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. The design of the jar consists of pseudo-vegetal elements all around the body. The central part is finely incised with fish and bird motifs.
Ghazna was an important centre of metalwork production and culture. The great poet Ferdawsi dedicated his Shahnameh to Mahmud of Ghazna.