Thursday, 2 July 2009

Searching for Afghanistan's Third Giant Buddha

Photograph courtesy Zemaryalai Tarzi

Read in " National Geographic News":

June 10 , 2009--In Bamiyan, Afghanistan, archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi is unearthing and restoring important reminders--like this fourth-century Buddha head--of a more peaceful past.

When the Taliban blew up two colossal Buddha statues in Bamiyan in 2001, nobody was more aggrieved than Tarzi, who had protected them with steel reinforcements in the 1970s as Afghanistan's Director of Archaeology.

Now he is determined to bring Bamiyan's other ancient riches to light. He returned to begin new excavations in 2002, after 23 years in exile. Tarzi is searching for a third giant Buddha--one that's reclining and is believed to stretch 1,000 feet (300 meters) long underground.

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