The city of Ai Khanoum, in eastern Bactria, present-day north-eastern Afghanistan, is the best known of Bactria's urban centres – and the only one which has been subject to sustained archaeological excavation. The architecture and material culture from Ai Khanoum displays diverse cultural influences, from Greece, Persia, India, Iran and Central Asia. Using evidence from the city's administrative quarter and temples, this chapter argues for a more holistic approach to studying Ai Khanoum and its inhabitants, one which reflects the subtle and complex negotiations of culture and ethnicity which took place there in the Hellenistic period.
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