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Old 17th August 2021, 02:12 AM   #8
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,178

Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
Afghanistan is on my do not travel there list at the moment, even though most of them are wearing face masks in an friendly extended COVID-19 compliance attempt. They do seem eager to discuss historic ethnic arms, including edged ones

Thanks for the comments.

Kabul Tourist Board's new Welcoming Committee:
Regretfully you are correct. Even more regretfully, this situation has very deep roots: even Egerton did not venture there and British army had only small penetration raids into Massouds’ areas at his time. Then there were 2 Afghan-British wars.... Things got better sometimes in the 1920-1950s , but at that time nobody in the museum/collectors crowd was interested in Afghan arms. But the past ~50 years Afghanistan became a “ toxic trap”, and no sane person would go there then, now and in the foreseeable future.
Thus, no real research was done there even on the vast flow of “bringbacks” of various quality and of unknown provenance bought in Kabul by NATO soldiers with no academic training and aspirations.

As a result we are forced to dig out snippets of ( often unverified and contradictory) information from Egerton’s book, some Moser’s descriptions, a bit of memoirs by British officers and “ politicals” and occasional mentions of Afghanistan news in general newspapers.

That’s why I am saying that there was no progress in our knowledge of Afghan weapons since Egerton and Moser. Afghanistan never had her “ Elgood” on Indian and Balkan weapons, “Astvatsaturyan” and “Rivkin” on the Caucasian ones, “ van Zonneveld” on Indonesian, “ La Rocca” on the Tibetan and a host of professional arms historians on African, Persian and Turkish weapons. Perhaps, Rivkin/ Isaac book on the history of the Eastern sword is the best attempt to conduct evolutionary analysis of that weapon.

They all had in common the ability to conduct field trips, access to provenanced examples and documents, the ability to read inscriptions and most importantly academic backgrounds.

It’s gone for Afghanistan.
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