier Provinces of India in 1901. From the neighbourhood of Laudi Kotal the boundary is carried to the Safed Roh overlooking the Afridi Tirah, and then, rounding off the cultivated portidins of the Kurram valley below the Peiwar, it crosses the Kaitu and passes to the upper reaches of the Tochi. Crossing these again, it is continued on the west of Waziristan, finally striking the Gomal river at Domandi. South of the Gomal it separates the interests of Afghanistan from those of Baluchistan, which here adjoins the North-West Frontier Province. From Domandi (the junction of the Kundar river with the Gomal) the Afghan boundary marches with that of Baluchistan. (See BALUCHISTAN.) It is carried to the south-west on a line which is largely defined by the channels of the Kundar and the Kadanai to a point beyond the Sind-Peshin terminal station of New Chaman, west of the Khojak range, and then drops southward to Shorawak and Nushki. From Nushki it crosses the Helmund desert, touching the crest of a well-defined mountain watershed for a great part of the way, and, leaving Chagai to Baluchistan, it strikes nearly west to the Persian frontier, and joins it on the Koh-i-Malik Siah mountain, south of Seistan. Two points of this part of the Afghan boundary are notable. It leaves some of the most fanatical of the Durani Afghan people on the Baluch side of the frontier in the Toba district, north of the Quetta-Chaman line of railway; and it passes 50 m. south of the Helmund riven enclosing within Afghanistan the only approach to Seistan from India which is available during the seasons of Helmund overflow. Between Afghanistan and Persia the boundary was defined by Sir F. Goldsmid's Commission in 1872 from the Mahk-Siah-Koh to the Helmund Lagoons, and rectified by the Commission under Sir Henry Macmahon in 1903-1905. Beyond these lagoons to Hashtadan it is still indefinite. The eastern limits of Hashtadan had been previously fixed as far north as the Hari Rud river at Toman Agha. From this point to Zulfikar the Hari Rud is itself the boundary.

Afghan provinces.

Within the limits of this boundary Afghanistan comprises four main provinces, Northern Afghanistan or Kabul, Southern Afghanistan or Kandahar, Herat and Afghan Turkestan, together with the minor dependencies of the Ghilzai and Hazara Highlands, Ghazni, Jalalabad and Kafiristan. All these are described in separate articles. The kingdom of Kabul is the historic Afghanistan; the link which unites it to Kandahar, Herat and the other outlying provinces having been frequently broken and again restored by amirs of sufficient strength and capability. The Herat province is largely Persian, while Afghan Turkestan is chiefly Usbeg; and in neither is the sentiment of loyalty to the central government very strong. The bond is geographical and political rather than racial. The geographical divisions of the country are created by the basins of its chief rivers, the Kabul, the Helmund, the Hari Rud and the Oxus. The Kabul river drains Northern Afghanistan, the Hari Rud the province of Herat, and the Oxus that of Afghan Turkestan. Afghanistan is largely a country of mountains and deserts; but there are wide tracts of highly irrigated and most productive country where fruit is grown in such abundance as to become an important item in the export trade. The Afghans are expert agriculturists and make profitable use of all the natural sources of water-supply. As practical irrigation engineers they are only rivalled by the Chinese.

Mountain systems.

The dominant mountain system of Afghanistan is the Hindu Kush, and that extension westwards of its water-divide which reindicated by the Koh-i-Baba to the north-west of Kabul, and by the Firozkhoi plateau (Karjistan), which merges still farther to the west by gentle gradients into the Paropamisus, and which may be traced across the Hari Rud to Mashad.

The culminating peaks of the Koh-i-Baba overlooking the sources of the Hari Rud, the Helmund, the Kunduz and the Kabul very nearly reach 17,000 ft. in height (Shah Fuladi, the highest, is 16,870), and from them to the south-west long spurs divide the upper tributaries of the Helmund, and separate its basin from that of the Farah Rud. These spurs retain a considerable altitude, for they are marked by peaks exceeding 11,000 ft. They sweep in a broad band of roughly parallel ranges to the south-west, preserving their general direction till they abut on the Great Registan desert to the west of Kandahar, where they terminate in a series of detached and broken anticlinals whose sides are swept by a sea of encroaching sand. The long, straight, level-backed ridges which divide the Argandab, the Tarnak and Arghastan valleys, and flank the route from Kandaharto Ghazni. determining the direction of that route, are outliers of this system, which geographically includes the Khojak, or Kwaja Amran, range in Baluchistan.

North of the main water-parting of Afghanistan the broad synclinal plateau into which the Hindu Kush is merged is traversed by the gorges of the Saighan, Bamian and Kamard tributaries of the Kunduz, and farther to the west by the Band-i-Amir or Balkh river. Between the debouchment of the Upper Murghab from the Firozkhoi uplands into the comparatively low level of the valley above Bala Murghab, extending eastwards in a nearly straight line to the upper sources of the Shibarghan stream, the Band-i-Turkestan range forms the northern ridge between the plateau and the sand formations of the Chul. lt is a level, straight-backed line of sombre mountain ridge, from the crest of which, as from a wall, the extraordinary configuration of that immense loess deposit called the Chul can be seen stretching away northwards to the Oxus—ridge upon ridge, wave upon wave, like a vast yellow-grey sea of storm-twisted billows. The Band-i-Turkestan anticlinal may be traced eastwards of the Balkh-ab (the Band-i-Amir) within the folds of the Kara Koh to the Kunduz, and beyond; but the Kara Koh does not mark the northern wall of the great plateau nor overlook the sands of the Oxus plain, as does the Band-i-Turkestan. Here there intervenes a second wide synclinal plateau, of which the northern edge is defined n1y the fiat outlines of the Elburz to the south of Mazar-itsharif, and immediately at the foot of this range lie the alluvial plains of Mazar and Tashkurghan. Opposite Tashkurghan the Oxus plain narrows to a short 25 m. On the south this great band of roughly undulatine central plateau is bounded by the Koh-i-Baba, to the west of Kabul, and by the Hindu Kush to the north and north-east of that city. Thus the main routes from Kabul to Afghan Turkestan must cross either one or other of these ranges, and must traverse one or other of the terrific defiles which have been carved out of them by the upoer tributaries of the rivers running northwards towards the Oxus. Probably in no country in the world are there gathered together within comparatively narrow limits so many clean-cut waterways, measuring thousands of feet in depth, affording such a stupendous system of narrow roadways through the hills.

After the Hindu Kush and the Turkestan mountains, that range which divides Ningrahar (or the valley of ialalabad) from Kurram and the Afridi Tirah, and is called Safed Koh (also the name of the range south of the Hari Rud), is the most important, as it is the most impressive, in Afghanistan.

The highest peak of the Safed Koh, Sikaram, is 15,600 ft. above sea-level. From this central dominating peak it falls gently towards the west, and gradually subsides in long spurs, reaching to within a few miles of Kabul and barring the road from Kabul to Ghazni. At a point which is not far east of the Kabul meridian an offshoot is directed southwards, which becomes the water-parting between the Kurram and the Logar at Shutargardan, and can be traced to a connexion with the great watershed of the frontier dividing the Indus basin from that of the Helmund. This main watershed retains its high altitude far to the south. There are peaks measuring over 12,000 ft. on the divide between the Tochi and the Ghazni plains.

