Excavations near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan have revealed Neolithic settlements dating to 5000 BC. Later settlements indicate trade links with cities in the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia. Aryan tribes that settled in Afghanistan’s northern plains near Balkh (Bactria) from around 1500 BC gave way to successive Persian dynasties, including the Acaemanid Empire (550 BC-330 BC) ruled by Darius the Great from Persepolis after 515 BC.
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