Skip to comments.In Afghanistan, 900-Foot Sleeping Buddha Eludes Archaeologists
Posted on 08/07/2007 3:24:52 PM PDT by blam
In Afghanistan, 900-foot Sleeping Buddha eludes archaeologists
But researchers are finding and preserving other ancient riches.
By Mark Sappenfield | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the August 7, 2007 edition
BAMIYAN, AFGHANISTAN - After the Taliban fell, France sent Zemaryalai Tarzi to this Afghan valley on a quest bordering on the mythological. His goal: to find Sleeping Buddha, the reclining sculpture that, at 900 feet long, would be nearly 10 times the size of the Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
He brought the ultimate treasure map the journal of a 7th- century Chinese pilgrim who recorded every major monument in painstaking detail.
But six years later, there's no Sleeping Buddha. When it comes to this prize, the journal is frustratingly vague. And, Dr. Tarzi freely acknowledges, he has been otherwise occupied as he and other archaeologists have found, preserved, and worked to understand Afghanistan's other ancient riches, starting right here in Bamiyan.
What he has found are the remnants of the culture that built the Buddhas one of the most lavish and powerful kingdoms of ancient Central Asia.
Recently Tarzi's colleague, archaeologist Mickaël Rakotozonia, stood in a steady drizzle, surrounded by mud-brick houses, and gestured to two ancient towers almost lost amid the jigsaw of earthen walls here.
Between these two towers, he speculated, might have been a gate into the Kingdom City of Bamiyan, home to the creators of the two stone Buddhas carved from a nearby cliff some 1,500 years ago and destroyed by the Taliban.
But the Buddhas are only the most obvious example of this country's ancient riches.
"My new discoveries have put old discoveries in the background," says Tarzi.
He and Mr. Rakotozonia will continue searching for the Buddhist's Kingdom City this summer and autumn and the
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Excellent video here.
(cue soundtrack of “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” in the background)
What about Google Earth?
Now I can see why many ancient civilizations disappeared. Every so often a single act of monumental stupidity can wipe away what has existed for centuries.
usually it is simply drought.
Did they check eBay?........
Let sleeping Buddhas lie.
How does one lose a 900’ Buddha?
Bury it under a 2000’ mountain of dirt to keep the invading Muslims from getting to it - then wait a couple of centuries?
I remember seeing it via video phone on CNN.
It seems like, if my memory serves me right, that the Taliban had been saying they would destroy the statues but waited long enough for the media to slip into the country so that CNN could get the exclusive.
I didn't understand why, if Allah decreed it, then why did they (Taliban) announce it and then wait before they did it. It's not like they were waiting for approval from the international community or the UN
What is that, Bert?
It wouldn’t surprise me if the muslims found and blew up the sleeping buddha as well.
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Are there plans to rebuild the Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 ?
thanks for the video.
Not to my knowledge.
Well there’s already a rapper called “MC 900-Foot Jesus” now we can have “MC 900-Foot Sleeping Buddha.”
Thanks for the video. It is great to get to see some of these things.
The reclining Buddha at Wat Po is no where near 900 ft.
I saw a show on this search on National Geographic (or equivalent). This is likely the same archaeologist that was featutred. The Afghanis went to remarkable lenghts to hide artwork and other items from the Taliban. I hope he is successful, it would be a wonderful source of national pride for the Afghan people. Thanks for posting.
Is he referring to Xuanzang? His journal is available in paperback and is a very interesting read. He traveled the Silk Road and passed through Afghanistan to reach India, where he lived as a Buddhist monk for several years before returning to China. It is one of the most interesting travelogues ever and a fascinating look at pre-Islamic South Asia.
Maybe it was constructed as a publicity stunt, the world’s largest hamburger in the shape of a Buddha.
So that it would have maximum horrific impact, just like everything they do. I actually remember the dread of anticipation before they did it, and the sense of helplessness once it was done.
Wonder what they did when they decided not to annouce it beforehand....What other ancient treasures have they destroyed in the name of Allah?
I am trying to catch up but I saw your interesting post and I appreciate the info you shared about such an interesting man and I will be trying to find the paperback copy of his journal. Thank You!
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