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Ancient Jewish manuscripts found in Afghanistan cave

A collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts found in caves in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan are the first evidence that a Jewish community thrived in the area a thousand years ago. Genizah, a Hebrew term that loosely translates as "storage," refers to a storeroom adjacent to a synagogue or Jewish cemetery

Germany returns looted artifacts to Afghanistan

This week Germany returned some ancient artifacts that were looted from Afghanistan's National Museum during their civil war. "This is a masterpiece ... I am optimistic that in the future we will get the other artefacts back," said Omara Khan Massoudi, the director of Afghanistan's National Museum, which housed the sculpture

Hard cash vs. heritage in Afghanistan

Time Magazine has posted an interesting article examining the debate in Afghanistan between harvesting the country's resources and protecting it's herritage. Many in Afghanistan hold that the country's future lies underground, in vast mineral deposits with the potential to boost the country's economy for decades. Nowhere is that more true than

14 months before miners destroy Afghan monasteries

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

Copper mining threatens ancient monastery

A mining operation in Afghanistan is threatening to destroy a 1,400-year-old Buddhist monastery. The monks settled here because there was copper in the ground; it was part of a Buddhist kingdom. This was a way-station on the Silk Road, the route that would take Buddhism from India to Tibet, and beyond

A thousand workers race to save Buddhist relics

A thousand workers are rushing to recover as many Buddhist artifacts as they can from the sites of ancient monasteries in Mes Aynak, Afghanistan before the site is destroyed by a copper mining company. The site, a former training camp of Osama bin Laden, has been leased to a Chinese mining

Restoring the Afghanistan’s bombed Buddhas

Wired UK has posted an interesting article about the amazing effort to reconstruct Afghanistan's bombed 1,500-year-old Buddhas in Bamiyan. Erwin Emmerling of Munich's Technical University wants to use what is left of the statues -- hundreds of broken sandstone fragments totalling around two tonnes -- to rebuild the smaller of the