Following Alexander's brief occupation, the successor state of the Seleucid Empire controlled the region until 305 BCE, when they gave much of it to the Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty.
The Mauryans controlled the area south of the Hindu Kush until they were overthrown in about 185 BCE.
In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan.
An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan.
An inscription on the tombstone of Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered.
Alexander the Great and his Macedonian forces arrived to Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier in the Battle of Gaugamela.
The Taliban was forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, and a new pro-Western, democratically-elected government political structure was formed.
Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 35 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks.
In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire.The north consists of fertile plains, whilst the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get very hot in summers. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia.The land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviet, and in the modern era by Western powers.Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west, and north.Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan.