14 months before miners destroy Afghan monasteries

Published on July 13th, 2011 | by Admin


Archaeologists in Afghanistan are scrambling to collect artifacts from 5th century Buddhist monasteries before miners destroy them to dig for copper.

Sometime soon, perhaps in as little as 14 months, the sprawling, 9,800-acre Mes Aynak site will be crushed by Chinese bulldozers hunting for copper — a clear choice of economic development over historic preservation in a country trying to overcome decades of war, religious extremism and occupation.

“As an archaeologist, of course I’m worried about this,” said Khair Muhammad Khairzada, a researcher at the Afghan Institute of Archaeology, which is overseeing the dig. “I want all of the archaeological sites to be saved. But at the same time, Afghanistan’s economy is also important. It needs to grow.”

[Full story]

Story: Denis D. Gray, AP | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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One Response to 14 months before miners destroy Afghan monasteries

  1. Hels says:

    Are the archaeologists sure that it is a clear choice of “economic development” over “historic preservation” in a country trying to overcome decades of loss and destruction? The destroying of other communities’ most precious religious architecture, statues and relics feels more like nasty religious intolerance than economic development.

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