The Afghanistan earth is slowly surrendering ancient artifacts. The remnants of a flowing robe, a statue that dates back 16-hundred years-relics that tell the history of a Buddhist city-like community, nestled along the Silk Road.
This site is called, Mes Aynak – and means – “Copper Mountain.” More than anything, these antiquities detail the lives of Buddhist monks who settled among these mountains sometime after the second century.
The ground is rich with copper you can see it, rocks with distinctive green coloring. Evidence shows monks located here to exploit the resources – for art – and to mint coins. The Afghan government needs money, and in 2008, sold the mineral rights here to a Chinese company.
All this will soon be a mining site-perhaps before the end of the year. The work has been held up, by insurgent attacks.
Afghanistan is trying to find a balance giving researchers time they need to remove artifacts before the miners begin grinding away the mountain-a process that will destroy remaining antiquities.
Mes Aynak Holds Centuries Old Buddhist Monk RelicsMes Aynak is located about 25 miles from the Afghanistan's capital Kabul and is home to thousands of relics.Some date back 1600 years. The priceless pottery, statues give clues about the mountain's first residents--a group of second century Buddhist monks.Their treasures were discoved in the 1970s, but the mass removal of those items didn't start until 2010.Experts say it take 20 years to finish the project, but time is running out. Sean Callebs reports from Kabul.