So far as we know at present the geological history of Afghanistan differs widely from that of India. When, somewhere at the commencement of the Cretaceous period, the peninsula of India was connected by land with Madagascar and Southern Africa, all Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Persia formed part of an area which was not continuously below sea-level, but exhibited alternations of land and sea. The end of the Cretaceous period saw the beginning of a series of great earth movements ushered in by volcanic eruptions on a scale such as the earth has never since witnessed, which resulted in the upheaval of the Himalayas by a process of crushing and folding of the sedimentary rocks till marine fossils were forced to an altitude of 20,000 ft. above the sea. It was not till the Tertiary age, and even late in that age, that much of the land area of Afghanistan was raised above the sea-level. Then the ocean gradually retired into the great Central Asian depressions.

Everywhere there have been great and constant changes of level since that period, and the process of flexure and the formation of anticlinals traversing the northern districts of Afghanistan is a process which is still in action. So rapid has been the land elevation of Central Afghanistan that the erosive action of rivers has not been nble to keep pace with that of upheaval; and the result all through Afghanistan (but specially marked in the great central highlands between Kabul and Herat) is the formation of those immensely deep gorges and defiles which are locally known as daras. One of these, in the Astarab, to the south-east of Maimana, is but 30 yds. wide, and is enclosed between perpendicular limestone cliffs 1500 ft. high. C. L. Griesbach considers that the general outline of the land configuration has remained much the same since Pliocene times, and that the force which brought about the wrinkling of the older deposits still continues to add fold on fold. The highlands which shut off the Turkestan provinces from Southern Afghanistan have afforded the best opportunities for geological investigation, and as might be expected from their geographical position, the general result of the examination of exposed sections leads to the identification of geoloeical affinity with Himalayan, Indian and Persian regions. The general configuration of the Turkestan highlands has been already indicated.

Against the last great fold which terminates this mountain area northwards are ranged the Tertiaries and recent deposits. North of Maimana they form low undulating loess hills, in which most of the Band-i-Turkestan drainage is lost. This wide-spreading loess area, formed partly of wind-blown sand and partly of detritus from the mountains, is known as Chul, and merges into the great plains south of the Oxus river, a great part of which is covered with modern aerial deposits. Beneath this Chul formation the older beds of the outer and Turkestan ranges dip and pass to an irregular outcrop near the banks of the Oxus. Between the Oxus and the hills there has already been formed a rise or flexure in the ground, which extends more or less parallel to the northern edge of the hills, and, shuttinr in the cultivated area of the plains, arrests all tributaries seeking to effect a junction with the Oxus from the south, and leads to the formation of marshes and swamps. This appears to be the beginning of a new anticlinal which has altered the levels of the Balkh plain, and is indicative of those elevating processes which may have been effective within historic times in changing the climate and the agricultural prospects of this part of Central Asia. The Oxus itself is steadily encroaching on its right banks and depositing detritus on the left.

No fresh discoveries of minerals likely to be of hich economic value to Afghanistan have been made of late years. Such as are known and worked at present have been worked from very ancient times, and their capacity is not likely to develop greatly under the Kabul government. The most important feature in this connexion which was noted by the geologist of the Russo-Afghan Commission is the existence of vast coal beds in northern Afghanistan. In 1903 some coal mines were discovered in the Jagdalak districts.

There are no glaciers now to be found in Afghan Turkestan; but evidences of their recent existence are abundant. The great boulder bed terraces in some of the valleys of the northern slopes of the Ferozkhoi plateau are probably of glacial origin. In the mountains west of Kabul glaciers have retired, leaving the moraines perfectly undisturbed. They are probably contemporary with the older alluvia. (T. H. H.*)


The oldest rocks which have yet been identified 1 in Afghanistan occur along the axis of the main watershed, and have been referred to the Carboniferous. At Robat-i-Pai near Herat, for example, there is a dark Productus limestone which seems to be identical with the Productus limestone of the Central Himalayas. These beds are conformably succeeded, along the Central Asian watershed, by a continuous series of strata which apparently represent the Permian, Trias and Jurassic of Europe. They consist of marine beds alternating with freshwater and littoral deposits, together with plant beds and coal-scarns of considerable thickness. The lowest beds of this series, which from their position may belong either to the Permian or to the upper part of the Carboniferous, have yielded no recognizable fossils; but they include a conglomerate which closely resembles the boulder bed near the base of the Talchir series in India. The Upper Trias has been definitely identified by the occurrence of Halobia and other fossils; while in the higher beds of the series marine forms belonging to the middle and upper Jurassic have been found.

The plant beds occur at several horizons, and among the remains which have been found in them are several forms which occur also in the Gondwana beds of India. There can be no doubt that the series as a whole is the equivalent of the Gondwana system, and when the country has been more closely examined the association of marine fossils with Gondwana plants will be of the greatest value in determining the precise homotaxis of the Indian deposits.

The Jurassic beds are followed, generally with perfect conformity, by the Cretaceous, which covers a large part of Afghan Turkestan and probably forms the greater part of the ranges which run south and south-west from the principal watershed. The lowest beds consist of red grits which contain Neocomian fossils, while the middle and upper Cretaceous consist chiefly of limestone and chalk. The entire system may be represented in the west, but in the Herat province and in Afghan Turkestan the middle Cretaceous seems to be absent, and it is probable that, as in other regions, the upper Cretaceous covers a much wider area than the lower beds. Tertiary and recent deposits are widely spread, filling most of the valleys and covering the plains of the Helmund. Eocene beds have not yet been proved to exist; but this is probably owing to the imperfect knowledge of the country, for the formation is known in Persia, Baluchistan and the Suliman Hills. The lower part of the Miocene is marine in Herat and Afghan Turkestan; but the upper Miocene is usually of freshwater or estuarine origin. in Afghanistan, as in other regions near the great Eurasian system of folds, the Miocene includes extensive deposits of gypsum and salt. It was during this period that the forces which finally raised the country above the level of the sea began to take effect. The Pliocene consists entirely of freshwater and terrestrial deposits, which were probably laid down at the foot of the rising hills and on the floors of the intervening valleys. As the elevation continued, they were sometimes involved in the folding to which the mountains owe their origin. During this period the gradual desiccation of the country continued, and wind-blown deposits, such as the loess, began to make their appearance.

Although volcanic cones are known both in Persia and in Baluchistan, none have yet been described in Afghanistan itself. There is, however, ample evidence that at several distinct geological periods the region has been the seat of great volcanic activity. According to C. L. Griesbach, basic volcanic rocks are interbedded with the lowest part of the plant-bearing series, and enormous outbursts took place during the Neocomian period. But the most important igneous masses are the great intrusions of syenitic granite and of basic rock which penetrate the Cretaceous beds. These are probably of Eocene or of late Cretaceous age. (P. LA.)

