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Introduction of Bamiyan

by Mohammad Reza Sharifi last modified Aug 14, 2012 10:43 PM

--> Afghanistan and history of Bamiyan

Afghanistan’s history can be traced back to when the land was once called “Ariana”. Afghanistan was influenced by different culture and civilizations. Situated at the crossroad of civilization, Afghanistan`s unique culture was born from a mixture of indigenous and foreign elements.

Bamiyan means “the place of shining light”. The rolling hills of the Bamiyan valley are lined in variegated colors. The central valley of Bamiyan is located at 2500 meters above sea level. Two rivers flow into the valley from sources in the Kuh-e-Baba: the Kakrak River to the east and the Foladi River to the west. The principle archeological sites are located in the long east-west central valley of Bamiyan and in the Kakrak and Foladi river valleys.

Bamiyan’s central cultural monuments were the Buddha statues carved at the eastern and western ends of a high cliff facing the central valley. Some thousand caves are also cut into the cliff face and decorated with a rich variety of murals. The Buddhist art of Bamiyan, which enjoyed a renaissance in central Afghanistan after the collapse of the earlier Gandharan culture, spread to and influenced various countries along the Silk Road.

--> Cultural and Archaeological Values of Bamiyan

The cultural landscape and Archeological Remains of the Bamiyan valley was inscribed on the “List of World Heritage in Danger” and the World Heritage List at the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2003. The property is in a fragile state of conservation, having suffered from neglect, military action and dynamites explosions. In 2003 the major dangers included: risk of imminent collapse of Buddha niches with remaining fragments of the statues, further deterioration of the still existing mural paintings in the caves, looting and illicit excavation.

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