Skip to comments.Ancient Buddhist Temple Uncovered In West Afghanistan
Posted on 11/19/2003 3:25:04 PM PST by blam
Ancient Buddhist temple uncovered in west Afghanistan
A team of Japanese researchers has confirmed the existence of an ancient Buddhist temple 120 kilometers west of the Afghanistan town of Bamiyan.
Courtesy of Atsushi Naka A view of the temple remains from the northeast, photographed in October.
The remains of the temple, which is thought to have been built before the 8th century, when Islam spread throughout the region, are in an area largely untouched by world research teams.
Researchers say the remains suggest the existence of a new Silk Road path that extended west from Bamiyan.
It is hoped that the find, located close to the remains of a fortress, will provide clues to the history of trade between East and West and the propagation of Buddhism in the region. Japan's Ryukoku University, which operates a Buddhist culture research institute is considering launching a full-scale investigation into the find.
The temple's existence was confirmed following an investigation conducted between the end of last month and this month by Buddhist photographer Atsushi Naka and Meiji Yamada, a researcher of Buddhist ruins in Central Asia.
The remains of the temple are located in a mountain region linked to the Hindu Kush mountains, about 2,400 meters above sea level. They measure about 58 meters by 47 meters and are two stories high.
The remains contain a courtyard, several small rooms with dome-shaped roofs and a lecture hall. In hollows in the walls were miniature shrines to place Buddhist images. The remains also contain a stupa with a diameter of about 7.7 meters. About 6 kilometers west of the temple remains are the remains of a fortress whose local names translates as "40 towers."
Bamiyan, with its stone caves and giant stone Buddhas, is mentioned in ancient writings by the Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang (602-664), but no literary records mentioning the temple and fortress 100 kilometers to the west have yet been found.
Buddhism developed greatly as a world religion in Gandhara, east of Bamiyan, and spread to Asia. Remains of a Buddhist temple stand in an area of Turkmenistan in Central Asia, north of Bamiyan, but there was previously no known Silk Road route going west from Bamiyan. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Nov. 19, 2003)
Just to the left of where it says 'Gobi Desert' is where the 4,000 year old caucasian mummies were found. Mystery Of The Mummies
I wish they had given more precise information
regarding the location of the temple.
I probably have been very near it.
About 120 kilometers west of Bamiyan
there is an extraordinary canyon
which rivals the one in Arizona.
Just what's in the article.
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