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Saving Afghan Culture



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Trading in Antiquities?
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

Near Ai Khanoum, a Greek city dating from before the days of Alexander the Great, a village merchant sells bracelets, a teapot, and an assortment of other artifacts. Though none can be clearly identified as having come from the neighboring ruins, looting has devastated the history of Ai Khanoum. In the 1960s and '70s archaeologists unearthed a wealth of gold, ivory, lapis lazuli, ancient coins, and bronze vessels in the city, inspiring desperately poor locals to dig for more. "The profit from the export of antiquities is enormous," says Giovanni Verardi, a National Geographic grantee in archaeology who has worked in Afghanistan. 

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: Nikkor 28-70mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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