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19th-century Afghan soldier - An illustration by Lieutenant James Rattray

March 12, 1844
Muhammed Abdulkarim
Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857



The illustration by Lieutenant James Rattray depicts a 19th-century Afghan soldier carrying a jezail musket. The soldier is depicted in a standing position, with his left foot slightly forward and his right foot planted firmly on the ground. He is wearing traditional Afghan clothing, including a long-sleeved tunic and baggy pants, which provide ample mobility for the soldier. The soldier is holding a jezail musket, which was a type of long-barreled, muzzle-loading rifle commonly used in Afghanistan during the 19th century. The musket has a distinctive shape, with a long, slender barrel and a curved wooden stock. The soldier is holding the musket by the stock, with his left hand gripping the barrel just above the forestock. The soldier's face is covered by a traditional Afghan turban, which serves both as a form of headwear and a mask to protect the face from blowing sand and dust. His eyes are visible through the slit in the turban, giving him a slightly menacing appearance. The soldier is standing in front of a rocky outcropping, which provides a natural defensive position. In the background, there are other soldiers visible, also armed with jezail muskets. The soldiers appear to be patrolling a mountainous region, indicating that they are likely part of a local militia or tribal force. Overall, the illustration by Lieutenant James Rattray provides a detailed and accurate depiction of a 19th-century Afghan soldier carrying a jezail musket. The soldier's clothing, equipment, and posture are all consistent with historical accounts, making this image a valuable resource for historians and military enthusiasts alike.

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