A rare look at Afghan artifacts

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 11 Sep 2019

Afghanistan is usually thought of as a place of war and poverty, yet the country is rich in history as a cultural crossroad. More than 2,000 years ago, the area formed an important link in the Silk Road trade routes, and had been heavily influenced by a variety of central Asian people, along with Indian, Chinese, Greek and Roman culture.

Many valuable remains were looted during the country's wars since the late 1970s. Fortunately, some of these items were recently seized in Britain and are due to be returned to Afghanistan, as well as similar items from Iraq.

But the fact is that few of us normally get the opportunity to see such artifacts. However, Hong Kong will get a chance to see some of the region's treasures in an upcoming exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of History: "Glistening Treasures in the Dust - Ancient Artifacts of Afghanistan."

The show features some 230 rare items, including gold jewelry, glassware, bronze sculptures and ivory carvings, mostly discovered in four archaeological sites.

These included Tepe Fullol, where Bronze Age gold vessels - some more than 4,000 years old - were found. Another was the burial site of Tillya Teppe, or Golden Mound, in the northern desert, which yielded the famous Bactrian gold, featuring coins and other items showing extensive Greek influences.

There is still plenty of time to plan a trip to the museum, as the show opens on November 6 and runs until February 10.

For details, see https://hk.history.museum/en-US/web/mh/

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of The Jockey Club CPS Advisory Committee


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