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Saving Afghan Culture



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Recovered Treasure
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

Richly patterned gold, studded with turquoise, surrounded the sheath of a dagger buried with a Bactrian nomad in about A.D. 100. This and over 21,000 other golden ornaments—a  stunningly rich and varied hoard—were discovered in a group of six graves at the site of Tillya Tepe in 1978, just as civil conflict erupted in Afghanistan. In the ensuing chaos everything vanished. "Was it melted down? Was it taken to Moscow? Was it sitting on some warlord's shelf? Nobody knew," says Fredrik Hiebert, a National Geographic Fellow who specializes in the archaeology of Afghanistan. Now we know. Last year government officials discovered several mysterious safes in the presidential palace complex in Kabul. When the doors to the safes swung open, there lay the Bactrian treasure, untouched and intact.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome 64
Lens: Nikkor 200mm 
Speed and F-Stop: 1/8 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Midday
Lighting Techniques: Tungsten lights


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