Ottawa Citizen: What is without controversy is that the metropolis that once sprawled across a fertile floodplain of the Oxus River here was one of the world’s first cities. About 3,500 years ago, when a patriarch called Moses was supposed to be leading a tribe of Seth’s descendants out of the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula, another tribe of shepherds and pastoralists had already established a small kingdom for itself at Balkh. We know that this tribe had crossed the Oxus River – the Amu Darya – from the north, centuries before. We know the language those first tribespeople spoke would go on to bloom into dozens of languages from the Ganges to the Danube. About a billion people speak those tongues today in an orchestral echo of Scythians, Hittites, Persians and scores of empires and dynasties their forebears forged down through time. Among them were the Timurids, the Mughals who ruled India before the British came, and the Achaemenid Empire of Cyrus the Great. Click here to read more (external link).