RFE/RL, 21 March 2023
A report about conservation work on Afghanistan’s pr-Islamic heritage, under the pre-Taleban government and under the current second Taleban emirate, with some surprising detail. For example, that the Taleban have involved the Agha Khan Foundation (AKDN) in preserving the buddhist site at the Ainak copper mine. According to Gil Stein, a professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, the Taloban also work with the AKDN on the Bala Hissar citadel in Kabul.
Generally, she says, “It’s really hard to know what the current status of heritage is in the country” and that even if the Taliban has issued decrees against the looting of archeological sites, it does not mean they are being enforced across the country. Satellite imagery revealed that dozens of archeological sites are being illegally exploited, some at an industrialized scale that involves the use of heavy equipment to uncover artefacts.
This article was last updated on 12 Apr 2023