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Giant sleeping Buddha unearthed in Afghanistan

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Chieftain
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Durr e Durran

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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Giant sleeping Buddha unearthed in Afghanistan
    Posted: 18-Sep-2008 at 14:04
Giant sleeping Buddha unearthed in Afghanistan

Reuters / September 8, 2008

Archaeologists (such as famous Afghan archaeologist Zmaryalai Tarzi) have discovered a 19-metre Buddha statue along with scores of other historical relics in central Afghanistan near the ruins of giant statues destroyed by the Islamist Taliban seven years ago.

The team was searching for a giant sleeping Buddha believed to have been seen by a Chinese pilgrim centuries ago when it came upon the relics in the central province of Bamiyan, an official said.

"In total, 89 relics such as coins, ceramics and a 19 metres statue have been unearthed," Mohammad Zia Afshar, adviser in the information and culture ministry, said.

He said the idol, in sleeping posture, was badly damaged. The other relics dated back to the Bacterian era and from Islamic and Buddhist civilisations.

Lying on the old Silk Road and linking West with the East, Bamiyan was once a thriving Buddhist centre where monks lived in caves. In 2001 the Taliban blew up two giant standing Buddha statues carved into a cliff face saying they were offensive to Islam, despite appeals worldwide.

Later that year US-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government, and work has begun to restore the biggest of the two destroyed statues, once the tallest standing Buddha in the world. The mammoth task is expected to take a decade.

The latest discovery has raised hopes of finding a 300m-long Buddha statue that according to an ancient Chinese pilgrim is lying in Bamiyan, Afshar said.

Afghanistan has suffered decades of foreign interventions and civil war, and many of its historical relics, belonging to various civilisations, have been destroyed or looted.

Scientists said in April that they had found conclusive evidence the world's first ever oil paintings were in caves near the two destroyed giant statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, hundreds of years before oil paint was used in Europe.

Samples from paintings dated to the 7th century AD, they said. Paintings found in 12 of the 50 caves were created using oil paints, possibly from walnut or poppy, according to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).

It was not until the 13th century that oil was added to paints in Europe and oil paint was not widely used in Europe till the early 15th century.

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Constantine XI View Drop Down
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2008 at 14:14
Well if the Taliban have any chance of getting back in power, the discoverers would be well advised to move this ancient artifact.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2008 at 14:38
Originally posted by Constantine XI

Well if the Taliban have any chance of getting back in power, the discoverers would be well advised to move this ancient artifact.
 
Yeah lets hope not.   I think Zmarylai Tarzi actually found this Buddha more than 3 years ago but in fear has not excavated because of looting and also security.
 
He's also looking for a 900ft long Buddha that was cataloged by Hsueng Tsang through his travels in Afghanistan over 1400 years ago.
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
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  Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Sep-2008 at 08:41
Wow, that is a very amazing find.
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
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