Sunday, October 26, 2008
Afghanistan 2: Center of Civilization
The first few objects are from Tepe Fullol in northern Afghanistan, which include a few golden bowls from approximately 2000 BCE. Some farmers discovered the site in 1966, and started hacking the bowls apart to divide the discoveries evenly until the government stopped them.
The second site is from an ancient Greek city called Ai Khanum which had been conquered by Alexander the Great.
Most of the work is from 300 BCE, though it wasn't excavated until the 1960s and 1970s.
This is followed by objects discovered in the 1930s in Bergram from a buried warehouse full of intact treasures from the first and second centuries AD that are literally multi-cultural.
Afghanistan sits in the center of the Silk Road, where trade developed between east and west, north and south.
Its central location has also made it the scene of invasions from time immemorial with Alexander and Genghis Khan only two of the most prominent.
It's no wonder that their long warrior traditions have essentially made them invincible to everyone from the British to the Russians to the Americans.
Or as the inscription on the National Museum of Afghanistan states, "A nation stays alive when its culture stays alive."