Scenario 2: A Game of Thrones
Dynastic changes — Hotak and Durrani emperors
There are many ways an object can move from one place to another.
As we have seen, gift-giving is one way for high-status, precious objects to travel from one royal space to another.
Acquisition through conquest is another.
Did the astrolabe's owner — and location — change through right of conquest?
From 1709 CE — roughly fifty years after the astrolabe was dedicated to Shah Abbas II — the Hotak dynasty started its rise to power in Afghanistan.
By the 1720s, the Hotaks had extended their power over parts of the Persian empire. In 1722 CE, Mahmed Hotak declared himself ‘Shah of Persia’ and ruled over an empire that stretched from Kandahar to Isfahan.
Did Mahmed Hotak find the astrolabe in the treasury of Isfahan and bring it to Afghanistan?
By 1747 CE, a new dynastic power was growing in Afghanistan.
The Durrani dynasty was named after its powerful leader, Ahmad Shah Durrani. Wrestling control of Kabul from its Mughal governors, Ahmad Shah took power in a vast territory that encompassed Kandahar and much of modern-day Afghanistan.
Did Ahmad Shah Durrani find the astrolabe in one of the Hotak treasuries?
In the 1750s, the Durrani empire extended to the city of Lahore, a favourite site of the Mughal court.
If the astrolabe had found its way into the Mughal treasury (either in Kabul or Lahore), did it become Ahmad Shah Durrani’s property when he conquered these cities?