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Pieces Of Buddhist Manuscript Discovered in Mes Aynak

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Pieces Of Buddhist Manuscript Discovered in Mes Aynak

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.

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% 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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