|The Buddha was a royal who lived in three seasonal Afghan palaces, Shakyaland/Scythia|
|Earliest Buddhism: Gandhara|
At the time of the Buddha there was no "India," only the remnants of the great Indus Valley Civilization with great cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Another great Buddhist archeological site is Samangan (Aibak), site of a unique burial mound hewn from rock.
|The Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century|
|Map of Mes Aynak ("Copper Well"), source of mined gold, copper, and rare earth minerals|
|Burial mound reliquary carved out of a mountainside in solid rock, Samangan, Afghanistan|
- Samangan (Eukratidia or Aybak) is a provincial town, medieval caravan stop, and province headquarters in Samangan district in northern Afghanistan. As a major Buddhist center during the 4th and 5th centuries under Kushan rulers, it has ruins from that period at a place known now as Takht-i-rustam located on a hill above the town.
It is a hilltop settlement dated to the 4th and 5th centuries of the Kushan-Sassanian period, which is corroborated by archeological, architectural, and numismatic (coin) evidence.
Two are sanctuaries, and one is a domed ceiling with an intricate lotus leaf beautification.