Pieces of Buddhist text discovered in Afghanistan’s Mes Aynak

Date:

Share post:

Pieces of a Buddhist manuscript believed to date back to around the seventh century discovered at the ancient settlement Mes Aynak near Kabul suggest the site was a prosperous Buddhist city, an Afghan archaeological institute revealed.

Pieces of Buddhist text discovered in Afghanistan's Mes Aynak
Pieces of Buddhist scriptures found at the Mes Aynak ruins
in Afghanistan [Credit: Kyodo]



The sutras written in Sanskrit on tree bark were discovered on a hillside a few years ago in Mes Aynak, approximately 40 kilometers southeast of Kabul, by the Afghan Institute of Archaeology, which believes the manuscripts may have been housed in an archive.

Pieces of Buddhist text discovered in Afghanistan's Mes Aynak
Part of the manuscript found at the Mes Aynak ruins
 in Afghanistan [Credit: Kyodo]

In 2009, the Afghan government began a full-scale excavation of the settlement, which is believed to have been occupied between the third and seventh centuries, and has since unearthed pagodas, Buddha statues and murals.




Experts said 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 institute said it will take a few dozen years before excavation is completed.

Pieces of Buddhist text discovered in Afghanistan's Mes Aynak
The ancient settlement of Mes Aynak is seen approximately 40 kilometers
southeast of Kabul [Credit: Kyodo]

However, a Chinese company’s purchase from the Afghan government in 2007 of 30-year mining rights for a large copper deposit near Mes Aynak has generated concern that excavation of the ancient settlement could be hampered.

Source: Kyodo News [July 26, 2019]

1 COMMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Secrets of 1491 map revealed via multispectral imaging

Henricus Martellus, a German cartographer working in Florence in the late 15th century, produced a highly detailed map...

16th season at Early Minoan cemetery at Petras in Siteia concluded

Systematic excavations have continued for the 16th year at Petras in Siteia, the main gateway to Eastern Crete...

Experience Cyprus

There are a myriad of islands in the Mediterranean, but only one does Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess...

2,000-year-old banquet hall unearthed in ancient city of Nea Paphos

A team of researchers from Poland and France has been studying the southern part of the Fabrika hill...

3rd century Roman perfume shop, Visigoth burial site discovered in Spain

A Roman perfume shop and an ancient Visigoth burial site have been uncovered in Spain. The skeleton of...

Lakeshore dig finds artifacts from 4,000 years ago

More than 80,000 artifacts that provide a glimpse of life in the region 4,000 years ago have been...

Roman house and phallic amulets unearthed in Israel

Archaeologists working at the site of Omrit in northern Israel have uncovered a Roman house dating back around...

Searchers consider ‘winter dive’ to explore Erebus further

Searchers who found one of the lost vessels of the ill-fated Franklin expedition are so eager to get...