Mes Aynak: Afghanistan’s Buddhist buried treasure faces destruction
By William Dalrymple, The Guardian
Saturday, June 1, 2013 10:53 EDT
RawStory. Mes Aynak, a magnificent Buddhist city, is the most important archaeological discovery in a generation. But it is sitting on a vast copper deposit and is about to be destroyed.
In the spring of 1963, a French geologist set out from Kabul to carry out a survey in Logar province in eastern Afghanistan. His destination was the large outcrop of copper-bearing strata in the mountains above the village of Mes Aynak. But in the course of boring for samples, the geologist stumbled on something much more exciting: an entire buried Buddhist city dating from the early centuries AD. The site was clearly very large – he estimated that it covered six sq km – and, although long forgotten, he correctly guessed that it must once have been a huge and wealthy terminus on the Silk Road.