The Ghaznavids started as Turkish slave governors
of the Samanids in the Afghanistan area around
Ghazna, which became an important cultural centre
under their rule. Due to the previous Persian
influences, the Turkic Ghaznavids became fully
Persianised. Shah Mahmud expanded their empire
from India to Iran. The Ghaznavids lost Iran to the
Seljuks, and much of Afghanistan to the Gurids who
sacked Ghazna in 1151. The capital was moved to
Lahore until it was captured by the Ghurids in 1186.
The objects produced under the Ghaznavids often
contained a high percentage of tin. Although this
type of “high-tin bronze” was difficult to manipulate
because of its hardness, it was favoured because of
its likeness to silver.
Ghazna was an important centre of metalwork
production and culture. The great poet Ferdawsi
dedicated his Shahnameh to Mahmud of Ghazna.