Skip to comments.The golden haul of Afghanistan: Priceless 2,000 year old collapsible crown ...
Posted on 11/30/2010 7:46:52 PM PST by Pan_Yan
A gold crown - said to be one of the 'world's most beautiful and priceless objects' - is set to be the star attraction at a British Museum exhibition of treasures from Afghanistan. More than 200 objects, many of which were hidden away for 25 years, are being loaned from the National Museum of Afghanistan. The 'collapsible' crown was discovered by Soviet archaeologists in 1978 in an elite nomadic cemetery and has never been shown in Britain before. Other objects showing ancient Afghanistan's links through trade with other cultures include classical sculptures, gold ornaments and jewellery, carved ivory attached to imported Indian furniture and enamelled Roman glass.
Many of these items were hidden from the Soviet invasion in 1979 until 2004, after the fall of the Taliban and the election of Hamid Karzai as Afghan president. Several of the items were locked in unmarked safes under the Presidential Palace, with the keys thrown away or lost. British Museum Curator Dr St John Simpson said large areas of the National Museum in Kabul were gutted during the Afghan civil war while figural sculptures that could not be moved were targeted by the Taliban.
He said: 'Hiding the objects was a tremendous act of hindsight. It's a life-threatening decision to hide these things and continue hiding them.' He said of the objects going on display: 'Their value is incalculable. Most of these pieces are unique in terms of the impression they give about Afghanistan's relationship with the outside, ancient world.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
One of two: This inlaid gold pendant from the 1st century AD, was part of a pair found in a tomb and depicts Afghanistan's position as the crossroads of the world
Really cool. Hope the Taliban can’t get at them.
Afghanistan has some amazing history. I hope the next generation can start to live up to it. Unfortunately they are stunted by their religion.
Misquote? No one ever does things in hindsight!
Anyway, I'm glad the artifacts were kept safe. After what the Taliban did to the antique Buddha statues... they have no respect for anything but their own earthly power.
I’m guessing it was a translation problem. It took some guts to hide anything from the Taliban, especially treasure and art. I give the caretakers great credit. They risked their lives to preserve their history.
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It’s a good thing the Taliban didn’t get their hands on it.
They were too busy getting their hands on goats and little boys.
Thanks, I’m gonna be up all night wiping the diet coke off my monitor lol.
Wowwwww.... Just stunning. Thank goodness for brave people (probably academics who were quivering in their boots but who hid the things nonetheless) who understand that culture and heritage is embodied in certain objects. What beauty.
I’m amazed that the Russians didn’t run off with it and more. Saw the Afghan exhibit when it was in Washington, DC. It was spectacular, and it was really interesting to see the crosscurrents of cultures that have influenced Afg. art and artifacts.
Wasn't such a big matter to them until we got attacked by Islamic radicals who murdered thousands (and attempted to kill TENS of thousands that day). I questing the timing of the curators around the world who push this. One exhibit in 10 years or so would be one thing. I'm running across like 2 or 3 a year in my area alone. For 10 years.
Seems thousand year old buddhist statues are an affront to Islam, the religion of peace.
This stuff predates Islam by about 800 years. They were made when Afghanistan was on the silk road and their art was influenced by everywhere from Egypt to China to India. Not only is it not Muslim, but it had to be hidden from the Muslims to keep it from being destroyed.
“being loaned from the National Museum of Afghanistan”
It all benefits the beast.
The pyramids in Egypt predate Islam too but I won’t be going to the nation that celebrated the 9-11 attacks (and they did that day) until the majority of them have passed on. 50 years hence or so if ever.
Collapsible gold crown? Was it designed that way for storage, or for travel? Either way, it is gorgeous, and I hope I find one just like it in my Christmas stocking! I assure you, Kate Middleton won’t wear anything that beautiful at her wedding.
Queen Soraya Tarzi (1899-1968) was one of the most eminent woman of Afghan and Oriental history. She is the only woman to appear on the list of rulers in Afghanistan, although wife of King Amanullah Khan. She is credited to be one of the first and most powerful Muslim/Afghan/Middle Eastern female activists.
Queen Soraya was the first Muslim consort who appeared in public together with her husband unheard of at the time. She participated with him in the hunting parties, riding on horseback, and in some Cabinet meetings. She was present at Military Parades with the king. During the war of Independence, she visited the tents of wounded soldiers, talked to them, offered them presents and comfort. She accompanied the king even in some rebellious provinces of the country which was a very dangerous thing to do at that time.
King Amanullah Khan publicly campaigned against the veil, against polygamy, and encouraged education of girls not just in Kabul but also in the countryside. At a public function, Amanullah said that "Islam did not require women to cover their bodies or wear any special kind of veil." At the conclusion of the speech, Queen Soraya tore off her "veil" in public and the wives of other officials present at the meeting followed this example.With the help of Queen Soraya, women were encouraged to get an education and in that attempt, 15 young women were sent to Turkey for higher education in 1928. Soraya was very instrumental in enforcing change for women and publicly exhorted them to be active participants in nation building.
In 1929 the King abdicated in order to prevent a civil war and went into exile. Queen Soraya lived in Rome, Italy with her family in exile, having been invited by Italy, which was a monarchy at that time.She died on the 20th of April, 1968 in Rome, Italy.The funeral was escorted by the Italian military team to the Rome airport, before being taken to Afghanistan where a solemn state funeral was held. She is buried in the family mausoleum in Jalalabad, next to her husband the King, who had died eight years earlier.
Posted by Swapna Sarit at 7.3.09 Labels: Afghanistan, Queen
This lady could have carried off the look of the crown pictured.
According to another article I read it belonged to nomatic princess, so it was indeed designed to be packed away for travel.
How glorious - they make me want to reexamine the earliest history of that part of the world (it’s so easy to get sucked into Egyptology and Greek history that one rarely ventures out into the other ares of the Near East.)
One thing is sure: it’s a lot easier to see them in London than to travel to Kabul.
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