Omitting the group of northern routes to India from Central Asia, which pass between Kashmir and Afghanistan through the defiles of Chitral and of the Indus (see HINDU KUSH), the highways of Afghanistan may be classed under two heads: (1) Foreign trade routes, and (2) Internal communications.

The most important commercially are those which connect the Oxus regions and the Central Asian khanates with Kabul, and those which lead from Kabul, Ghazni and Kandahar to the plains of India.

Kabul is linked with Afghan Turkestan and Badakshan by three main lines of communication across the Koh-i-Baba and the Hindu Kush. One of these routes follows the Balkh river to its head from Tahshkurghan, and then, preserving a high general level of 8600 to 9000 ft., it passes over the water-divides separating the upper tributaries of the Kunduz river, and drops into the valley formed by another tributary at Bamian. From Bamian it passes over the central mountain chain to Kabul either by the well-known Dasses of Irak (marking the water-divide of the Koh-i-Baba) and of Unai (marking the summit of the Sanglakh, a branch of the Hindu Kush), or else, turning eastwards, it crosses into the Ghorband valley by the Shibar, a pass which is considerably lower than the Irak and is very seldom snowbound. From the foot of the Unai pass it follows the Kabul river, and from the foot of the Shibar it follows the circuitous route which is offered by the drainage of the Ghorband valley to Charikar, and thence southwards to Kabul. The main points on this route are Haibak, Bajgah and Bamian. It is full of awkward grades and minor passes, but it does not maintain a high level generally, no pass (if the Shibar route be adopted) much exceeding 10,000 ft. That this has for centuries been regarded as the main route northward from Kabul, the Buddhist relics of Bamian and Haibak bear silent witness; but it may be doubted whether Abdur Rahman's talent for roadmaking has not opened out better alternative lines. One of his roads connects Haibak with the Ghorband valley by the Chahardar pass across the Hindu Kush. The pass is high (nearly 14,000 ft.), but the road is excellently well laid out, and the route, which, south of Haibak, traverses a corner of the Ghori and Baghlan districts of Badakshan, is more direct. A third route also passes through Badakshan, and connects Kunduz with Charikar by the Khawak pass and Panjshir river. The latter joins the Ghorband close to Charikar. The Khawak (11,600 ft.) is not a high pass; the grades are easy and the snowfall usually light. This high road is stated (on Afghan authority) to be kept open for khafila traffic all the year round by the employment of forced labour for clearing snow. It is a recently developed route and one of great imoortance to Kabul, both strategically and commercially.

Routes that pass between the mountain barriers of the frontier between Peshawar and the Gomal occur at intervals along the western border, and in the northern section of the Indian frontier they are all well marked. The Khyber, Kurram and Tochi are the best known, inasmuch as all these lines of advance into Afghanistan are held by British troops or Indian levies. But the Bara valley route into the heart of the Afridi Tirah is not to be altogether overlooked, although it is not a trade route of any importance. Between Kabul and Jalalabad there are two roads, one by the Uataband pass, and the other and more difficult by the Khurd-Kabul and Iagdalak passes, the latter being the scene of the massacre of a British brigade in 1842. Between Jalalabad and Peshawar is the Khyber pass (q.v..) The Khyber was not in ancient times the main route of advance from Kabul to Peshawar. From Kabul the old route followed the Kabul river through the valley of Laghman (or Lamghan, as the Afghans call it) over a gentle water-parting into the Kunar valley, leaving Ningrahar and Jalalabad to the south. From the Kunar it crossed into Bajour by one of several open and comparatively easy passes, and from Bajour descended into India either by the Malakand or some other contiguous frontier gateway to the plains of Peshawar. 8600 and 10,800 ft. respectively) across the southern extensions of the Safed Koh range, and has never been a great trade route, however suitable as an alternative military line of advance.

Trade does not extend largely between Afghanistan and India by the Tochi route, being locally confined to the valley and the districts at its head, yet this is the shortest and most direct route between Ghazni and the frontier, and in the palmy days of Ghazni miding was the road by which the great robber Mahmud occasionally descended on to the Indus plains. Traces of his raiding and roadmakina are still visible, but it is certain that he made use of the more direct route to Peshawar far more frequently than he did of the Tochi. The exact nature of the connexion between the head of the Tochi and the Ghazni plain is still unknown to us.

The Gomal is the great central trade route between Afvhanistan and India; and the position, which is held by a tribal post at Wana, will do much to ensure its continued popularity. The Gomal involves no passes of any great difficulty, although it is impossible to follow the actual course of the river on account of the narrow defiles which have been cut through the recent conglomerate beds which flank the plains of the Indus. It has been carefully surveyed for a possible railway alignment; and an excellent road now connects Tank (at its foot) with the Zhob line of communications to Quetta, and with Wana on the southern flank of Waziristan. The Gomal route is of immense importance, both as a commercial and strategic line, and in both particulars is of far greater significance than either the Kurram or the Tochi.

(2) Of the interior lines of communication, those which connect the great cities of Afghanistan, Herat, Kabul and Kandahar, are obviously the most important. Between Kabul and Herat there is no "royal'' road, the existing route passing over the frequently snow-bound wastes that lie below the southern flank of the great Koh-i-Baba into the upper valleys of the Hari Rud tributaries. lt is a waste, elevated, desolate region that the route traverses, and the road itself is only open at certain seasons of the year. Between Kabul and Kandahar exists the well-known and oft-traversed route by Ghazni and Kalat-i-Ghilzai. There is but one insignificant water-parting—or kotal—a little to the north of Ghazni; and the road, although unmade, may be considered equal to any road of its length in Europe for military purposes. Berween Kandahar and Herat there is the recognized trade route which crosses the Helmund at Girishk and passes through Farahand Sabzawar. It includes about 360 miles of easy road, with spaces where water is scarce. There is not a pass of any great importance, nor a river of any great difficulty, to be encountered from end to end, but the route is flanked on the north between Kandahar and Girishk by the Zamindawar hills, containing the most truculent and fanatical clans of all the Southern Afghan tribes. Little need be said of the 65 m. of route between Kandahar and the Baluchistan frontier at New Chaman. It is on the whole a route across open plains and hard, stony "dasht''—-a route which would offer no great difficulties to that railway extension from1 Olhaman which has so long been contemplated. A very considerable trade now passes along this route to India, in spite of almost prohibitive imposts; but the trade does not follow the railway from New Chaman to the eastern foot of the Khojak. Long strings of camels may still be seen from the train windows patiently treading their slow way over the Khoiak pass to Kila Abdullah, whilst the train alongside them rapidly twists through the mountain tunnel into the Peshin valley.


The variety of climate is immense, as might be expected. Taking the highlands of the country as a whole, there is no great difference between the mean temperature of Afghanistan and that of the lower Himalayas. Each may be placed at a point between 50 deg. and 60 deg. F. But the remarkable feature of Afghan climate (as also of that of Baluchistan) is its extreme range of temperature within limited periods. The least daily range in the north is during the cold weather, the greatest in the hot. For seven months of the year (from May to November) this range exceeds 30 deg. F. daily. Waves of intense cold occur, lasting for several days, and one may have to endure a cold of 12 deg. below zero, rising to a maximum of 17 deg. below freezing-point. On the other hand the summer temperature is exceedingly high, especially in the Oxus regions, where a shade maximum of 110 deg. to 120 deg. is not uncommon. At Kabul, and over all the northern part of the country to the descent at Gandamak, winter is rigorous, but especially so on the high Arachosian plateau. In Kabul the snow lies for two or three months; the people seldom leave their houses, and sleep close to stoves. At Ghazni the snow has been known to lie long beyond the vernal equinox; the thermometer sinks to 10 deg. and 15 deg. below zero (Fahr.); and tradition relates the entire destruction of the population of Ghazni by snowstorms more than once.

At Jalalabad the winter and the climate generally assume an Indian character. The summer heat is great everywhere in Afghanistan, but most of all in the districts bordering on the Indus, especially Sewi, on the lower Helmund and in Seistan. All over Kandahar province the summer heat is intense, and the simoon is not unknown. The hot season throughout this part of the country is rendered more trying by frequent dust storms and fiery winds; whilst the bare rocky ridges that traverse the country, absorbing heat by day and radiating it by night, render the summer nights most oppressive. At Kabul the summer sun has great power, though the heat is tempered occasionally by cool breezes from the Hindu Kush, and the nights are usually cool. At Kandahar snow seldom falls on the plains or lower hills; when it does, it melts at once.

At Herat, though 800 ft. lower than Kandahar, the summer climate is more temperate; and, in fact, the climate altogether is far from disagreeable. From May to September the wind blows from the N.W. with great violence, and this extends across the country to Kandahar. The winter is tolerably mild; snow melts as it falls, and even on the mountains does not lie long. Three years out of four at Herat it does not freeze hard enough for the people to store ice; yet it was not very far from Herat, and could not have been at a greatly higher level (at Rafir Kala, near Kassan) that, in 1750, Ahmad Shah's army, retreating from Persia, is said to have lost 18,000 men from cold in a single night. In the northern Herat districts, too, records of the coldest month (February) show the mean minimum as 17 deg. F., and the maximum 38 deg. . The eastern reaches of the Hari Rud river are frozen hard in the winter, rapids and all, and the people travel on it as on a road.

The summer rains that accompany the S.W. monsoon in India, beating along the southern slopes of the Himalaya, travel up the Kabul valley as far as Laghman, though they are more clearly felt in Bajour and Panjkora, under the high spurs of the Hindu Kush, and in the eastern branches of Safed Koh. Rain also falls at this season at the head of Kurram valley. South of this the Suliman mountains may be taken as the western limit of the monsoon's action. It is quite unfelt in the rest of Afghanistan, in which, as in all the west of Asia, the winter rains are the most considerable. The spring rain, though less copious, is more important to agriculture than the winter rain, unless where the latter falls in the form of snow. In the absence of monsoon influences there are steadier weather indications than in India. The north-west blizzards which occur in winter and spring are the most noticeable feature, and their influence is clearly felt on the Indian frontier. The cold is then intense and the force of the wind cyclonic. Speaking generally, the Afghanistan climate is a dry one. The sun shines with splendour for three-fourths of the year, and the nights are even more clear than the days. Marked characteristics are the great differences of summer and winter temperature and of day and night temperature, as well as the extent to which change of climate can be attained by slight change of place. As the emperor Baber said of Kabul, at one day's journey from it you may find a place where snow never falls, and at two hours' journey a place where snow almost never melts!

The Afghans vaunt the salubrity and charm of some local climates, as of the Toba hills above the Kakar country, and of some of the high valleys of the Safed Koh.

The people have by no means that immunity from disease which the bright, dry character of the climate and the fine physical aspect of a large proportion of them might lead us to expect. Intermittent and remittent fevers are very prevalent; bowel complaints are common, and often fatal in the autumn. The universal custom of sleeping on the house-top in summer promotes rheumatic and neuralgic affections; and in the Koh Daman of Dabul, which the natives regard as having the finest of climates, the mortality from fever and bowel complaint, between July and October, is great, the immoderate use of fruit predisposing to such ailments.


The term Afghan really applies to one section only of the mixed conglomeration of nationalities which forms the people of Afghanistan, but this is the dominant section known as the Durani. The Ghilzai (who is almost as powerful as the Durani) claims to be of Turkish origin; the Hazaras, the Chahar-Aimak, Tajiks, Uzbegs, Kafirs and others are more or less subject races. Popularly any inhabitant of Afghanistan is known as Afghan on the Indian frontier without distinction of origin or language; but the language division between the Parsiwan (or Persian-speaking Afghan) and the Pathan is a very distinct one. The predominance of the Afghan in Afghanistan dates from the middle of the 18th century, when Ahmad Shah carved out Afghanistan from the previous conquests of Nadir Shah and called it the Durani empire.

The Durani Afghans claim to be Ben-i-Israel, and insist on their descent from the tribes who were carried away captive from Palestine to Media by Nebuchadrezzar. Yet they also claim to be Pukhtun (or Pathan) in common with all other Pushtu-speaking tribes, whom they do not admit to be Afghan. The bond of affinity between the various peoples who compose the Pathan community is simply the bond of a common language. All of them recognize a common code or unwritten law called Pukhtunwali, which appears to be similar in general character to the old Hebraic law, though modified by Mahommedan ordinances, and strangely similar in certain particulars to Rajput custom. Besides their division into clans and tribes, the whole Afghan people may be divided into dwellers in tents and dwellers in houses; and this division is apparently not coincident with tribal divisions, for of several of the great clans at least a part is nomad and a part settled. Such, e.g., is the (use with the Durani and with the Ghilzai.

The settled Afghans form the village communities, and in part the population of the few towns. Their chief occupation is with the soil. They form the core of the nation and the main part of the army. Nearly all own the land on which they live, and which they cultivate with their own hands or by hired labour. Roundly speaking, agriculture and soldiering are their sole occupations. No Afghan will pursue a handicraft or keep a shop, though the Ghilzai Povindahs engage largely in travelling trade and transport of goods. As a race the Afghans are very handsome and athletic, often with fair complexion and flowing beard, generally black or brown, sometimes, though rarely, red; the features highly aquiline. The hair is shaved off from the forehead to the top of the head, the remainder at the sides being allowed to fall in large curls over the shoulders. Their step is full of resolution; their bearing proud and apt to be rough.

The women have handsome features of Jewish cast (the last trait often true also of the men); fair complexions, sometimes rosy, though usually a pale sallow; hair braided and plaited behind in two long tresses terminating in silken tassels. They are rigidly secluded, but intrigue is frequent.

The Afghans, inured to bloodshed from childhood, are familiar with death, and audacious in attack, but easily discouraged by failure; excessively turbulent and unsubmissive to law or discipline; apparently frank and affable in manner, especially when they hope to gain some object, but capable of the grossest brutality when that hope ceases. They are unscrupulous in perjury, treacherous, vain and insatiable, passionate in vindictiveness, which they will satisfy at the cost of their own lives and in the most cruel manner. Nowhere is crime committed on such trifling grounds, or with such general impunity, though when it is punished the punishment is atrocious. Among themselves the Afghans are quarrelsome, intriguing and distrustful; estrangements and affrays are of constant occurrence; the traveller conceals and misrepresents the time and direction of his journey. The Afghan is by breed and nature a bird of prey. If from habit and tradition he respects a stranger within his threshold, he yet considers it legitimate to warn a neighbour of the prey that is afoot, or even to overtake and plunder his guest after he has quitted his roof. The repression of crime and the demand of taxation he regards alike as tyranny. The Afghans are eternally boasting of their lineage, their independence and their prowess. They look on the Afghans as the first of nations, and each man looks on himself as the equal of any Afghan.

They are capable of enduring great privation, and make excellent soldiers under British discipline, though there are but few in the Indian army. Sobriety and hardiness characterize the bulk of the people, though the higher classes are too often stained with deep and degrading debauchery. The first impression made by the Afghan is favourable. The European, especially if he come from India, is charmed by their apparently frank, open-hearted, hospitable and manly manners; but the charm is not of long duration, and he finds that the Afghan is as cruel and crafty as he is independent. No trustworthy statistics exist showing either present numbers or fluctuations in the population of Afghanistan. Within the amir's dominions there are probably from four to five millions of people, and of these the vast majority are agriculturists.

The cultivators, including landowners, tenants, hired labourers and slaves, represent the working population of the country, and as industrious and successful agriculturists they are unsurpassed in Asia. They have carried the art of irrigation to great perfection, and they utilize every acre of profitable soil. Certain Ghilzai clans are specially famous for their skill in the construction of the karez or underground water-channel.


The religion of the country throughout is Mahommedan. Next to Turkey, Afghanistan is the most powerful Mahommedan kingdom in existence. The vast majority of Afghans are of the Sunni sect; but there are, in their midst, such powerful communities of Shiahs as the Hazaras of the central districts, the Kizilbashes of Kabul and the Turis of the Kurram border, nor is there between them that bitterness of sectarian animosity which is so marked a feature in India. The Kafirs of the mountainous region of Kafiristan alone are non-Mahommedan. They are sunk in a paganism which seems to embrace some faint reflexion of Greek mythology, Zoroastrian principles and the tenets of Buddhism, originally gathered, no doubt, from the varied elements of their mixed extraction. Those contiguous Afghan tribes, who have not so long ago been converted to the faith of Islam, are naturally the most fanatical and the most virulent upholders of the faith around them. In and about the centre of civilization at Kabul, instances of Ghazism are comparatively rare. In the western provinces about Kandahar (amongst the Durani Afghans—-the people who claim to be Beni-Israel), and especially in Zamindawar, the spirit of fanaticism runs high, and every other Afghan is a possible Ghazi—-a man who has devoted his life to the extinction of other creeds.

Language and literature.

Persian is the vernacular of a large part of the non-Afghan population, and is familiar to all educated Afghans; it is the language of the court and of literature. Pushtu, however, is the prevailing language, though it does not seem to be spoken in Herat, or, roughly speaking, west of the Helmund. Turki is spoken in Afghan Turkestan. There is a respectable amount of Afghan literature. The oldest work in Pushtu is a history of the conquest of Swat by Shaikh Mali, a chief of the Yusafzais, and leader in the conquest (A.D. 1413-24). In 1494 Kaju Khan became chief of the same clan; during his rule Buner and Panjkora were completely conquered, and he wrote a history of the events. In the reign of Akbar, Bayazid Ansari, called Pir-i-Roshan, "the Saint of Light,'' the founder of an heretical sect, wrote in Pushtu; as did his chief antagonist, a famous Afghan saint called Akhund Darweza. The literature is richest in poetry. Abdur Rahman (17th century) is the best known poet. Another very popular poet is Khushal Khan, the warlike chief of the Khattaks in the time of Aurangzeb. Many other members of his family were poets also. Ahmad Shah, the founder of the monarchy, likewise wrote poetry. Ballads are numerous.


Education is confined to most elementary principles in Afghanistan. Of schools or colleges for the purposes of a higher education befitted to the sons of noblemen and the more wealthy merchants there are absolutely none; but the village school is an ever-present and very open spectacle to the passer-by. Here the younger boys are collected and instructed in the rudiments of reading, writing and religious creed by the village mullah, or priest, who thereby acquires an early influence over the Afghan mind. The method of teaching is confined to that wearisome system of loud-voiced repetition which is so annoying a feature in Indian schools; and the Koran is, of course, the text-book in all forms of education. Every Afghan gentleman can read and speak Persian, but beyond this acquirement education seems to be limited to the physical development of the youth by instruction in horsemanship and feats of skill. Such advanced education as exists in Afghanistan is centred in the priests and physicians; but the ignorance of both is extreme.

Constitution and laws.

The government of Afghanistan is an absolute monarchy under the amir, and succession to the throne is hereditary. There are five chief political divisions in the country—-namely, Kabul, Turkestan, Herat, Kandahar and Badakshan, each of which is ruled by a "naib'' or governor, whom is directly responsible to the amir. Under the governors of provinces the nobles and kazis (or district judges) dispense justice much in the feudal fashion. There are three classes of chiefs who form the council or durbar of the king. These are the sirdars, the khans and the mullahs. The sirdars are hereditary nobles, the khans are representatives of the people, and the mullahs of Mahommedan religion. The khan is elected by the clan or tribe. The clannish attachment of the Afghans is rather to the community than to the chief. These three classes of representatives are divided into two assemblies, the Durbar Shahi or royal assembly, and the Kharwanin Mulkhi or commons. The mullahs take their place in one or the other according to their individual rank. The executive officials of the amir have a selected body, called the Khilwat, which acts as a cabinet council, but no member can give advice to the crown without being asked to do so, or beyond the jurisdiction of his own department. The amir, in addition to being chief executive officer, is chief judge and supreme court of appeal. Any one has the right to appeal to the amir for trial, and the great amirs, Dost Mahommed and Abdurrahman,were accessible at all times to the petitions of their subjects. Next to the amir comes the court of the kazi, the chief centre of justice, and beneath the kazi comes the kotwal, who performs, as in India, the ordinary functions of a magistrate. In large provincial towns there is a punchait, or council, for the trial of commercial cases. There are government departments for the administration of revenue, customs, post-office, military affairs, &c. The general law administered in all the courts of Afghanistan is that of Islam and of the customs of the country, with developments introduced by the Amir Abdur Rahman.


The Afghan army probably numbers 50,000 regulars distributed between the military centres of Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad and Asmar, with detachments at frontier outposts on the side of India. Abdur Rahman claimed that he could put 100,000 men into the field within a week for the defence of Herat. In 1896 he introduced a system of semi-enforced service whereby one man in every eight between the ages of sixteen and seventy takes his turn at military training. In this way he calculated that he could have raised 1,000,000 men armed with modern weapons, but his chief difficulty would be money and transport. The pay of the army is apt to be irregular. The amir's factories at Kabul for arms and ammunition are said to turn out about 20,000 cartridges and 15 rifles daily, with 2 guns per week; but the arms thus produced are very heterogeneous, and the different varieties of cartridge used would cause endless complications. The two chief fastnesses of Northern Afghanistan are Herat and Dehdadi near Balkh. The latter fort took twelve years to build, and commands all the roads leading from the Oxus into Afghan Turkestan. It is armed with naval quick-firing guns, Krupp, Hotchkiss, Nordenfeld and Maxim. The chief cantonment for the same district is at Mazar-i-Sharif, 12 m. from Balkh.


