News ID: 256434
Published: 0230 GMT July 27, 2019

Pieces of Buddhist manuscript discovered in Afghanistan

Pieces of Buddhist manuscript discovered in Afghanistan

Pieces of Buddhist manuscript written in Sanskrit on tree bark were discovered on a hillside a few years ago in Mes Aynak—Afghanistan's largest copper deposit located in southeast of Kabul in a barren region of Logar Province—by the Afghan Institute of Archaeology.

Believed to date back to around the 7th century, the manuscripts suggest the site was a prosperous Buddhist city, menafn.com reported.

According to experts, the site may have been the city described by seventh-century Chinese monk Xuanzang in the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, which recorded his journey to India.

The Afghan government began a full-scale excavation of the site in 2009. The site, hailed as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of this century, is facing a total destruction and is one of the world's most critically endangered heritage sites.

In November 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the copper mine to China Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) for $3 billion, making it the biggest foreign investment and private business venture in Afghanistan's history.

Today, this historical site is facing a battle between commerce and culture. Valiant archaeologists are racing against time to save this 5,000-year-old archaeological site from destruction.

Till date only 10 percent of Mes Aynak has been excavated. Experts believe future discoveries could redefine our understanding of ancient Afghanistan and the history of early Buddhism.

 

   
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