Friday, March 18, 2016

Kandahar from Signal Tower (1878-1880)

This photograph of Kandahar from the vantage point of a signal tower is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A section of the city wall starts at the right side of the photograph and stretches out of sight into the left background. The unusually shaped mountain shrouded by haze in the back right holds the Chilzina, a chamber hewn out of the rock that was part of the old Kandahar citadel, accessed by the "Forty Steps" carved in the rock.

 Soldiers are seen at various levels of the building, with officers at the top holding a tripod, a telescope, and other devices. The British Army of the 1870s used various signaling technologies, including where possible the telegraph, and heliographic semaphores, which transmitted Morse code by means of sunlight flashed from mirrors.