Financially, Afghanistan has never, since it first became a kingdom, been able to pay for its own government, public works and army. There appears to be no inherent reason why this should be so. Whilst it can never (in the absence of any great mineral wealth) develop into a wealthy country, it can at least support its own population; and it would, but for the short-sighted trade policy of Abdur Rahman, certainly have risen to a position of respectable solvency. Its revenues (about which no trustworthy information is available) are subject to great fluctuations, and probably never exceed the value of one million sterling per annum. They fell in Shere Ali's time to L. 700,000. The original subsidy to the amir from the Indian government was fixed at 12 lakhs of rupees (L. 80,000) per annum, but in 1893, in connexion with the boundary settlement, it was increased to


Few minerals are wrought in Afghanistan, though Abdur Rahman claims in his autobiography that the country is rich in mines. Some small quantity of gold is taken from the streams in Laghman and the adjoining districts. Famous silver mines were formerly worked near the head of the Panjshir valley in Hindu Kush. Kabul is chiefly supplied with iron from the Permuli (or Farmuli) district, between the Upper Kurram and Gomal, where it is said to be abundant. Iron ore is most abundant near the passes leading to Bamian, and in other parts of Hindu Kush. Copper ore from various parts of Afghanistan has been seen, but it is nowhere worked. Lead is found in Upper Bangash (Kurram district), and in the Shinwari country (also among the branches of Safed Koh), and in the Kakar country. There are reported to be rich lead mines near Herat scarcely worked. Lead, with antimony, is found near the Arghand-ab, 32 m. north-west of Ghazni, and in the Ghorband valley, north of Kabul. Most of the lead used, however, comes from the Hazara country, where the ore is described as being gathered on the surface. An ancient mine of great extent and elaborate character exists at Feringal, in the Ghorband valley. Antimony is obtained in considerable quantities at Shah-Maksud, about 30 m. north of Kandahar. Sulphur is said to be found at Herat, dug from the soil in small fragments, but the chief supply comes from the Hazara country and from Pirkisri, on the confines of Seistan, where there would seem to be a crater, or fumarole. Sal-ammoniac is brought from the same place. Gypsum is found in large quantities in the plain of Kandahar, being dug out in fragile coralline masses from near the surface. Coal (perhaps lignite) is said to be found in Zurmat (between the Upper Kurram and the Gomal) and near Ghazni. Nitre abounds in the soil over all the south-west of Afghanistan, and often affects the water of the karez or subterranean canals.


The characteristic distribution of vegetation on the mountains of Afghanistan is worthy of attention. The great mass of it is confined to the main ranges and their immediate off-shoots, whilst on the more distant and terminal prolongations it is almost entirely absent; in fact, these are naked rock and stone.

Take, for example, the Safed Koh. On the alpine range itself and its immediate branches, at a height of 6000 to 10,000 ft., we have abundant growth of large forest trees, among which conifers are the most noble and prominent, such as Cedrus Deodara, Abies excelsa, Pinus longifolia, P. Pinaster, P. Pinea (the edible pine) and the larch. We have also the yew, the hazel, juniper, walnut, wild peach and almond. Growing under the shade of these are several varieties of rose, honeysuckle, currant, gooseberry, hawthorn, rhododendron and a luxuriant herbage, among which the ranunculus family is important for frequency and number of genera. The lemon and wild vine are also here met with, but are more common on the northern mountains. The walnut and oak (evergreen, holly-leaved and kermes) descend to the secondary heights, where they become mixed with alder, ash, khinjak, Arbor-vitae, juniper, with species of Astragalus, &c. Here also are Indigoferae rind dwarf laburnum.

Lower again, and down to 3000 ft. we have wild olive, species of rock-rose, wild privet, acacias and mimosas, barberry and Zizyphus; and in the eastern ramifications of the chain, Chamaerops humilis (which is applied to a variety of useful purposes), Bignonia or trumpet flower, sissu, Salvadora persica, verbena, acanthus, varieties of Gesnerae.

The lowest terminal ridges, especially towards the west, are, as has been said, naked in aspect. Their scanty vegetation is almost wholly herbal; shrubs are only occasional; trees almost non-existent. Labiate, composite and umbelliferous plants are most common. Ferns and mosses are almost confined to the higher ranges.

In the low brushwood scattered over portions of the dreary plains of the Kandahar table-lands, we find leguminous thorny plants of the papilionaceous sub-order, such as camel-thorn (Hedysarum Alhagi), Astragalus in several varieties, spiny rest-harrow (Ononis spinosa), the fibrous roots of which often serve as a tooth-brush; plants of the sub-order Mimosae, as the sensitive mimosa; a plant of the rue family, called by the natives lipad the common wormwood; also certain orchids, and several species of Salsola. The rue and wormwood are in general use as domestic medicines—-the former for rheumatism and neuralgia; the latter in fever, debility and dyspepsia, as well as for a vermifuge. The lipad, owing to its heavy nauseous odour, is believed to keep off evil soirits. In some places, occupying the sides and hollows of ravines, are found the rose bay (Nerium Oleander), called in Persian khar-zarah, or ass-bane, the wild laburnum and various Indigoferae.

In cultivated districts the chief trees seen are mulberry, willow, poplar, ash, and occasionally the plane; but these are due to man's planting.

Uncultivated products of value.

One of the most important of these is the gum-resin of Narthex asafetida, which grows abundantly in the high and dry plains of eastern Afghanistan, especially between Kandahar and Herat. The depot for it is Kandahar, whence it finds its way to India, where it is much used as a condiment. It is not so used in Afghanistan, but the Seistan people eat the green stalks of the plant preserved in brine. The collection of the gum-resin is almost entirely in the hands of the Kakar clan of Afghans.

In the highlands of Kabul edible rhubarb is an important local luxury. The plants grow wild in the mountains. The bleached rhubarb, which has a very delicate flavour, is altered by covering the young leaves, as they sprout from the soil, with loose stones or an empty jar. The leaf-stalks are gathered by the neighbouring hill people, and carried down for sale. Bleached and unbleached rhubarb are both largely consumed, both raw and cooked.

The walnut and edible pine-nut are both wild growths, which are exported.

The sanjit (Elaeaguns orientalis), common on the banks of water-courses, furnishes an edible fruit. An orchis found in the mountain yields the dried tuber which affords the nutritious mucilage called salep: a good deal of this goes to India.

Pistacia khinjak affords a mastic. The fruit, mixed with its resin, is used for food by the Achakzais in Southern Afghanistan.The true pistachio is found only on the northern frontier; the nuts are imported from Badakshan and Kunduz by the Hindus of the towns, to whom they supply a substitute for meat.

