Archive

Archive for the ‘archaeology’ Category

THE NINE DOMES MOSQUE in Afghanistan

February 5, 2018 Leave a comment

9 mosque

 

A 9th century mosque in northern Afghanistan in Balkh province ca. 12 miles west of Mazar-i-Sharif. Discovered or re-discovered in 1960 by an American archaeologist but not excavated and inspected until 2006. We know that Genghis Khan and many earthquakes destroyed many monuments in Balkh province.

Carbon dating and historical sources suggest that the mosque could have been built as early as 794 – Julio Sarmiento-Bendezu, director of the French Archeological Delegation in Afghanistan, the leader of the excavations said that this early date means that the mosque of the (Persian) Abbasid Empire has been influenced by Afghanistan and not the other way around. The mosque would have once been studded with lapis lazuli and turquoise.

Would it not be nice if we could visit the mosque and travel through Afghanistan again as some of us were able to do before the wars started.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

Advertisements

RESTORING MEDIEVAL BUDDHIST SHRINES IN NEPAL’S HIMALAYAS

In this photograph taken on June 15, 2016 Nepalese artist Tsewang Jigme….restores  sacred murals…..in the remote Upper Mustang region.

unnamed-1
In Nepal’s  Upper Mustang region, once part of the Buddhist kingdom of Mustang high on the Tibetan plateau, the artist  Tsewang  Jigme works on the restoration of antique murals. It is said that murals in some temples in this area predate the oldest temples in Tibet.  But neglect, wind, rain and smoke have turned the bright frescoes into black. Many of these shrines survived the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s and the earthquake of  April 2015.
Read this article to see how the restoration of these sacred murals is making progress in the 21st century: http://www.mysinchew.com/node/114954?tid=
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

NEW DISCOVERY IN PAKISTAN DATING BACK TO MAURYAN AND KUSHAN DYNASTIES IN SWAT, PAKISTAN

Archeologists excavated in April and June of 2016 layers  of cities associated with  Indo-Greek, Mauryan and Kushan cultures.
Mauryan settlements dating to the third century BC – think of the great Mauryan king Ashoka, the  grandson of the founder of the dynasty who vigorously promoted Buddhism among other things with carved edicts  on pillars of stone and wood from Bengal  to Afghanistan.  Some of us have admired the great lion capital in Sarnath from a time when episodes  and symbols from Buddha’s life  were portrayed – in this case the lotus and the wheel of law – instead of the later  presentations of Buddha  – seen first in the arts of Gandharan and Mathura.
unnamed
Archeologists also excavated a large temple with four pillars belonging to the Kushan era, 2nd century BC to second century AD. The Kushans dominated the areas of the Hindu Kush into Kabul, Gandhara, northern Pakistan and north-western India. They controlled the trade between China in the east and the Romans in the west. Under the famous Kushan ruler Kanishka ( 144 to 172 AD) Buddhist settlements flourished including Gandhara with its distinctive Graeco – Buddhist art form that influenced the arts in Central Asia and then China.
I first read about this discovery in Buddhist Art News:
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha