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Thread: Thoroughly ancient Buddhist monastery found in Afghanistan

  1. #1
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    Thoroughly ancient Buddhist monastery found in Afghanistan

    I don't know where to put this, so I leave it to the admins.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...monastery.html

    A Chinese company digging an unexploited copper mine in Afghanistan has unearthed ancient statues of Buddha in a sprawling 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery.

    Archaeologists are rushing to salvage what they can from a major 7th century B.C. religious site along the famed Silk Road connecting Asia and the Middle East.

    The ruins, including the monastery and domed shrines known as 'stupas,' will likely be largely destroyed once work at the mine begins.

    The ruins were discovered as labourers excavated the site on behalf of the Chinese government-backed China Metallurgical Group Corp, which wants to develop the world's second largest copper mine, lying beneath the ruins.
    Historic find: Ancient Buddha statues inside a temple in Mes Aynak, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Chinese labourers digging a copper mine made the astonishing discovery

    Historic find: Ancient Buddha statues inside a temple in Mes Aynak, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. Chinese labourers digging a copper mine made the astonishing discovery

    Hanging over the situation is the memory of the Buddhas of Bamiyan statues towering up to 180 feet high in central Afghanistan that were dynamited to the ground in 2001 by the country's then-rulers, the Taliban, who considered them symbols of paganism.

    No one wants to be blamed for similarly razing history at Mes Aynak, in the eastern province of Logar. MCC wanted to start building the mine by the end of 2011 but under an informal understanding with the Kabul government, it has given archaeologists three years for a salvage excavation.

    Archaeologists working on the site since May say that won't be enough time for full preservation.
    Ancient: An Afghan archaeologist stands next to the remains feet of the Buddha statues discovered in Mes Aynak. The ruins, including the monastery and domed shrines known as 'stupas,' will likely be largely destroyed once work at the mine begins

    Ancient: An Afghan archaeologist stands next to the remains feet of the Buddha statues discovered in Mes Aynak. The ruins, including the monastery and domed shrines known as 'stupas,' will likely be largely destroyed once work at the mine begins

    The monastery complex has been dug out, revealing hallways and rooms decorated with frescoes and filled with clay and stone statues of standing and reclining Buddhas, some as high as 10 feet.

    An area that was once a courtyard is dotted with stupas standing four or 5ft high.

    More than 150 statues have been found so far, though many remain in place. Large ones are too heavy to be moved, and the team lacks the chemicals needed to keep small ones from disintegrating when extracted.

    'That site is so massive that it's easily a 10-year campaign of archaeology,' said Laura Tedesco, an archaeologist brought in by the US Embassy to work on sites in Afghanistan. 'Three years may be enough time just to document what's there.'
    Dig: A wooden Buddha statue, estimated to be about 1,400 years old, is discovered during the excavation at the sprawling 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery

    Dig: A wooden Buddha statue, estimated to be about 1,400 years old, is discovered during the excavation at the sprawling 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery

    Philippe Marquis, a French archaeologist advising the Afghans, said the salvage effort is piecemeal and 'minimal', held back by lack of funds and personnel.

    The team hopes to lift some of the larger statues and shrines out before winter sets in this month, but they still haven't procured the crane and other equipment needed.

    Around 15 Afghan archaeologists, three French advisers and a few dozen labourers are working within the 0.77-square-mile area - a far smaller team than the two dozen archaeologists and 100 labourers normally needed for a site of such size and richness.

    'This is probably one of the most important points along the Silk Road,' said Marquis. 'What we have at this site, already in excavation, should be enough to fill the (Afghan) national museum.'
    Deadline: Archaeologists digging at the site of the ancient ruins have three years to finish the excavations

    Deadline: Archaeologists digging at the site of the ancient ruins have three years to finish the excavations

    Mes Aynak, 20 miles south of Kabul, lies in a province that is still considered a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan.

    In July, two US sailors were kidnapped and killed in Logar. Around 1,500 Afghan police guard the mine site and the road.

    Mes Aynak's religious sites and copper deposits have been bound together for centuries 'mes' means 'copper' in the local Dari language.

    Throughout the site's history, artisanal miners have dug up copper to adorn statues and shrines.

    Afghan archaeologists have known since the 1960s about the importance of Mes Aynak, but almost nothing had been excavated.

    When the Chinese won the contract to exploit the mine in 2008, there was no discussion with Kabul about the ruins - only about money, security and building a railroad to transport the copper out of Logar's dusty hills.

    But a small band of Afghan and French archaeologists raised a stir and put the antiquities on the agenda.

    The mine could be a major boost for the Afghan economy. According to the Afghan Mining Ministry, it holds some 6 million tons of copper, worth tens of billions of dollars at today's prices. Developing the mine and related transport infrastructure will generate much needed jobs and economic activity.

    Waheedullah Qaderi, a Mining Ministry official working on the antiquities issue, said MCC shares the government goal of protecting heritage while starting mining as soon as possible.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz15PH8wwz6

  2. #2
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    Don't tell the Taliban, they'll blast that blasphemy from the face of the earth!
    Guangzhou Pak Mei Kung Fu School, Sydney Australia,
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  3. #3
    remember how ****ed off people were when the taliban blew up those massive buddhist statues carved into some mountain... cant remember the name...

    apparently there are lots of remnants of buddhism all over the middle east...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    remember how ****ed off people were when the taliban blew up those massive buddhist statues carved into some mountain... cant remember the name...

    apparently there are lots of remnants of buddhism all over the middle east...
    I watched a documentary on it...really sad stuff.

    If you've got a Netflix account you can watch it in their Instant section.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syn7 View Post
    remember how ****ed off people were when the taliban blew up those massive buddhist statues carved into some mountain... cant remember the name...
    Buddhas of Bamyan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhas_of_Bamyan

  6. #6
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    Image of Destroyed Bamiyan Buddhist Statue Recovered by Chinese with Lighting Tech

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #7
    There is no way that this Buddhist monestery can be 2600 years old as the article says. Not even close. Don't trust Brit tabloids.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    I don't know where to put this, so I leave it to the admins.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...monastery.html
    Last edited by rett2; 06-17-2015 at 01:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rett2 View Post
    There is no way that this Buddhist monestery can be 2600 years old as the article says. Not even close. Don't trust Brit tabloids.
    Yes, 2600 years would put it a century before the Buddha even existed. lol.
    However, if they are getting carbon dating, it is possible that the site was re-purposed to Buddhism after it was something else?
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  9. #9
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    But it's identifying as buddhist.......are you racist?!?
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    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  10. #10
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    Well, you get non-sequitur of the day for that....lol
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  11. #11
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    If there's transexual and transracial, there must be transreligious...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Well, you get non-sequitur of the day for that....lol
    Haaaaa. Agreed! But the day is still young.

    ...and even more relevant to today's news than transexualracistreligious is transfat.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
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  12. #12
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    transfat or transrat?

    what the heck...
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  13. #13
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    Definitely not buddhist. I'm only half and got to carry the mice to their section of this century old monastery
    "The perfect way to do, is to be" ~ Lao Tzu

  14. #14
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    What is the sound of one rat frying?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    transfat or transrat?
    This thread has become strangely koan-ic.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Yes, 2600 years would put it a century before the Buddha even existed. lol.
    However, if they are getting carbon dating, it is possible that the site was re-purposed to Buddhism after it was something else?
    Yeah, that sounds very likely. The daily-fail journo either was lazy/confused or ran with a more exciting-sounding fabrication.

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