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The mysterious, ancient Nine Domes Mosque of northern Afghanistan


AFP, 6 January 2018

A very interesting article, reminding of one of the most important archaeological landmarks of Afghanistan.

“This is a masterpiece. You have to imagine how it looked like, fully decorated with lapis, some parts in red, it was all covered and painted: it was like a garden of paradise inside, with a sky above, the domes with white and blue decoration,” he said.

The delicate vine leaves etched onto the pillars resemble those seen at Samarra, Tonietti said, referring to the powerful ninth century Islamic capital city that ruled the Abbasid Empire extending from present day Tunisia to Pakistan.

But the mosque at Balkh could be even older, with the carbon dating and historical sources suggesting it could have been built as early as the year 794.

“This means that the mosque of the Abassid Empire has been influenced by Afghanistan, not the other way around,” said Julio Sarmiento-Bendezu, director of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan, who is leading excavations at the site. (…)

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