Manna, of at least two kinds, is sold in the bazaars. One, called turanjbin, apoears to exude, in small round tears, from the camelthorn, and also from the dwarf tamarisk; the other, sir-kasht, in large grains and irregular masses or cakes with bits of twig imbedded, is obtained from a tree which the natives call sian chob (black wood), thought by Bellow to be a Fraxinus or Ornus.


In most parts of the country there are two harvests, as generally in India. One of these, called by the Afghans baharak, or the sprine crop. is sown in the end of autumn and reaped in summer. It consists of wheat, barley and a variety of lentils. The other, called paizah or tirmai, the autumnal, is sown in the end of spring, and reaped in autumn. It consists of rice, varieties of millet and sorghum, of maize, Phaseolus Mungo, tobacco, beet, turnips, &c. The loftier regions have but one harvest.

Wheat is the staple food over the greater part of the country. Rice is not largely distributed. In much of the eastern mountainous country bajra (Holcus spicatus) is the chief grain. Most English and Indian garden-stuffs are cultivated; turnips in some places very largely, as cattle food.

The growth of melons, water-melons and other cucurbitaceous plants is reckoned very important, especially near towns; and this crop counts for a distinct harvest.

Sugar-cane is grown only in the rich plains; and though cotton is grown in the warmer tracts, most of the cotton cloth is imported.

Madder is an important item of the spring crop in Ghazni and Kandahar districts, and generally over the west, and supplies the Indian demand. It is said to be very profitable, though it takes three years to mature. Saffron is grown and exported. The castor-oil plant is everywhere common, and furnishes most of the oil of the country. Tobacco is grown very generally; that of Kandahar has much repute, and is exported to India and Bokhara. Two crops of leaves are taken.

Lucerne and a trefoil called shaftal form important fodder crops in the western parts of the country, and, when irrigated. are said to afford ten or twelve cuttings in the season. The komal (Prangos pabularia) is abundant in the hill country of Ghazni, and is said to extend through the Hazara country to Herat. It is stored for winter use, and forms an excellent fodder. Others are derived from the Holcus sorghum, and from two kinds of panick. It is common to cut down the green wheat and barley before the ear forms, for fodder, and the repetition of this, with barley at least, is said not to injure the grain crop. Bellow gives the following statement of the manner in which the soil is sometimes worked in the Kandahar district:—-Barley is sown in November; in March and April it is twice cut for fodder; in June the grain is reaped, the ground is ploughed and manured and sown with tobacco, which yields two cuttings. The ground is then prepared for carrots and turnips, which are gathered in November or December.

Of great moment are the fruit crops. All European fruits are produced profusely, in many varieties and of excellent quality. Fresh or preserved, they form a principal food of a large class of the people, and the dry fruit is largely exported. In the valleys of Kabul mulberries are dried, and packed in skins for winter use. This mulberry cake is often reduced to flour, and used as such, forming in some valleys the main food of the people.

Grapes are grown very extensively, and the varieties are very numerous. The vines are sometimes trained on trellises, but most frequently over ridges of earth 8 or 10 ft. high. The principal part of the garden lands in villages round Kandahar is vineyard, and the produce must be enormous.

Open canals are usual in the Kabul valley, and in eastern Afghanistan generally; but over all the western parts of the country much use is made of the karez, which is a subterranean aqueduct uniting the waters of several springs, and conducting their combined volume to the surface at a lower level.


As regards vertebrate zoology, Afghanistan lies on the frontier of three regions, viz. the Eurasian, the Ethiopian (to which region Baluchistan seems to belong) and the Indo-Halayan. Hence it naturally partakes somewhat of the forms of each, but is in the main Eurasian.

Felidae.—F. catus, F. chaus (both Eurasian); F. caracal (Eur., Ind., Eth.), about Kandahar; a small leopard, stated to be found almost all over the country, perhaps rather the cheetah F. jubatus, Ind, and Eth.); F. pardus, the common leopard (Eth. and Ind.). The tiger exists in Afghan Turkestan.

Canidae.—The jackal (C. aureus, Eur., Ind., Eth.) abounds on the Helmund and Argand-ab, and probably elsewhere. Wolves (C. Bengalensis) are formidable in the wilder tracts, and assemble in troops on the snow, destroying cattle and sometimes attacking single horsemen. The hyena (H. striata, Africa to India) is common. These do not hunt in packs, but will sometimes singly attack a bullock; they and the wolves make havoc among sheep. A favourite feat of the boldest of the young men of southern Afghanistan is to enter the hyena's den, single-handed, muffle and tie him. There are wild dogs, according to Elphinstone and Conolly. The small Indian fox (Vulpes Bengalensis) is found; also V. flavescens, common to India and Persia, the skin of which is much used as a fur.

Mustelidae.—Species of the Mungoose (Herpestes), species of otter, Mustela erminea, and two ferrets, one of them with tortoise-shell marks, tamed by the Afghans to keep down vermin; a marten (M. flavigula, Indian).

Bears are two: a black one, probably Ursus torquatus; and one of a dirty yellow, U. Isabellinus, both Himalayan species. Ruminants.—Capra aegagrus and C. megaceros; a wild sheep Ovis cycloceros or Vignei); Gazella subgutturosa—these are often netted in batches when they descend to drink at a stream; G. dorcas perhaps; Cervus Wallichii, the Indian barasingha, and probably some other Indian deer, in the north-eastern mountains.

The wild hog (Sus scrofa) is found on the lower Helmund. The wild ass, Gorkhar of Persia (Equus onager), is frequent on the sandy tracts in the south-west.

The Himalayan varieties of the markhor and ibex are abundant in Kafiristan.

Talpidae.—A mole, probably Talpa Europaea; Sorex Indicus; Erinaceus collaris (Indian), and Er. auritus (Eurasian).

Bats believed to be Phyllorhinus cineraceus (Punjab species), Scotophilus Bellii (W. India), Vesp. auritus and V. barbastellus, both found from England to India.

Rodentia.—A squirrel (Sciurus Syriacus?); Mus Indicus and M. Gerbellinus; a jerboa (Dipus telum?); Alactaga Bactriana; Gerbillus Indicus, and G. erythrinus (Persian and Indian); Lagomys Nepalensis, a Central Asian species. A hare, probably L. ruacaudatus. by Captain Hutton in the J. As. Soc. Bengal, vol. xvi. pp. 775 seq.; but it is confessedly far from complete. (Of 124 species in that list, 95 are pronounced to be Eurasian, 17 Indian, 10 both Eurasian and Indian, 1 (Turtur risorius) Eur., Ind. and Eth.; and 1 only, Carpodacus (Bucanetes) crassirostris, peculiar to the country. Afghanistan appears to be, during the breeding season, the retreat of a variety of Indian and some African (desert) forms, whilst in winter the avifauna becomes overwhelmingly Eurasian.

