A Visit to the Past

Decaying walls of 14th century ruins.

My curiosity finally got the best of me and today I would pacify it.  I’ve driven past it dozens of times and had hoped to see it up close.  Today a handful of teammates and I would visit the 14th century ruins that reside on a portion of ANA land.

We were a bit skittish at first, because of rumor concerning landmines.  But I was assured if we stayed on the paths then it would be safe.  I led the way as we followed a dirt path to these ruins.  For me it was like taking a trip back into the past.  I’m still uncertain of the exact history, but I presume this might have been a garrison fortress at one time.  I have been told it dates back to the 14th-15th century.

14th century Mongul ruins.

Due to hundreds of years of erosion and war, the structure is in poor shape and badly deteriorating.  But the erosion effect provided a glimpse of the construction and architectural methods utilized during this time era.  Although I can’t be certain it’s possible the original structure was modified throughout the centuries and served as different purposes.  It

AF SMSgt peers over wall of 14th century ruins.

appears the foundation was built of fired mud brick and stone and then the mud mixture coated the outside forming a protective barrier over the brick.

Based on my research, crushed egg shells and straw was used with this mortar mud mixture to strengthen it.  Remnants of straw could still be seen in the mud mixture.  I tried to envision a

My Capt and ETT leader pose next to 14th century ruins.

garrison of Mongol soldiers living within the large confines of this structure during the 14th century.  It has been documented that Genghis Khan attacked and pillaged Kabul around 1221.  Then in 1398 the city was recaptured by the Emperor Timur (Tamerlane) who married a daughter of the governor.    Later in

Tajbeg Palace seen through wall opening of 14th century ruins.

1504, the city fell to Babur who set up his headquarters in Kabul.  So based on this snippet of history and the close proximity of the capital city, I will make the assumption this fortress was probably used by the armies of Tamerlane or Babur in the 14th or 15th century.  I seriously doubt this monstrous structure was abandoned.

Me standing on top of 14th century Mongul ruins.

Today the ruins take on a different personality.  The vacant interior has been used as a dumping ground for broken concrete, rebar rods, and soil.  At one time the ANA used it for a volleyball court too.  I looked around for any hidden artifacts, but was unable to find anything.  I’m also unaware of any plans to preserve or protect these historical ruins from further decay.  So I violated one of my own rules concerning archeological ruins and climbed up on the deteriorating walls for some pictures.  In one of the pictures you can see the towering Hindu Kush Mountains in the background.  While we are experiencing 80 degree temperatures at 5800 feet above sea level, these goliaths still have snow on their peaks.  I might also point out these mountains pale in comparison to the monsters up north who soar over 20,000 feet above sea level.  Now Honey that is a serious hiking trip!

AF Captain shoots jump shot.

With the weather heating up, so are the outside activities after duty hours.  Some of my teammates are engaged in sand volleyball games, while others take advantage of the new concrete slab poured for the basketball court.  I watched two of my teammates; an AF Captain and MSgt compete in a one-on-one competition.  The MSgt is the one who has religiously worked out at the gym and sports his 19 inch biceps.  The Captain was outshooting him 2 to 1, and I was certain the MSgt would lose.  But in the end, the enlisted prevailed over the officer….lol.


2 Responses

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Afghanistanlast: A Visit to the Past: http://wp.me/prCP7-1zP got to see 14th century ruins near our camp in #Afghanistan – awesome pictures…

  2. […] is the original post: A Visit to the Past « Afghanistan My Last Tour Share and […]

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