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Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World

Discover Afghanistan in London

Mar 04, 2011

LONDON, England - The British Museum in London is exhibiting important archaeological discoveries from ancient Afghanistan. The exhibition, Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World includes artefacts on loan from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch is sponsoring this exhibition of rare items of Afghanistan in London while the National Museum of Afghanistan is undergoing major renovations.

Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World includes objects of the British Museum plus over 200 artefacts from the National Museum of Afghanistan. Artefacts include enamelled Roman glass, polychrome ivory furniture inlays from India, classical sculptures, jewellery, and polished Egyptian tableware. These items indicate the trade and culture interaction of Afghanistan with its neighbours in Central Asia, Iran, India, and China, plus along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This exhibit opened 3 March 2011 and will be open daily until 3 July 2011.

The oldest gold objects of these exhibits are from the site of TepeFullol, dating around 2000 BC. These objects were from trade with ancient Iran and Iraq. Three archaeological sites in Northern Afghanistan, Ai Khanum, Tajikistan, and Begram, have revealed gold and other precious metals dating between 3rd century BC and 1st century AD. One exhibit showcases a gold crown found in the tomb of a nomad.

Most the objects were found between 1937 and 1978. During the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the civil war that ensued, the National Museum of Afghanistan was damaged by rocket bombing. Many of the displays were destroyed by members of the Taliban. A few Afghan officials concealed the treasures of the Museum before the destruction of the building, keeping them safe from destruction. These artefacts are a part of the travelling exhibition, highlighting the cultural heritage of Afghans, their achievements and trade with other civilizations.

The British Museum is located in Bloomsbury, a quiet retreat from busy London, with many places to visit and great hotels to recount your adventures and recoup your resources for the next foray.

Discover Afghanistan in London
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