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General view of an ancient ruined city, Digah, Peshawar District 1003970D

General view of an ancient ruined city, Digah, Peshawar District 1003970D

Photographer: Caddy, Alexander E.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(970d)

Item number: 1003970D

Genre: Photograph

Photograph, with vignetting at the edges, taken by Alexander Caddy in the 1880s, of a view across a valley towards archaeological remains on a steep hillside at Digah in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The photograph is taken from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, and is the third of four views of an ancient ruined city. In 1881, H.B.W. Garrick, an assistant of the Archaeological Survey of India, made a tour of the Peshawar District and explored a number of sites identified by the Director General of the Survey, Major-General A. Cunningham, as being of historical interest. The photographer, Caddy, worked for the Archaeological Survey of India and photographed architectural sites for them in the 1880s and 1890s. He also made casts of inscriptions and in the 1890s was sent by the Indian Government to collect a large number of sculptures and architectural fragments from the area which became additions to the collections of the Lahore and Calcutta Museums.

Throughout its history, Peshawar district has been located near to a frontier and at present it is situated close to the Afghan border. The terrain shown in this photograph is typical of the area as most of the hills are covered in scrub and are relatively small in size. Yet to the west and north of Peshawar district lie large mountains that can only be penetrated through a small number of passes. The most famous of these is the Khyber pass, a route that various armies have taken on their way to invade South Asia. This has meant that because of its topographic location, Peshawar district played an important role in South Asian history from the early historic period through to the present day. Under Kanishka in the first century AD, the city of Peshawar became the winter capital of the Kushan empire and the district as a whole has large numbers of Buddhist sites dating to this period. Archaeological and historical sources also attest to the importance of the area to a variety of groups including the Sassanians, the Ghaznavids and the Mughals.

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