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While the modern nation can trace its origins back to 1747, the history of Afghanistan is far more ancient. It has long been a focal point of the Silk Road and human migration and many native peoples such as the Kushans, Samanids, Saffarids, and Mughals have founded their empires here. Afghanistan has also been the target of numerous invasions and is therefore one of the most critically diverse places on earth. Essential reading for anyone seeking a thorough understanding of the current situation in the region, this lively book places this rich and ancient seam of creativity in its broad historical context and offers the reader a full appreciation of a most remarkable country.