Taxila or Takshashila was an ancient city in what is now north-western Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site and in 1980, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its ruins lie near modern Taxila, in Punjab, Pakistan, about 35 km (22 mi) northwest of Rawalpindi.
Taxila was situated at the pivotal junction of South Asia and Central Asia. Its origin as a city goes back to c. 1000 BCE. Some ruins at Taxila date to the time of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, followed successively by Mauryan, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, and Kushan periods. Owing to its strategic location, Taxila has changed hands many times over the centuries, with many empires vying for its control. When the great ancient trade routes connecting these regions ceased to be important, the city sank into insignificance and was finally destroyed by the nomadic Hunas in the 5th century. The archaeologist Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila in the mid-19th century.