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Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
Site number:
Type of site: Heritage in danger
Date: 1-13 centuries
Date of Inscription: 2003
Location: Asia, Afghanistan, Bamiyan District, Bamiyan Province
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Description: Representing the artistic and religious developments between the 1st and 13th centuries, the Bamiyan Valley cultural landscape and archaeological remains showcases the various cultural influences in the Gandhara school of Buddhist art. Fortified edifices from the Islamic period stand alongside the numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries. March 2001 marked the site's loss of two standing Buddha statues, destruction by the Taliban forces. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
  The Buddhas of Bamyan (Pashto: د بودا بتان په باميانو کې De Buda butan pe bamiyano ke, Farsi: تندیس‌های بودا در باميان tandis-ha-ye buda dar bamiyaan) were two monumental statues of standing Buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley of central Afghanistan, situated 230 km (143 miles) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2500 meters (8,202 feet). Built during the 6th century, the statues represented the classic blended style of Indo-Greek art. The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which was worn away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors. The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. The rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs which served to stabilize the outer stucco. They were destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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