These photographs were taken by an European visitor in 1885. They represent an
essential testimony of the history of Afghanistan. The most important picture is
that concerning the Afghan army after the incident of Panjdeh in 1885 when
Russian forces seized Afghan territory north of the Oxus River. Following the crisis,
a commission was established to delineate the northern frontier of Afghanistan.
The country became a buffer state between British India and the Russian empire.
The strategic conflict, called “The Great Game or Big Game”, between the
expanding British and Russian Empires significantly influenced Afghanistan during
the 19th and 20th centuries.