REPTILES.—The following particulars are from Gray:—Lizards Pseudopus gracilis (Eur.), Argyrophis Horipeldii, Salea Horsfieldii, Calotes Moria, C. versicolor, C. minor, C. Emma, Phrynocephalus Idchelii—all Indian forms. A tortoise (Testudo Horsfieldii) appears to be peculiar to Kabul. There are apparently no salamanders or tailed Amphibia. The frogs are partly Eurasian, partly Indian; and the same may be said of the fish, but they are as yet most imperfectly known.

The camel is of a more robust and compact breed than the tall beabt used in India, and is more carefully tended. The two-humped Bactrian camel is commonly used in the Oxus regions, but is seldom seen near the Indian frontier.

Horses form a staple export to India. The best of these, however, are reserved for the Afghan cavalry. Those exported to India are usually bred in Maimana and other places in Afghan Turkestan. The indigenous horse is the yabu, a stout, heavy-shouldered animal, of about 14 hands high, used chiefly for burden, but also for riding. It gets over incredible distances at an ambling shuffle, but is unfit for fast work and cannot stand excessive heat. The breed of horses was much improved under the amir Abdur Rahman, who took much interest in it. Generally, colts are sold and worked too young.

The cows of Kandahar and Seistan give very large quantities of milk. They seem to be of the humped variety, but with the hump evanescent. Dairy produce is important in Afghan diet, especially the pressed and dried curd called krut (an article and name perhaps introduced by the Mongols).

There are two varieties of sheep, both having the fat tail. One bears a white fleece, the other a russet or black one. Much of the white wool is exported to Persia, and now largely to Europe by Bombay. Flocks of sheep are the main wealth of the nomad population, and mutton is the chief animal food of the nation. In autumn large numbers are slaughtered, their carcases cut up, rubbed with salt and dried in the sun. The same is done with beef and camel's flesh.

The goats, generally black or parti-coloured, seem to be a degenerate variety of the shawlgoat.

The climate is found to be favourable to dog-breeding. Pointers are bred in the Kohistan of Kabul and above Jalalabad—large, heavy, slow-hunting, but fine-nosed and staunch; very like the old double-nosed Spanish pointer. There are greyhounds also, but inferior in speed to second-rate English dogs.

Trade and commerce.

The manufactures of the country have not developed much during recent years. Poshtins (sheepskin clothing) and the many varieties of camel and goat's hair-cloth which, under the name of "barak,'' "karak,'' &c., are manufactured in the northern districts, are still the chief local products of that part of Afghanistan. Herat and Kandahar are famous for their silks, although a large proportion of the manufactured silk found on the Herat market, as well as many of the felts, carpets and embroideries, are brought from the Central Asian khanates. The district of Herat produces many of the smaller sorts of carpets ("galichas'' or prayer-carpets), of excellent design and colour, the little town of Adraskand being especially famous for this industry; but they are not to be compared with the best products of eastern Persia or of the Turkman districts about Panjdeh.

The nomadic Afghan tribes of the west are chiefly pastoral, and the wool of the southern Herat and Kandahar provinces is famous for its quality. In this direction, the late boundary settlements have undoubtedly led to a considerable development of local resources. A large quantity of wool, together with silk, dried fruit, madder and asafetida, finds its way to India by the Kandahar route.

It is impossible to give accurate trade statistics, there being no trustworthy system of registration. The value of the imports from Kabul to India in 1892-1893 was estimated at 221,000 Rx (or tens of rupees). In 1809 it was little over 217,000 Rx, the period of lowest intermediate depression being in 1897. These imports include horses, cattle, fruits, grain, wool, silk, hides, tobacco, drugs and provisions (ghi, &c.). All this trade emanates from Kabul, there being no transit trade with Bokhara owing to the heavy dues levied by the amir. The value of the exports from India to Kabul also shows great fluctuation. In the year 1892-1893 it was registered at nearly 611,000 Rx. In 1894-1895 it had sunk to 274,000 Rx, and in 1899 it figured at 294,600 Rx. The chief items are cotton goods, sugar and tea. In 1898-1899 the imports irom Kandahar to India were valued at 330,000 Rx, and the exports from India to Kandahar at about 264,000 Rx. Three-fourths of the exports consist of cotton goods, and three-eighths of the imports were raw wool. The balance of the imports was chiefly made up of dried fruits. Comparison with trade statistics of previous years on this side Afghanistan is difficult, owing to the inclusion of a large section of Baluchistan and Persia within the official "Kandahar'' returns; but it does not appear that the value of the western Afghanistan trade is much on the increase. The opening up of the route between Quetta and Seistan has doubtless affected a trade which was already seriously hampered by restrictions. In the year after the mission of Sir Louis Dane to Kabul in 1905 it was authoritatively stated that the trade between Afghanistan and India had nearly doubled in value.


The basin of the Kabul river especially abounds in remains of the period when Buddhism flourished. Bamian is famous for its wall-cut firures, and at Haibak (on the route between Tashkurghan and Kabul) there are some most interesting Buddhist remains. In the Koh-Daman, north of Kabul, are the sites of several ancient cities, the greatest of which, called Beghram, has furnished coins in scores of thousands, and has been supposed to represent Alexander's Nicaea. Nearer Kabul, and especially on the hills some miles south of the city, are numerous topes. In the valley of Jalalabad are many remains of the same character.

In the valley of the Tarnak are the ruins of a great city (Ulan Robat) supposed to be the ancient Arachosia. About Girishk, on the Helmund, are extensive mounds and other traces of buildings; and the remains of several great cities exist in the plain of Seistan, as at Pulki, Peshawaran and Lakh, relics of ancient Drangiana. An ancient stone vessel preserved in a mosque at Kandahar is almost certainly the same that was treasured at Peshawar in the 5th century as the begging pot of Sakya-Muni. In architectural relics of a later date than the Graeco-Buddhist period Afghanistan is remarkably deficient. Of the city of Ghazni, the vast capital of Mahmud and his race, no substantial relics survive, except the tomb of Mahmud and two remarkable brick minarets. A vast and fruitful harvest of coins has been gathered in Afghanistan and the adjoining regions.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—-Rawlinson, England and Russia in the East (1873); H. M. Durand, The First Afghan War (1879); Wyllie's Essays on the External Policy of India (1875); Elphinstone, Account of the Kingdom of Kabul (1809); Parliamentary Papers, "Afghanistan''; Curzon, Problems in the Far East; Holdich, Indian Borderland (1901); India (1903); Indian Survey Reports; Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission (1886); Pamir Boundary Commission (1896). (T. H. H.*)

HISTORY The Afghan chroniclers call their people Beni-Israil (Arab. for Children of Israel), and claim descent from King Saul (whom they call by the Mahommedan corruption Talut) through a son whom they ascribe to him, called Jeremiah, who again had a son called Afghana. The numerous stock of Afghana were removed by Nebuchadrezzar, and found their way to the mountains of Ghor and Feroza (east and north of Herat). Only nine years after Mahommed's announcement of his mission they heard of the new prophet, and sent to Medina a deputation headed by a wise and holy man called Kais, to make inquiry. The deputation became zealous converts, and on their return converted their countrymen. From Kais and his three sons the whole of the genuine Afghans claim descent.

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