JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic


Join our e-mail mailing
list and receive our
monthly newsletter free
of charge

News and Views

Archeologists Seek to Uncover Third Buddha

The world was shocked when in 2001 the Taliban destroyed the two giant Buddhas of Bamiyan Province. The two Buddhas, measuring 180 and 121 feet in height, respectively, had been carved into cliffs towering over Bamiyan Valley in 500 A.D. and had come to represent the Afghanistan that had historically played a role as a key part of the Silk Road and a crossing point for numerous cultures and civilizations. Since their senseless destruction, the space that they once occupied has remained eerily empty.

There is good news, though. After more than 20 years in exile, Afghan archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi has returned to the Bamiyan Valley to continue his quest to uncover its past. In the 1970s, Tarzi worked to restore the two giant Buddha statues that had overlooked the valley for more than 1,400 years. Now Tarzi has returned and he is dedicated to saving the remaining artifacts that tell the story of the rich heritage of the valley and Afghanistan as a whole.

Tarzi has uncovered a smaller, 62-foot reclining Buddha and countless other Buddhist artifacts such as head carvings, coins, and much more that he hopes will someday fill Afghanistan's museums. But he is still working to unearth the ultimate treasure of Bamyan: a third, 1,000-foot Buddha statue believed to be hidden underground at the site. Together, these archaeological finds will help Afghans connect with its ancient history as an integral part of the Silk Road and the Buddhist world.

Related News: Searching for Afghanistan's Third Giant Buddha (National Geographic)

Home | Contact Us | Sitemap © 2006 Embassy of Afghanistan and GlobeScope Inc. All Rights Reserved.